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The Bridge - Iain Banks
Member Name: rhough
The Bridge - Iain Banks
Date: 12/12/00, updated on 21/12/00 (150 review reads)
Advantages: great paranoid atmosphere
Disadvantages: you can't read it fast enough
I have to confess that Iain (M) Banks is one of my favourite writers.
For those who don't know, he writes under the name of Iain Banks for fiction novels and Iain M Banks for his science fiction. He is adept at both genres. This title however somehow manages to straddle both genres very well indeed.
The book revolves around a man who wakes up on the foundation of a huge “bridge”, which disappears to the horizon in both directions.
He doesn’t remember anything, he doesn’t know his name or how he got there.
At first he is treated very well by a doctor, and is given nice clothes to wear and a place to live. Very soon though he is inexplicably “dropped” by the doctor and things start to go very bad from there as he enters the slums of the society and sets off along the bridge to see where it leads.
The World Banks’ creates has an air of George Orwell’s 1984 about it to me. This is a world of paranoia.
There is also a parallel story set in “reality” which is interesting in its own right, but has cunning references to the “Bridge” world, and vice versa. This leaves you feeling you have been given a clue to the outcome, but not really knowing quite what it is.
Iain Banks intertwines his plots very well. At times a new character appears with no relation whatsoever to the book you are reading. You know by the end it will all come together, but until then he leaves you guessing or wanting more. In most cases this is in the form of a nice twist near the end.
This really is a fantastic book, offering a real insight into Bank’s (very) dark imagination. If you have read any of his other books you will know what to expect in terms of content and quality, but you will also know you have no idea what to expect by the end of the book.
This for me is one of his greatest assets. You simply cannot wait to see what happens at the end. This b
ook is very hard to put down once you start reading.
I recommend “The Bridge” to any reader.