Espedair Street

  • by Iain Banks
  • Narrated by Peter Kenny
  • 8 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Daniel Weir used to be a famous - not to say infamous - rock star. Maybe still is. At thirty-one he has been both a brilliant failure and a dull success. He's made a lot of mistakes that have paid off and a lot of smart moves he'll regret forever (however long that turns out to be). Daniel Weir has gone from rags to riches and back, and managed to hold onto them both, though not much else.
His friends all seem to be dead, fed up with him or just disgusted - and who can blame them? And now Daniel Weir is all alone. As he contemplates his life, Daniel realises he only has two problems: The past and the future. He knows how bad the past has been. But the future - well, the future is something else.

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What the Critics Say

"Engagingly told, cleverly constructed." (Time Out)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Almost really really great

This story was witty and quippy, fast-paced and quite funny. I laughed out loud within the first 10 minutes of listening and thought "this is going to be a great ride." The way the characters unfolded was so good. The story telling was smooth and interesting with Banks jumping from present to past.

I loved the main characters and all of his side-kicks. I could really visualize the little town he lived in and his crazy house and the bar he frequented. I was completely invested in everything about the story.

I loved the snippets of the song lyrics peppered throughout the story. I would stop and sometimes rewind and listen to them again.

Then, Banks started to wrap up the story, and things fell apart for me. The ending was cliche, and predictable, though I didn't expect it because the book was so good. I didn't expect the ending to be that bad, so I guess it wasn't entirely predictable. It was a lame attempt to make you really like Weir,D (the main character) in the end when I already liked him. The wrap-up and the ending just really did not do justice to the rest of the book. It felt hurried and uninspired.

The narration was great. When I very first turned the book on, it took me a couple minutes to understand what he was saying his accent was so thick. But then I got used to it and the accent just added to the charm. His voices and distinction between characters were really great.

If you keep expectations a little low for the ending, I recommend this book.
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- Marci

Stands out from Iain Banks's other novels

If you could sum up Espedair Street in three words, what would they be?

Enjoyable, Sad, Funny

Isn't it ridiculous that this asks for three words and has a minimum of fifteen to be able to submit it?


What did you like best about this story?

What I always like about Iain Banks's work, the characters.


What does Peter Kenny bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Well, being American, I would probably think of the characters with the "Hollywood" accent. Peter Kenny does a great job with differentiating the characters too.


Who was the most memorable character of Espedair Street and why?

Daniel. He's the protagonist in a first person perspective novel, so, of course, he's the most memorable.


Any additional comments?

This is probably the most optimistic Iain Banks novel I've read. I haven't read all his work but a good amount. Don't misunderstand, this is still a really sad story, but you won't be in a fog of depression when you finish it.

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- Joshua

Book Details

  • Release Date: 01-23-2014
  • Publisher: Hachette Audio UK