• The Steep Approach to Garbadale

  • By: Iain Banks
  • Narrated by: Peter Kenny
  • Length: 13 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 03-20-07
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Hachette Audio UK
  • 4 out of 5 stars 4.1 (107 ratings)

Regular price: $14.45

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Publisher's Summary

The Wopuld family built their fortune on a board game called Empire, now a wildly successful computer game. So successful, in fact, that the American Spraint Corp wants to buy the Wopulds out. Alban, who has been evading the family tentacles for the last few years, thinks Spraint should be treated with suspicion, but he also has other things on his mind. What drove his mother to take her own life? And is he yet over Sophie, his teenage love, who'll be present at the forthcoming family gathering - part birthday party, part Extraordinary General Meeting - in their highland castle?
©2007 Iain Banks (P)2007 Hachette Audio
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Critic Reviews

"The most imaginative British novelist of his generation." (The Times)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Daniel on 08-23-09

Entirely enjoyable. More AudioBooks by Iain Banks?

A great story line with enjoyable reading. This kept me listening non-stop ... then I started it over to listen a second time. Great character development.
But why aren't there more Iain Banks books recorded on Audible.com???

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10 of 10 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Andrew C on 01-14-08

Well performed

The book is entertaining, if a little self-indulgent in parts. It provides a funny insight into families born into money and the family firm. It's not a book I expected from Iain Banks, so don't go looking for sci-fi.

A recurring theme is unrequited love, and the message seems to be that one can delude oneself for a long time about the qualities of a past love. It is clever in that even while the characters are claiming to not have certain character flaws, they are in fact demonstrating them.

The narrator is excellent - he has really thought about how to best perform the book. The audio quality is also among the best on audible.

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10 of 11 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Jane on 06-20-07

Very enjoyable

I really enjoyed listening to this. The plot unfolds gradually, moving both forwards towards the family vote over whether or not to sell off their company, and backwards to fill in the past and explain how the protagonist, Alban, came to be who he is. It's absolutely beautifully read: the reader manages to give a different voice to each character without falling into caricature. There are some very funny moments (Fielding giving a powerpoint presentation to the two elderly aunts was stand-out for me). My one reservation was that the ending wasn't really all that revelatory. I got the impression that it was meant to be a shock - it certainly seemed to surprise Alban - but I'd figured out the family secret a good while earlier.
Overall then, I'd say this is one of the best-read audio books I've encountered in a while, but not the best Iain Banks I've come across.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By N. Price on 12-22-07

Good novel, superb reading

Often funny and always engaging, 'The Steep Approach to Garbadale' is a beautifully written romance cum mystery cum family saga. Ultimately, the solution to the mystery is pretty predictable and if I were being very harsh I would say that the parts of this novel are better than the whole, but these are quibbles. The vivid characters and their interactions are the main thing and this reader certainly found himself engrossed in their stories and caring deeply about their fates.

I heartily agree with what has already been said about Peter Kenny's superb reading. It really is a tour de force, as he gives each character their own voice, perfectly reflecting their age, sex, social background and national or regional accent. It's a joy to listen to him and he perfectly brings out the humour in the comic set pieces. He deals admirably with more subtle scenes and emotions too. Wonderful stuff.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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