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The polarizing literary debut by Scottish author Ian Banks, The Wasp Factory
is the bizarre, imaginative, disturbing, and darkly comic look into the mind of a child psychopath.
Meet Frank Cauldhame. Just sixteen, and unconventional to say the least:
Two years after I killed Blyth I murdered my young brother Paul, for quite different and more fundamental reasons than I'd disposed of Blyth, and then a year after that I did for my young cousin Esmerelda, more or less on a whim.
That's my score to date. Three. I haven't killed anybody for years, and don't intend to ever again.
It was just a stage I was going through.
One of the top 100 novels of the century.
The New York Times
Mail on Sunday
A mighty imagination has arrived on the scene.
The Financial Times
Macabre, bizarre, and impossible to put down.
There's nothing to force you, having been warned, to read it; nor do I recommend it.
The Wasp Factory is a first novel not only of tremendous promise, but also of achievement, a minor masterpiece perhaps.
The Times (London)
Times Literary Supplement
A literary equivalent of the nastiest brand of juvenile delinquency.
Read it if you dare.