Title: The Crow Road

Author: Iain Banks

Date Finished: 12/08/12

Re-Read? : First time read

Challenges? : No

Overall: 3/5 – just average

This is another book I was given last year and I didn’t know anything about.  I knew the author had written The Wasp Factory but nothing else.  I didn’t have any expectations about reading this book and all I could glean from reading the blurb multiple times was that it might be similar to Submarine or And This is True, but it wasn’t.

The plot was quite interesting, particularly towards the end – at the beginning everything moved quite slowly.  Also, I just kept getting confused – there were too many things to understand all at once.  The constant flash backs to apparently irrelevant bits of the past was tiresome even though I eventually understood towards the end.  I really don’t like being confused about something when reading so I got quite irritated when I had got the wrong end of the stick about things.

I am also slightly in two minds about the characters.  Certainly, Banks has worked hard to make them all interesting but pretty much all of them, especially Verity and Fergus seemed completely unrealistic.  There were also far too many different characters to keep track of, especially in the first half of the book with everyone having about 5 siblings each with 3 or 4 different children AND the changing of time I just lost track of half of them.

In terms of setting it was quite interesting as I have never been to Scotland and don’t have anything except the stereotypical view of kilts, lochs and lots of rain.  I enjoyed the Scottish traditions as well.  Banks’ prose was very good and not too hard to read but he did say ‘I was sat’ a few times too.  It is so bad that many writers are still published with this error uncorrected.

Overall I would recommend that you read something else as there is nothing particularly special in this book.  However, it was not rubbish and had a decent story so that’s why it earned 3/5.