Stonemouth: A Novel and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more

Vous voulez voir cette page en français ? Cliquez ici.


or
Sign in to turn on 1-Click ordering.
or
Amazon Prime Free Trial required. Sign up when you check out. Learn More
More Buying Choices
Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Start reading Stonemouth: A Novel on your Kindle in under a minute.

Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App.

Stonemouth [Hardcover]

Iain Banks
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 27.50
Price: CDN$ 22.00 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
You Save: CDN$ 5.50 (20%)
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
Only 1 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.ca. Gift-wrap available.
Want it delivered Tuesday, October 28? Choose One-Day Shipping at checkout.

Formats

Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition CDN $9.99  
Hardcover, Bargain Price CDN $11.00  
Hardcover, Jan. 15 2013 CDN $22.00  
Paperback CDN $12.80  
Audio, CD, Audiobook, CD CDN $29.95  
Join Amazon Student in Canada


Book Description

Jan. 15 2013
Stewart Gilmour is back in Stonemouth. After five years in exile his presence is required at the funeral of patriarch Joe Murston, and even though the last time Stu saw the Murstons he was running for his life, staying away might be even more dangerous than turning up. An estuary town north of Aberdeen, Stonemouth, with it's five mile beach, can be beautiful on a sunny day. On a bleak one it can seem to offer little more than seafog, gangsters, cheap drugs and a suspension bridge irresistible to suicides. And although there's supposed to be a temporary truce between Stewart and the town's biggest crime family, it's soon clear that only Stewart is taking this promise of peace seriously. Before long a quick drop into the cold grey Stoun begins to look like the soft option, and as he steps back into the minefield of his past to confront his guilt and all that it has lost him, Stu uncovers ever darker stories, and his homecoming takes a more lethal turn than even he had anticipated. Tough, funny, fast-paced and touching, Stonemouth cracks open adolescence, love, brotherhood and vengeance in a rite of passage novel like no other.
--This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

Frequently Bought Together

Stonemouth + The Quarry + The Hydrogen Sonata
Price For All Three: CDN$ 51.78

  • The Quarry CDN$ 18.18
  • The Hydrogen Sonata CDN$ 11.60

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought


Product Details


Product Description

Review

Readable, gripping ... One of his best -- Evening Standard William Leith 'There is more than a shade of Pip and Estella in Stewart and Ellie, and to create an emotionally satisfying while intellectually convincing ending is a rare achievement ... Beguiling Guardian The mythology of Stewart's past, and of Stonemouth itself, is utterly absorbing. Addictive, funny, and brilliantly observed Daily Mail Banks at his waspish, intelligent, nuanced best. His fans will give thanks Scotland on Sunday --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Iain Banks came to widespread and controversial public notice with the publication of his first novel, THE WASP FACTORY, in 1984. He gained enormous popular and critical acclaim for both his mainstream and his science fiction novels. Iain Banks died in June 2013. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?


Customer Reviews

4 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
0
4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars excellence. March 16 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Banks, Thank you.

This was excellent as usual. I'll miss your turn of phrase. My Banks addiction will be going sadly unfulfilled.
Was this review helpful to you?
3.0 out of 5 stars A good vacation book. Feb. 15 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The first time I have read this author. Not riveting, but the characters and the storyline are memorable enough to enable you to put the book down, pick it up later, and just continue reading.
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.9 out of 5 stars  57 reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A weekend journey of discovery Oct. 15 2012
By TChris - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
With the addition of a middle initial to his name, Iain Banks writes immensely entertaining science fiction novels, with fast-moving action and tongue-in-cheek attitude. Without the middle initial, Banks writes novels that have the heft, characters, and prose of serious literature. Stonemouth is one of the latter, and it is a small gem.

Stewart Gilmour returns on a Friday to Stonemouth, his hometown in northeast Scotland, for the funeral of Joe Murston, an elderly man he befriended in his teen years. Stewart had been run out of town five years earlier by the Murston family for reasons that are only hinted at until the story is two-thirds done. His safe readmission to Stonemouth requires him to make nice with Joe's son Donnie, one of Stonemouth's two resident crime lords, who warns Stewart to leave no later than Tuesday and to stay away from Donnie's daughter Ellie. Stewart, of course, harbors the distant hope that it isn't quite over with Ellie and can think of nothing except seeing her again.

Stonemouth is a weekend journey of discovery. Stewart reviews the past and rethinks the present as he visits old friends and lovers. He learns the full truth (or as near to it as he will likely ever come) about the incident that caused his banishment from Stonemouth. The novel's early chapters alternate sly and amusing and tragic observations about the perils of being young with moments of unexpected tenderness. The later chapters give Stewart the chance to come to terms with his mistakes as he decides whether to let go of his past or to make it the foundation of his future.

The principle characters, and Stonemouth itself, are skillfully developed. Stewart and Ellie are particularly nuanced, but even the minor characters have personalities that transcend the stereotypes they could easily have become. Stewart has changed since leaving Stonemouth (not always in ways that suit him); Ellie is changing; the male Murstons, like the town of Stonemouth itself, resist change with the force of ... well, stone. It is the conflict between the inevitability of change and the intractability of family tradition that animates the story.

An atmosphere of danger hangs over the novel as Stewart goes about his business: a chance encounter with Ellie's flirtatious sister; a brutal encounter with Ellie's brothers; a tense encounter with a thug in a pool hall; an obligatory visit with the town's other crime boss, Mike MacAvett, and with Mike's daughter Jel, who represents a different sort of danger. Banks deftly juggles the gentleness of a love story with sudden bouts of violence, letting tension build intermittently until the story reaches a thundering climax.

Banks' strength as a science fiction author is his ability to tell an engrossing story. His strength in Stonemouth is his ability to tell an engrossing story with literary flair. If I could, I would give Stonemouth 4 1/2 stars.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Actually written by Francis Bacon? May 30 2012
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A real surprise. I have all his books, and love them all, but this was a real surprise. Wonderfully written, of course, but quite different from all his other books. None of the usual shocks / irony / cheerful brutality / etc. In a sense, not much more than "just" two love stories (Stu's love of El, and Stu's love of coastal Scotland).

The feel of the novel is so markedly different that, about half way through, I even toyed with the idea that it was ghost written! But no, it's Banks alright; just a quieter and gentler Banks. Getting a bit older, Iain?

But, as always, a rollicking good yarn and well worth the read.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable read for anyone who loves Scotland. May 13 2012
By P. McCLEAN - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I enjoyed Stonemouth for many reasons. To begin with, while the location in the book was made up it came across as very real, as did the characters.

In addition, as someone who moved away from my hometown I could relate to Stewart (Stu) Gilmore's feelings about returning home. (Not that I was run out of my hometown by gangsters.) Iain Banks caught the sense of returning home and finding oneself in familiar surroundings where things appear to have never changed, time never to have moved on, and yet you feel different.

I liked the way facts about Stu's life in Stonemouth were revealed and Iain's treatment of Stu's interaction with old friends and companions wrung true. His treatment of Stu's conflicting thoughts and internal reasoning about how his former girlfriend would react to him felt realistic.

The first half of the novel moved relatively slowly and I did wonder if I would have read it had it not been an Iain Banks novel. However, about halfway through it picked up the pace and I found myself not wanting to put it down. In fact, I had to force myself to put the book down at 1am on a midweek night so that I could get some sleep. (I only had twenty pages left at the time and so I finished it in Starbucks the following morning before going into work.)

Iain Banks always likes to take a shot at the establishment. The scene at the golf course presents him with this opportunity and his description of the gathering reminded me of all the recent coverage in the UK press about the "Chipping Norton Set" and the environment of collusion between politicians, agents of law and order, and those with a predilection for pursuits beyond those considered strictly legal, but all for the "better good", of course. This scene could also be taken as a "hats off" salute to the film, "Hot Fuzz", in which Bill Bailey's two characters (Sergeants Turner) are seen to be reading Iain Banks and Iain M. Banks novels, and in which a similar approach to peace keeping can be observed.

It is the first book I've read in a long time in which the ending was not a foregone conclusion. Right up until the end it could have gone any number of ways and Iain Banks did a great job of laying any number of false trails that the reader could follow. As I approached the end of the book I had at least four possible endings in mind and I was kept guessing to the last few pages.

Many reviewers have considered this book to be a disappointment for a Banks novel. I do not agree with them. While "Stonemouth" is not "The Bridge", "Walking on Glass", "The Crow Road", "Espedair Street", "Complicity", or "The Was Factory", it is still a good read with a lot to offer and a novel that would have been acclaimed had it been written by someone else.

Thank you, Iain, for another enjoyable story.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not highly recommended March 11 2013
By R. Shaffer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Stonemouth is a story about Stewart Gilmour, a man who is returning to his home town of Stonemouth, Scotland to attend a funeral. Stewart had to leave town five years earlier, after he got himself into a little hot water with one of the town's powerful crime families.

I have read more than a dozen books written by Iain (M) Banks. If this was the first book I had read by him I probably wouldn't have been eager to read any of his other books. Though there were a few redeeming factors about Stonemouth that kept me from giving it two stars instead of the three that it received. The story was good enough to keep me reading and wondering what was going to happen next, and what had happened in the past. When I finished the book Stewart seemed like a real person to me (I found myself wishing him the best of luck). There was also a conversation between Stewart and another character about how the events of the past could have happened, several of which surprised me and made prefect sense. I really liked this conversation, it was the only part that felt like I was reading a Banks book.

I found Stonemouth to be predictable and parts of the story felt awkward and forced, making the flow of the story choppy. There were times in the story that Stewart, sometimes drunk and sometimes sober, had thoughts about global warming, politics, religion and the darker side of human nature. Many books by Banks have similar subjects as an undercurrent and were done well and flowed in the story. However, in Stonemouth they sounded more like a rant and felt out of place.

The thing that bothered me most about Stonemouth was what appeared to be, for lack of a better term, a product placement for Apple computers and the iPhone. When Stewart loses his iPhone he has to replace it with what is referred to for the rest of the book as a "rubbish" phone. And Stewart comments how he can't wait to get to an Apple store to replace his good phone. When Stewart has to use his dad's computer he comments on how it felt like preschool compared to his Apple.

Three Stars but not recommended.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another fine novel from Iain Banks Jan. 23 2013
By R.W.A. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I became acquainted with Iain Banks through his science fiction stories of The Culture. Those novels are universe-spanning space operas, taking place far in the future. Well worth checking out.
Then I read his novels The Crow Road and The Steep Approach to Garbadale, both of which take place in contemporary Scotland. I especially like The Crow Road, which has much in common with Stonemouth. Both center on the consequences of going home again. In Stonemouth, Stewart Gilmour returns to his home town (the name of which is the book's title) to pay his respects at the funeral of an old acquaintance. That old acquaintance also happened to be the patriarch of a local crime family, and the grandfather of the girl Stewart was going to marry. Stewart returns with much apprehension because there is an old score to settle with his ex-fiancee's family, one caused by the events that led to his fleeing Stonemouth. The novel tells the story of Stewart's experience of returning to a place of lost love, bitter humiliation and genuine fear.
As is the case with The Crow Road, the strength of Stonemouth is the voice of Stewart, who narrates the novel. I found myself not only rooting for a happy ending for Stewart, but wishing I could meet up with him and have a pint or two. Warm, funny, and often suspenseful, Stonemouth is a very good novel. Highly recommended.
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews

Look for similar items by category


Feedback