Kit doesn't know who his mother is. What he does know, however, is that his father, Guy, is dying of cancer. Feeling his death is imminent, Guy gathers around him his oldest friends - or at least the friends with the most to lose by his death. Paul - the rising star in the Labour party who dreads the day a tape they all made at university might come to light; Alison and Robbie, corporate bunnies whose relationship is daily more fractious; Pris and Haze, once an item, now estranged, and finally Hol - friend, mentor, former lover and the only one who seemed to care. But what will happen to Kit when Guy is gone? And why isn't Kit's mother in the picture? As the friends reunite for Guy's last days, old jealousies, affairs and lies come to light as Kit watches on.
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A quietly incendiary piece of writing, at times heartbreaking, at other times really wonderfully funny ... a profoundly humane, funny and smart novel. Independent A novel shot through with Banks's trademark humour, political engagement and hope. -- Louise Welsh The Times Wonderfully exuberant ... written with the life-enhancing verve characteristic of Banks's best work. Scotsman Vintage Banks, full of heart, black comedy and vitriol. Mirror A compelling, raw book -- William Leith Evening Standard Banks' handling of big, complex themes is skilful and satisfying, and he concludes on a quietly moving note of compassion. The List Infallibly entertaining Telegraph Banks's relaxed fluency - the direct, funny, unpretentious intelligence of his writing, which, along with his teeming imagination, made him perhaps Britain's best-loved major contemporary novelist. Guardian
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.