Monday, October 01, 2007

Book Review...Espedair Street

Espedair Street.Iain Banks.Abacus 1990.249pages.

Needing a diversion from work I noticed a battered paperback on my bookshelf.
Espedair Street kept me entertained over the last week as I read the account of the main characters rise and fall as a member of a rock group.
For me,what sets Banks apart from other writers such as Elton or Hornby is the depth of his characters and descriptive powers.Even minor characters are memorable such as a beer-swilling,curry eating dog.Somehow they seem more rounded and realistic.
"My eyes bulged,my nose was huge and hooked and my hair was long and thin and slick with its own grease."pg24.
Alternate chapters flash back and forth chronicling his early life and his later success.Theres a nice contrast built up between his deprived childhood and the excesses of his musical career.
Banks also uses the main character to reflect on the relationship between fans and their idols.He also makes observations about what motivates rock stars and the sddictive effect of touring and playing live.
All in all,a welcome distraction from the hot weather,work,the recent upheavals in Japanese politics and the upsetting story about the recent death of a young sumo wrestler.

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