John Mullan on readers' responses to 'The Wasp Factory'

Over at The Guardian Online John Mullan presents a summary of the recent Wasp Factory discussion panel, which was held in London and featured a live panel discussion with Iain Banks on the subject of the many and varied interpretations of and reactions to his debut novel.

The general conclusion was that the book isn't actually as shocking as its reputation tends to suggest. Iain said that it was written as a black comedy and that Complicity was actually written to be far more shocking, but tends to be written up as being far less so. Iain's suggestion was that the shock response to The Wasp Factory created "anti-bodies" that then defeated the shock value of the later novel.

Plenty more of interest from the session, over at

Edit Dave H has pointed us in the direction of a podcast recording of the panel session on the Guardian website. Cheers Dave!

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