The first Iain Banks book I read was The Wasp Factory, which I fell in love with on the spot. So I rushed out and bought the next Iain Banks book I saw - this. I stuck with it, thoroughly bored, hoping fervently it would suddenly all turn around and something amazing would happen........ but it never did. So very, very disappointing. I haven't been able to bring myself to read another of his books since, despite having two more sitting on the shelf.