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Kitchener a.k.a “Kit” is eighteen and is ‘socially disabled’. He is foisted with the onerous burden of tending to his father Guy, who is in the final stages of his fight with lung cancer. On a dispiriting weekend, Kit receives 7 guests, all of whom are former University mates of Guy. Professing to lend succor to Guy during the time of his enervating crisis, a common motive threads through the minds of every one of them thus linking them in a peculiar endeavour – to find an ancient video tape buried within the confines of Kit’s house – a tape that is more a closet of skeletons than a run-of-the-mill viewer. To add to the prevalent confusion, it is a small matter that on account of the development of a cavernous Quarry, Kit’s house needs to be demolished by the authorities.

Iain Bank’s last work (the versatile author himself succumbed to the contrivances of cancer), sizzles with morbid humour and myriad human emotions. Penned while the author himself was under no pleasing circumstances, the book exhibits Bank’s spontaneous and exquisite sense of humour and a narrative acumen that has endeared him to his fans across the world. The way in which the dreaded disease of cancer is dealt with in “The Quarry”, in all its mirth, mystique and misery provides a wonderful insight into the genius of Iain Banks.

“The Quarry” might be his most potent, powerful and poignant work.

The Quarry by Iain Banks

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