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The Bridge


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About the Author

Iain Banks came to widespread and controversial public notice with the publication of his first novel, THE WASP FACTORY, in 1984. He has been a hugely popular writer of fiction ever since, and, as Iain M Banks, of science fiction.


Orr, the otherwise unnamed protagonist of this Pynchonesque novel, is a successful Scottish engineer who's a bit fed up with life: his work doesn't really interest him anymore; years of doping and boozing have dulled him; his girlfriend has other lovers (he does too, but he would rather she was monogamous). Then one evening he crashes his classic Jaguar into a parked MG. The aftermath is coma and months of amnesiac trance, a condition that Orr apparently comes to prefer. The reader, however, only understands all this towards the end of the novel. Virtually the whole of the narrative consists of Orr's trauma-induced hallucinations. The bridge of the title is a fantastically ramifying construct in Orr's brain resembling an outer-space city in a science fiction movie. Banks's ( The Player of Games ) novel is satire, and its target turns out to be the British Isles' equivalent of American ``yuppies.'' Deploying a wide range of stylistic devices, the narrative condemns fiercely an overly mechanistic society and its self-referential ethos. (May)

'Represents significant progress in the flowering of an exceptional talent a totally absorbing read' - THE TIMES'Iain Banks of THE WASP FACTORY eclipses that sensational debut a real dazzler' - DAILY MAIL'It's compulsive reading and highly recommended.' - SUNDAY TODAY'A stunning book, Banks' powerful imagination is joined to a rare ability to be truly funny while exploring a nightmare world.' - SUNDAY TIMES

An amnesiac searching for his past finds his life dominated by the world of ``the bridge,'' a gigantic structure whose ends have never been seen but which contains a lost library, a host of dreams and nightmares, and the key to another reality. From the expansive, macrocosmic scale of Consider Phlebas and The Player of Games , Banks turns inward to explore the complex, surreal microcosm of the human mind in a kaleidoscopic novel for sophisticated, literary readers of speculative fiction. Recommended.-- JC

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