Synopses & Reviews
Dark family secrets, a long-lost love affair and a multi-million pound gaming business lie at the heart of Iain Banks' fabulous new novel. The 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 evading the family clutches for years, is run to ground and persuaded to attend the forthcoming family gathering part birthday party, part Extraordinary General Meeting convened by Win, Wopuld matriarch and most powerful member of the board, at Garbadale, the family's highland castle. Being drawn back into the bosom of the clan brings an inevitable and disconcerting confrontation with Alban's past. What drove his mother to take her own life? And is he yet ready to see Sophie, his beautiful, enchanting cousin and teenage love, at the EGM Grandmother Win's revelations will radically alter Alban's perspective for ever.
"'The latest offering from Banks (The Wasp Factory) gives a scion's-eye view of an eccentric, splintering Scottish business family. Having secured immense wealth via the Empire! board game (invented by a relative in 1880) and its various offshoots, the Wopuld family must now decide whether to sell the company: the American Spraint Corporation wants Empire! as a jewel in its crown. As the family gathers to celebrate matriarch Grandma Win's 80th birthday and have a board meeting, Win dispatches grandson Fielding to find his cousin Alban, who has fled the family to become a forester, in order to solidify her vision of the family legacy. Banks flashes back through Alban's painful memories of his mother (who committed suicide) and his cousin Sophie (whom he loved) as he heads home. The book contains a plethora of family secrets, none of which fully drive the plot, but the gothic setting, big passions and light humor suffice. Bank's 23rd book isn't his best, but it carries one all the way up its craggy steeps.' Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
About the Author
Iain Banks is the author of such titles as The Algebraist, Crow Road, and The Wasp Factory. He writes science fiction under the name Iain M. Banks.