Tuesday, 11 August 2009

The Steep Approach to Garbadale by Iain Banks

DATE PUBLISHED:2007 DATE READ: July 2009 (audiobook) NOTES: The somewhat dysfunctional Wopuld family is planning a get-together at their ancestral home in north-west Scotland to discuss the proposed buyout of their family business based on a board game. Alban (who by now only holds 100 shares in the company) is still haunted by his mother’s suicide at Garbadale when he was a baby. He is also still holding out hopes for a rekindling of his childhood love for his cousin Sophie. They were discovered making love and forcibly kept apart – this tactic was led by the manipulative Grandma Win. Albarn now has a relationship with the enigmatic Veruschka – a university mathematician who loves her own independence. The story comes to a head at Garbisdale. Alban is convinced Grandma Win knows more about his mother’s suicide than she has admitted and he conspires to trick her into revealing what she knows – but is then devastated when he finds out the secrets she has been keeping. He also delivers a stinging attack on the US company wanting to buy out the family and consequently gets a better prices for the family shareholders. A cracking read – lots of funny comments and comic situations as well as some really dark corners.

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