Iain Banks: The Crow Road

(828 words)
  • Lucie Armitt (Lincoln University )

Somehow concertinaed into an excellent four-part BBC television drama in 1996, The Crow Road remains a novel of encyclopaedic proportions. It is a narrative structured through competing cartographies (the mapping of space and time across Scotland, across epochs, and across class divides), but also competing chronotopes (the childhood world of the central protagonist, Prentice McHoan, versus that of his father's childhood world, versus the fictive present). Add to these complexities its exploration of the shared validity of competing narrative truths in the forms of rumour, history, riddles and dreams, and one gains an immediate sense of its panoramic concerns. Yet Banks succeeds in making all this cohere into a plot which weaves i…

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Armitt, Lucie. "The Crow Road". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 31 July 2002
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=1177, accessed 25 September 2016.]