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  • Writer's pictureAshley Mongrain

The Wasp Factory | Mini Review

Rating - ⭐⭐

"Frank, no ordinary sixteen-year-old, lives with his father outside a remote Scottish village. Their life is, to say the least, unconventional. Frank's mother abandoned them years ago: his elder brother Eric is confined to a psychiatric hospital; and his father measures out his eccentricities on an imperial scale. Frank has turned to strange acts of violence to vent his frustrations. In the bizarre daily rituals there is some solace. But when news comes of Eric's escape from the hospital Frank has to prepare the ground for his brother's inevitable return - an event that explodes the mysteries of the past and changes Frank utterly."


The Wasp Factory is a standalone horror novella by Iain Banks.

February to March is when I break out the novellas in order to read more books in that time, and I was in a horror mood as well so I ended up picking this book up. This is rated rather well and I have seen it mentioned several times while perusing through TikTok; granted it was on lists of disturbing books but I was willing to read it anyway.

Will say I kind of regret that optimism because this book wasn't it for me. From the beginning all the way to the end, I was not enjoying myself. Now, horror books can do that to me if it is disturbing enough, as that is kind of the point, but this was a weird book. You don't get much context for the story and the characters and are just along for the ride with Frank who is a rather interesting character. This could have been an interesting character study considering everything that happens in this, but there was just something about the writing and the plot that threw me off.

I needed more to happen than what I got and by the end of the book, all I could ask was why? Why? Who exactly is this book written for and why is this what the author wanted to be immortalized in writing? For anyone who enjoyed this book, if that is the right word, I applaud you because I got nothing from this.

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