In Charge of the Tuck Shop

Sam Thompson

  • The Steep Approach to Garbadale by Iain Banks
    Little, Brown, 390 pp, £17.99, March 2007, ISBN 978 0 316 73105 8

In interviews, Iain Banks has said that his new novel The Steep Approach to Garbadale was first imagined as a fantastical tale of multiple realities, in which characters would find themselves magically trapped inside a board game. The novel he has written instead is a family romance, set in the UK in 2005, and the board game it features is safely non-magical. But it seems fitting that we should know about both versions of the novel, the written and the unwritten, because Banks has always liked to play the naturalistic off against the bizarre. His third novel, The Bridge (1986), begins with the unmistakeable Scottish landmark of the Forth Rail Bridge, but transforms it into a surreal world.

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