Iain Banks: The Wasp Factory

(2469 words)
  • Lucie Armitt

Iain Banks is a writer whose work embraces darkness: the darkness of the gothic, of the postmodern, of the body in all its abject excesses. The Wasp Factory, his first novel, is characteristically dark and sets itself up as a hybrid form straddling the literary modes of the postmodern and the gothic. Frank Cauldhame, the central protagonist, is a disturbed young man in late adolescence who inhabits an all-male household comprising three sick members: himself, his disabled and, it turns out, psychologically disturbed father, and his criminally insane older brother, Eric. Frank is, more than most, branded by familial dysfunction. As he tells us: “I was never registered. I have no birth certificate, no National Insurance number.…

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Armitt, Lucie. "The Wasp Factory". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 25 March 2002
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=8095, accessed 06 July 2015.]