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Thread: I've Started On "The Crow Road".

  1. #1
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    Default I've Started On "The Crow Road".

    OK, I've commenced reading Banks' magnus-opus, The Crow Road, a novel that was successful enough to be properly adapted into a TV series many years ago now. Only until this year will a Culture story is to be made into a movie.

    I'm up to Page. 72, and it's taking its time to get into the swing of things like Matter and Against a Dark Background did, and not cutting to the chase like The Wasp Factory, I'm finding it quite funny so-far although it's showing its age now with some of the pop culture references. Weird aristocrats really seem to be Banks' bag.
    Last edited by Big Orange; 18-02-2010 at 12:54 AM. Reason: I so love being a grammar Nazi!
    'Poverty is not an injustice. There is no such thing as causes for poverty, only causes for wealth. Poverty is not a wrong, but taking money from those who have it to equalize incomes is basically theft, which is wrong.' - Typical Randroid

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    It's a very slow builder, as I recall (I read it ages ago) I was about halfway in before finding there was a central plot.

    "Magnum opus"? Not in my oppinion
    "Just have fun"

  3. #3
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    I've never read a Banks novel that is genuinely bad (not even The Business) but I'm starting to take many Amazon.com reviews with a pinch of salt now since Matter came out - I think many fans rave about Excession a bit too much (and The Algebraist to a lesser extent).

    I've not properly got ino The Crow Road, yet there are some worthwhile segments to it (like the copulation in the boat) and I'll stick with it until the end, then I'll come up with a proper opinion of it.
    'Poverty is not an injustice. There is no such thing as causes for poverty, only causes for wealth. Poverty is not a wrong, but taking money from those who have it to equalize incomes is basically theft, which is wrong.' - Typical Randroid

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    I did like it by the time I got to the end. & very well written of course
    "Just have fun"

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    I'm already almost halfway through (page 193) and while there is no gripping thriller plot similar to Banks' Against a Dark Background or Reynolds' Chasm City, there is a strong backstory getting built up and the characters/events are quite funny - I especially like the bit where a dumb chav/ned loses one of his eyes when his head is pushed into a display case by the angry owner.
    'Poverty is not an injustice. There is no such thing as causes for poverty, only causes for wealth. Poverty is not a wrong, but taking money from those who have it to equalize incomes is basically theft, which is wrong.' - Typical Randroid

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    OK, I'm over halfway through and as with Matter, The Crow Road's story picks up very quickly with the stakes being raised (it's all fallen apart for Prentice McHoan).
    'Poverty is not an injustice. There is no such thing as causes for poverty, only causes for wealth. Poverty is not a wrong, but taking money from those who have it to equalize incomes is basically theft, which is wrong.' - Typical Randroid

  7. #7

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    It's definitely one the non-M books that is the most different to his sf stuff. It definitely moves at a different pace and is quite stylistically different, but it's an excellent book and one of my favourites.

    He certainly does love writing about sprawling, rich families and big houses.

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    I like that there is very often a tendancy towards the "big" in Iain's books
    "Just have fun"

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    I've finally finished the damn thing - good book though, it cleaverly weaves many plots across a similar period of time as Alan Moore's Watchmen, although Banks' political agenda gets a bit annoying in places (I've heard it's worse in Dead Air). Still a good book all in all and although it has been successfully dramatised, if I made another dramatisation I'd cast David Tennant as Rory (eccentric traveller), Jolene Blalock as Janice (the cougar), James McAvoy as Prentice, and Graham McTavish as Fergus (aristocratic scumbag). And on the topic of Fergus as character, he was bit too boo-his for my liking (racist, capitalist, and *dum-duh-daaaah* Tory voter).
    'Poverty is not an injustice. There is no such thing as causes for poverty, only causes for wealth. Poverty is not a wrong, but taking money from those who have it to equalize incomes is basically theft, which is wrong.' - Typical Randroid

  10. #10
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    I've recently re-read The Crow Road. Since I have a chronically bad memory I could remember very little of the plot even though I was reading it for the second time. My reaction was similar to yours: for the first half of the book I was thinking that this is a very baggy, rambling book indeed, but the threads are pulled together, more-or-less, in the later chapters. To appreciate the book more fully I probably need to read it yet again before I've had time to forget the plot.

    I assume that the character Gav was based on somebody that IB had met in real life. He certainly seems to be based on someone that I've met in real life.
    Why don't you go away and read some books?

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