Talking about Iain Banks, Crooked Timber have a discussion today on how books are sometimes promoted by quoting the most critical reviews. The Wasp Factory was one of the earliest novels to use this trick, and here's the review by the Irish Times:
It is a sick, sick world when the confidence and investment of an astute firm of publishers is justified by a work of unparalleled depravity. There is no denying the bizarre fertility of the author’s imagination: his brilliant dialogue, his cruel humour, his repellent inventiveness. The majority of the literate public, however, will be relieved that only reviewers are obliged to look at any of it.
Today I have started the audiobook of The Cutting Room by Louise Welsh. There's been a Murder in Merryhill Glasgow, and the investigating hero is an auctioneer. I think it may be a bit slashy. It's read by loverly lovely Robert Carlyle, so I'm looking forward to it on that basis. The last book I read by Louise Welsh was Tamburlaine Must Die, a short historical vignette of the last few months in the life of Kit Marlowe, also markedly slashy and very quick to read. I liked it for its tough-old-London atmosphere but I seem to remember various on my f-list hated it (immortalradical was one I think?) (ETA - replace 'hated it' with 'were not overwhelmed by it')
Also I went to the local Waterstones with happytune and bought The Carhullen Army, so I'll start that today. This is phase one of my plan to start reading SF again.