• The Wasp Factory

  • By: Iain Banks
  • Narrated by: Peter Kenny
  • Length: 6 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 03-06-08
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Hachette Audio UK
  • 4 out of 5 stars 4.1 (73 ratings)

Regular price: $18.11

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Publisher's Summary

The Wasp Factory is a bizarre, imaginative, disturbing, and darkly comic look into the mind of a child psychopath - one of the most infamous of contemporary Scottish novels. 
"Two years after I killed Blyth, I murdered my young brother Paul, for quite different and more fundamental reasons than I'd disposed of Blyth, and then a year after that I did for my young cousin Esmerelda, more or less on a whim. That's my score to date. Three. I haven't killed anybody for years, and don't intend to ever again. It was just a stage that I was going through."  
Enter - if you can bear it - the extraordinary private world of Frank, just 16, and unconventional, to say the least.
©2007 Hachette Audio (P)2007 Hachette Audio
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Critic Reviews

"One of the most brilliant first novels I have come across." (The Telegraph)
"One of the top 100 novels of the century." (The Independent)  
"Brilliant...irresistible...compelling." (New York Times
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By Eduardo on 03-11-13

A history of a young psychopath

First of all, this book is about the development of a psychopath. There's violence, sadism and a total lack of empathy. You might feel distressed about it. Personally, I don't have a problem with the underlying subject but caveat emptor and all that.

What I like about the book is the setting and the narration style, both of which are fitting. What I have aproblem with is with the "shallowness" of the writing. I believe it does not develop the characters enough, the story is feeble and flashbacks don't really help. The book reads as characters basically act and react upon "random" events of violence, explained with greater detail than the story itself, and it's difficult to follow a backstory or evolution of the characters.

It's an interesting book if you're interested in the subject and explains how somebody develops that kind of personality disorder, but don't expect an engaging story or psychopaths of the "character quality" of Hannibal Lecter.

I arrived here from Iain's SciFi background, which is incredibly complex, with layers upon layers of interconnected stories, interesting and well developed characters (esp. AIs) and a whole alternate reality to explore. I probably set my own expectations too high based on previous experience but alas, I was disappointed.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By A. R. on 06-11-18

Disturbing and compelling

The story is compelling and made all the more disturbing by the excellent narration. You will come away unsettled...delightfully so!

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By GOGS on 10-14-08


Excellent narration of a brilliantly constructed story. Listening to some books, I drift off and miss what's been said for the last 5 minutes. This had me hanging on every word. An absolute must read/listen.

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10 of 10 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Kate on 12-23-12

Brilliantly read that brings the story to life

This was one of my books I had to read as coursework but I am badly dyslexic so I relied on the audio book to bring it to life. Which it did beautifully. All I can say is that I recommend it and thank you.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
2 out of 5 stars
By Amazon Customer on 06-19-16

Great novel poorly delivered

Banks got his psycho thriller poorly read. Dull monotonous voice

Read and enjoy the book, skip the audio

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3 out of 5 stars
By Grace Less on 04-25-16

Out there & compelling

I purchased this book from Audible after having it on my list of books to get one day. It was the second audio book I'd ever listened to & the narrator was pretty great - especially given that this is told from the first person perspective.

Frank is a bit on the crazy side & the story goes through sections of high intensity then long, over described plateaus. I never got bored with it, just sometimes thought there were sections with too many unnecessary words. It did, however, do a good job at portraying an unstable & troubled mind.

I personally felt like the book ended really quickly. It worked, but I feel like I wanted that bit too drag out a bit more.

Definitely an odd & compelling book. Recommended.

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