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Named ‘one of the top 100 novels of the century’ by the Independent, The Wasp Factory is a bizarre, imaginative, disturbing and darkly comic look into the mind of a child psychopath

Frank is no ordinary sixteen-year-old. He lives with his father outside a remote Scottish village. Frank’s mother abandoned them years ago: his elder brother Eric is confined to a psychiatric hospital; and his father measures out his eccentricities on an imperial scale. Frank has turned to strange acts of violence to vent his frustrations. In the bizarre daily rituals there is some solace. But when news comes of Eric’s escape from the hospital Frank has to prepare the ground for his brother’s inevitable return – an event that explodes the mysteries of the past and changes Frank utterly.

Iain Banks’ celebrated first novel is a ‘gothic horror story of quite exceptional quality…macabre, bizarre and…quite impossible to put down’ (Financial Times)

Enter – if you can bear it – the extraordinary private world of Frank, just sixteen, and unconventional, to say the least.

‘Brilliant…irresistible…compelling’ –New York Times

‘One of the most brilliant first novels I have come across’ –Telegraph


A brilliant book, barmy and barnacled with the grotesque
New Statesman
Brilliant . . . irresistible . . . compelling
New York Times
One of the top 100 novels of the century
One of the most brilliant first novels I have come across
Macabre, bizarre and impossible to put down
Financial Times
Read it if you dare