A Song of Stone

by Iain M. Banks

Simon & Schuster Books | September 15, 1999 | Trade Paperback

A Song of Stone is rated 3 out of 5 by 1.
A European nation not unlike Bosnia: armed forces roam the lawless land where dark columns of smoke rise up from the surrounding farms and houses. The war is ending, perhaps ended. But for the castle and its occupants, a young lord and lady, the trouble is just beginning.

Fearing an invasion of soldiers, the amorous couple takes to the road with the other refugees, disguised in rags. But the brutal female lieutenant of an outlaw band of guerrillas has other ideas. Just hours into their escape, the fleeing aristocrats are delivered back to the castle, where, now prisoners in their own home, they become pawns in the lieutenant''s dangerous game of desire, deceit, and death.

"A Song of Stone" demonstrates Iain Banks''s unique ability to combine gripping narrative with a soaring, voyaging imagination. This noir fable confirms his reputation as the master of things dark and debauched. Singular, haunting, and viciously wry, "A Song of Stone" is a tour de force of contemporary fiction.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 8.49 × 5.47 × 0.76 in

Published: September 15, 1999

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0684855364

ISBN - 13: 9780684855363

Found in: Fiction and Literature

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Reviews

Rated 3 out of 5 by from I've read better works of Iain Banks As a big fan of Iain Banks, I have to be honest to say that the story of this book was not that appealing to me. Interestingly enough, there is a kind of magic in this book - probably from its elegant witting, the subtle but incisive feelings - that pulled me through into reading it completely. Nevertheless, I would recommend other works of Iain Banks to first time readers.
Date published: 2008-03-05

– More About This Product –

A Song of Stone

by Iain M. Banks

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 8.49 × 5.47 × 0.76 in

Published: September 15, 1999

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0684855364

ISBN - 13: 9780684855363

Read from the Book

Chapter One Winter always was my favourite season. Is this yet winter? I do not know. There is some technical definition, something based on calendars and the position of the sun, but I think one simply becomes aware that the tide of the seasons has irrevocably turned; that the animal in us smells winter. Disregarding the imposed grid of our chronology, winter is something inflicted upon our half-world, something taken away from the land by the cold and cooling sky and the low and lowering sun, something that permeates the soul, and enters the mind through the nose, between the teeth and across the porous barrier of the skin. A raw wind picks and stirs small spirals of leaves across the broken grey surface of the road and dumps them scattering in the cold puddles of water at the bottom of the ditches. The leaves are yellow, red, ochre and brown; the colours of burning in the midst of this damp chill. Some leaves remain on the trees overlooking the road; no ice rims the ditches' mean trickle, and on both sides of the plain the hills are free of snow under a mid-day sun within a wide slice of cloud-free sky. But still it feels like all autumn's past. Northwards, in the distance, a few mountains hide behind a grey besieging fleet of clouds. Perhaps there is snow there, on those peaks, but we are not allowed to see it yet. The wind comes from the north, pushing veils of rain down the hills towards us. Across the fields to the south -- some trample-blonde and wasted, some harveste
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From the Publisher

A European nation not unlike Bosnia: armed forces roam the lawless land where dark columns of smoke rise up from the surrounding farms and houses. The war is ending, perhaps ended. But for the castle and its occupants, a young lord and lady, the trouble is just beginning.

Fearing an invasion of soldiers, the amorous couple takes to the road with the other refugees, disguised in rags. But the brutal female lieutenant of an outlaw band of guerrillas has other ideas. Just hours into their escape, the fleeing aristocrats are delivered back to the castle, where, now prisoners in their own home, they become pawns in the lieutenant''s dangerous game of desire, deceit, and death.

"A Song of Stone" demonstrates Iain Banks''s unique ability to combine gripping narrative with a soaring, voyaging imagination. This noir fable confirms his reputation as the master of things dark and debauched. Singular, haunting, and viciously wry, "A Song of Stone" is a tour de force of contemporary fiction.

From the Jacket

A European nation not unlike Bosnia: armed forces roam the lawless land where dark columns of smoke rise up from the surrounding farms and houses. The war is ending, perhaps ended. But for the castle and its occupants, a young lord and lady, the trouble is just beginning.

Fearing an invasion of soldiers, the amorous couple takes to the road with the other refugees, disguised in rags. But the brutal female lieutenant of an outlaw band of guerrillas has other ideas. Just hours into their escape, the fleeing aristocrats are delivered back to the castle, where, now prisoners in their own home, they become pawns in the lieutenant''s dangerous game of desire, deceit, and death.

A Song of Stone demonstrates Iain Bank''s unique ability to combine gripping narrative with a soaring, voyaging imagination. This noir fable confirms his reputation as the master of things dark and debauched. Singular, haunting, and viciously wry, A Song of Stone is a tour de force of contemporary fiction.

About the Author

Iain M. Banks has been acclaimed as the most imaginative British novelist of his generation. Born in Scotland in 1954, Banks pursued a variety of careers before turning to writing. The child of a naval officer and a former professional ice skater, he studied English at Stirling University while working as a construction worker and gardener, among other jobs. After taking a degree, he hitchhiked throughout Europe and Morocco before spending a year as a testing technician for British Steel. Over the late 1970's and early '80s, Banks visited the United States, worked for IBM in Scotland and moved to London to stay with friends while writing his first novel. Banks's first novel The Wasp Factory (1984), concerns a sixteen-year-old serial killer. Praised for its imagination, dialogue and black humor, it was selected in a British poll as one of the top 100 novels of the century. Banks followed it with Walking on Glass (1985), which examines three obsessed people who meet in a menagerie of conspiracy and torture. The Bridge (1986) is about a man, unconscious after an accident, who travels through a complex dream world and ultimately must choose whether to return to reality. Banks' other novels include Complicity (1995), which explores the themes of murder and revenge in the context of a thriller; and A Song of Stone (1997), about a pair of aristocrats in the aftermath of a European war. Among his science fiction novels are Against a Dark Background (1993), Feersum Endjinn (1994) and
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Editorial Reviews

"Publishers Weekly"[Banks''s] impeccable prose undulates with poetry and sensuality that transform the most ordinary movements of his tale into resonant images of beauty and terror.
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