Iain M Banks


The Steep Approach to Garbadale

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About the book:

The Steep Approach to Garbadale book coverThe Wopuld family built its fortune on a board game called Empire! - now a hugely successful computer game. So successful, the American Spraint Corp wants to buy the firm out. Young renegade Alban, who has been living wild and evading the family tentacles for years, is run to ground and persuaded to attend the forthcoming gathering - part birthday celebration, part Extraordinary General Meeting - convened by Win, the Wopuld matriarch and most powerful member of the board.

Alban, at first reluctant to involve himself in the buyout, increasingly thinks Spraint Corp and its executives, Fromlax and Feaguing, should be treated with suspicion. But he also has other things on his mind. Being drawn back into the bosom of the clan brings inevitable and disconcerting confrontation with his past. What drove his mother to take her own life? And is he yet over Sophie, his beautiful enchanting cousin and teenage love? Grandmother Win's revelations will radically alter Alban's perspective for ever.


  • 'Banks begins his most consistent book since The Crow Road with sleight-of-hand tricks displaying the master in rude form ... These shifts in voice are so perfect, so clean and witty that when Alban comes to the fore, we feel he's one of is ... the maturity of voice and verve if the writing mean Garbadale matches anything in the Banks canon.' Waterstones Books Quarterly
  • 'Banks still has the ability to make the reader smile with pleasure.' Scotland on Sunday
  • 'Banks is at his best in moments of high drama with extremes of human emotions.' The Observer
  • 'A book of intrigue and humanity. A real page-turner you can't put down, from one of the masters.' Look
  • 'Full of Banks' familiar magic and easily rivals his brilliant book The Crow Road.' News of the World
  • 'Banks' work has grown smoother ... but it still packs an intoxicating kick.' FT Magazine
  • 'Banks is unsurpassed at presenting clear, small-scale, central images, with behind them looming shapes in chiaroscuro. He convinces you, also, that this is the way the world really is.' Times Literary Supplement
  • 'Still a master. Banks's evocation of the tortures and travails of first love is moving and lyrical.' The Independent
  • 'A page-turning family saga ... Banks's mix of popularism and politics offers up enjoyable food for thought.' Metro
  • 'Banks may make all kinds of demands as far as the structure of his fiction is concerned, but, taken sentence by sentence, he is unrivalled for clarity and pleasure ... His most accomplished book since The Crow Road.' Literary Review
  • 'There are so many larger-than-life characters in this wonderful novel ... As good as anything Iain Banks has ever written, if not better. It is the story of one young man's getting of wisdom, an oblique but observant history of Britain from the 1980s to the present day, and a great game of consequences.' Sunday Telegraph
  • 'Nobody can evoke the mindset of a self-obsessed, sexually active, mildly philosophical bloke as convincingly as Banks, and it's terrific to have him back, firing on all cylinders like one of his beloved chipped BMWs.' Sunday Herald
  • '[Banks's] lightness of touch is marvellous ... There are protracted passages which are majestically realised tours de force ... What Banks serves up is both unanticipated and terrible. The fates of his characters are genuinely affecting. He achieves this by a broad adherence to a thriller structure. And by an empathetic brilliance...' Evening Standard

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