Title: Espedair Street
Author: Iain Banks
Page Count: 250
The first thing to say about this one is that I was recommended it first by a poet friend called Nigel Cresswell and then later by a writer friend called Ken Boyter, who also happens to be a medium. He told me that the spirits were telling me I should read it, so I thought I’d give it a go.
It was a good call, because it’s basically about a bunch of washed up musicians who are looking back at their earlier success. I say “washed up” – one of the characters was the same age that I am, so if he’s washed up then I guess so am I.
There was some pretty good stuff here, along with some similarities to an as-yet-unpublished novel of my own, but I think there’s just something about Banks’ writing that doesn’t particularly gel with me. He’s a pretty good writer, but he’s not amazing. It’s a bit like comparing James Herbert to Stephen King. Herbert is competent, but King is a master.
All in all then, it felt like a watered down Irvine Welsh, and that’s not particularly a compliment. It was worth reading, but it also wasn’t anything particularly special, and I didn’t like it as much as I was expecting to. Still, it was decent enough and I wouldn’t say that I’ll never read any more Banks. He’s not an auto-buy author, though.