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I've read many Iain Banks novels, but this is the first audiobook of his work that I've listened to. The story, which I won't re-hash here, follows a familiar Banks theme of a first person narrator faced with a challenge or mystery and coming to a striking realisation that things are not as they had assumed. The reveal, in the last few chapters, is deeply satisfying. One of his best.
Helen McAlpine's narration is excellent. From Isis Whit's posh Scots to Glaswegian, Texan, Jamaican and estuary Essex accents she barely falters, although I did think that Great Aunt Zhobelia's mix of Indian sub-continent and Harris Scots sounded a little like she was from the Welsh valleys, but that's really nitpicking. The effect is that it's always clear who is speaking.
Overall, this was really excellent. I was sad when I had finished it. You'll need to listen to it yourself to learn about the Haggis pakora though.
I found Helen McAlphine's narration of the story really worked and brought the main character to life.
Unfortunately this is one of a small number of Ian Bank's novels that left me cold and struggling to stick with it. I could not find any real engagement with the characters or the storyline and nearly gave up several times.