Espedair Street

➶ [Read] ➲ Espedair Street By Iain Banks ➾ – Daniel Weir used to be a famous not to say infamous rock star Maybe still is At thirty one he has been both a brilliant failure and a dull success He's made a lot of mistakes that have paid off and a Daniel Weir used to be a famous not to say infamous rock star Maybe still is At thirty one he has been both a brilliant failure and a dull success He's made a lot of mistakes that have paid off and a lot of smart moves he'll regret forever however long that turns out to be Daniel Weir has gone from rags to riches and back and managed to hold onto them both though not much else His friends all seem to be dead fed up with him or just disgusted and who can blame them And now Daniel Weir is all alone As he contemplates his life Daniel realises he only has two problems the past and the future He knows how bad the past has been But the future well the future is something else.Espedair Street

Iain M BanksBanks's father was an officer in the Admiralty and his mother was once a professional ice skater Iain Banks was educated at the University of Stirling where he studied English Literature Philosophy and Psychology He moved to London and lived in the south of England until when he returned to Scotland living in Edinburgh and then FifeBanks met his wife Annie in London before the release of his first book They married in Hawaii in However he announced in early that after years together they had separated He lived most recently in North ueensferry a town on the north side of the Firth of Forth near the Forth Bridge and the Forth Road BridgeAs with his friend Ken MacLeod another Scottish writer of technical and social science fiction a strong awareness of left wing history shows in his writings The argument that an economy of abundance renders anarchy and adhocracy viable or even inevitable attracts many as an interesting potential experiment were it ever to become testable He was a signatory to the Declaration of Calton Hill which calls for Scottish independenceIn late Banks was a prominent member of a group of British politicians and media figures who campaigned to have Prime Minister Tony Blair impeached following the invasion of Ira In protest he cut up his passport and posted it to Downing Street In an interview in Socialist Review he claimed he did this after he abandoned the idea of crashing my Land Rover through the gates of Fife dockyard after spotting the guys armed with machine guns He related his concerns about the invasion of Ira in his book Raw Spirit and the principal protagonist Alban McGill in the novel The Steep Approach to Garbadale confronts another character with arguments in a similar veinInterviewed on Mark Lawson's BBC Four series first broadcast in the UK on November Banks explained why his novels are published under two different names His parents wished to name him Iain Menzies Banks but his father made a mistake when registering the birth and he was officially registered as Iain Banks Despite this he continued to use his unofficial middle name and it was as Iain M Banks that he submitted The Wasp Factory for publication However his editor asked if he would mind dropping the 'M' as it appeared too fussy The editor was also concerned about possible confusion with Rosie M Banks a minor character in some of PG Wodehouse's Jeeves novels who is a romantic novelist After his first three mainstream novels his publishers agreed to publish his first SF novel Consider Phlebas To distinguish between the mainstream and SF novels Banks suggested the return of the 'M' although at one stage he considered John B Macallan as his SF pseudonym the name deriving from his favourite whiskies Johnnie Walker Black Label and The Macallan single maltHis latest book was a science fiction SF novel in the Culture series called The Hydrogen Sonata published in Author Iain M Banks revealed in April that he had late stage cancer He died the following JuneThe Scottish writer posted a message on his official website saying his next novel The uarry due to be published later this year would be his last The uarry was published in June .

Hardcover  ì Espedair Street ePUB ò
  • Hardcover
  • 256 pages
  • Espedair Street
  • Iain Banks
  • 12 July 2015
  • 9780316858557

10 thoughts on “Espedair Street

  1. says:

    If you're into stuff like this you can read the full reviewIt's a Wonderful Life Espedair Street by Iain BanksIn the 90s I was shagging left and right but after a while I wanted to spend some time on Christmas without girl distractions because of my exams in January I knew that the TV would be dreadful for the Christmas period So I decided to go to the library for some books Looking through the shelves I tried to pick things that would not be upsetting Then I came across “Espedair Street” Iain Banks I thought just the thing At least there won't be some happy ending that would be uite unbearable At least I can depend on Banks not to inflict that on me So I read it drank plenty of beer was getting through Christmas pretty well all round

  2. says:

    “Everything seems to take about the right amount of time at the time but laterJeez where did it all go? You look back and sometimes you think Did I really do all that? And other times you think Is that all there is? Is that all I managed to get done? We are never satisfied Don’t even know the meaning of the word”Daniel Wier has a story to tell A story of his search for satisfaction A writer of songs a bass player and a man who nearly loses his way as a member of the successful band Frozen Gold Despite or due to his tendencies towards self doubt and pessimism he knows how to make music He surprises himself once the words that previously existed only in his head go live particularly with Christine singing his words His music takes the band and fans to places of ecstasy and abandonment On his journey he is saddled with the hefty baggage of Catholic guilt an absent father in prison childhood trauma and what he describes as a less than pleasing countenance Is he confused? He is Better confused than bored miserable and serious His confusion teaches him to think for himself which at times is in conflict with acting the rock star He feels he has a duty to his public He must act the part In these moments he can almost convince himself that nothing is really all that important so why not party These irresponsible moments are the most comic But just when you think you know this character he upends the chaos and reveals his other sides He is gentle humble longing for closeness and genuinely caring for and about others Rarely self absorbed or self righteous he strives for a balance amidst the decadence In his most self reflective moments he reminds us that life is a dance and if you aren’t dancing but holding fast to rigid frameworks you might consider allowing the tide of music to sweep you away There is immense loss in his story These losses are so vast they nearly take him along Fortunate enough to see another sunrise he acts on his final decision of the story A decision so important it’s as if he knew all along he would arrive exactly where he doesThis is an altogether gratifying story which offers insight into survival how to survive the random and unexpected events life throws at us Daniel finds his strength and satisfaction through surviving and this is what makes him a real star

  3. says:

    I’ve always been impressed by Iain M Banks range Whether he’s writing about an hermaphroditic serial killer and hisher mechanical wasp oracle a man in a coma living a second life on a vast hyperreal bridge of the mind a bored gamer compelled by artificial intelligences to play the ultimate game on a distant planet or a brilliant woman whose place in an omnipotent corporation takes her to a kingdom in the Himalayas Banks always maintains his artistry and deliberate social relevance without compromising entertainment Despite Banks’ excellence however his books tend to be too edgy for mainstream audiences My biggest challenge has been finding the right work to pass on to my friends to ease them into the mind of Banks to prepare them for his challenging works and the intellectual challenges that often lie in wait That novel is Espedair Street It isn’t just close to mainstream it is mainstream It tells the story of Daniel Weir ex bass player and musical genius behind the 70s’ supergroup Frozen Gold Daniel also known as Weird is a bit depressed when the novel opens depressed enough to consider suicide and he relates his life story to us so that we understand why he’s feeling down but decided to hang around He talks about missed opportunities wild successes the deaths of people he loved which were marginally his fault the people he let slip away the talent he leaves fallow sex drugs and even some Rock and Roll And when Weird’s told us everything he needs to tell us after he’s made us love him without pity he goes off and finds happiness Yep Iain Banks wrote a happy ending He wrote a book that was made for the screen and the fact that it hasn’t been adapted is criminal He wrote a book whose primary purpose seems to be escape although it still retains elements of Banks’ conscience and politics He wrote a book that even the most genre phobic reader would be thrilled to read And it is proof positive that there is nothing that Iain Banks can’t write What wouldn’t I give for a gram of his range Aside over the course of Espedair Street I couldn’t get this thought out of my head Banks “Weird” tale is a Nick Horby novel without the smug cheek and slacker superiority I wonder how Hornby fans would like Espedair Street I’m betting they would like it very much

  4. says:

    They're supposedly just friends But now they're lying naked on the beach together looking up at the stars with no one else in sight and he's trying to find a tactful way to explain how he feels about her This kind of thing seems to happen freuently to rock stars than it does to me Luckily she's a practical girl with good night visionAre you pointing at anything in particular? she asks

  5. says:

    First of all this is NOT a book by Iain M Banks it's by Iain Banks in other words it's fiction not science fiction Second why he's so difficult to find in the US I'll never know Every book I've read is just good solid fiction writing eual to Julian Barnes Robertson Davies and many other top echelon writersEspedair Street is a real street but it barely figures in this tale of Wierd the stage name for one Daniel Weir in school he was Weir D get it? He's the lyricist and bassist for Frozen Gold a hugely successful rock band in the 70s 80s until their lead guitarist dies Told partly in flashbacks of his days with FG and partly in his present guise as Jimmy Hay caretaker of St Jute's the folly that Weird bought drinking his way through life and occasionally creating a jingle or a movie score His current friends don't know who he is or that he's stinking rich; his former friendsfans think he's dead or perhaps living in the Caymans It all comes abruptly to an end when he realizes that his brilliant ideas have killed inadvertently two of his bandmates So what was that about a future?The characters feel real even though you know this is fiction you could plausibly meet someone just like them The writing is crisp not the bloated stories that often appear today because somehow bigger betterSeriously if you don't know Banks' non scifi work find one of his works of fiction and read it now

  6. says:

    After learning about the untimely passing of Iain Banks a few years ago I made it a task that I would finish reading his uite substantial body of work both his contemporary novels of which I had read several over the years starting with the infamous Wasp Factory back in the very early 1990's and his Science Fiction based ones written under Iain M Banks In fact I had started on the Culture novels before I learned he was dying He was a great writer his contemporary 'mainstream' books all usually contain some dry humour and wit along with uite bizarre plots protagonists and a usual 'twist' Espedair Street is no exception but it is of a straightforward wellmaybe not uite so tale lacking the twists compared to say The Crow Road for exampleIt deals with a working class Glaswegian youth called Daniel Weir nicknamed 'Weird' who has high ambitions of becoming a rock star which through incredible luck succeeds in doing throughout the 1970s with a progressive rock band called 'Frozen Gold' The band he is in being the main songwriter and bass player soon become a stadium rock outfit making millions and the book traverses all the typical lifestyle and tragedy that those big mega groups of the mid '70s are infamous for; sex drugs n' rock n'roll in a nutshell I was trying to place with my own knowledge of prog rock banks of the 1970's which is not inconsiderable who possibly Frozen Gold could have been based on but found it hard Perhaps the whole tale is really a send up of the excesses of the big bands of the '70's a wry look at what fame does to people and how manipulated by record companies they were and probably still are to an extent Perhaps Frozen Gold could have been as much Led Zeppelin as the Rolling Stones as Fleetwood Mac maybe Whatever if there is a message here in Espedair Street it is what fame and excessive amounts of money can do to you Daniel Weir however appears slightly balanced with it all compared to some of the band perhaps coming from a real deprived working class area of Glasgow keeps his mind in check his feet on the ground Iain Banks' dry humour is here but there is some sadness throughout the book as well Also there is not that much of twist here that his novels are famed for as I mentioned above and the book ends happily and positively for the protagonist returning to his roots after experiencing over a decade as a famous Rock Star finding his old girlfriend A good tale but still not uite as good as The Bridge which of the ones I have read I consider his best but that is a different format anyway and deals with a much deeper theme than Espedair Street and a few others EDIT Espedair Streetis located in Paisley Glasgow and Daniel Weir according to Iain Banks was loosely based on Fish the ex Marillion singersolo artist And from reading the Wikipedia page Frozen Gold was again loosely based on Pink Floyd AND Fleetwood Mac so I got part of the influence correct

  7. says:

    I bought this having wandered into a book shop aged 16 in the Summer of 1987 I was taken by its strange black and white lumpy cover We were an immediate match It was my Catcher in the Rye and Iain Banks was my hero I have subseuently re read it and it takes me back to being 16 and all those clumsy feelings about wondering who I would be when I was older and how it would all turn out still reverberate like a favourite song I have no idea whether this is a good book or not objectively speaking But it is my favourite book Years later whilst working in London I noticed that Iain Banks was signing a new Sci Fi book as Iain M Banks It was my lunch hour I just started my first job out of University Again it was Summer and I was wondering who I would be when I was older and how it would all turn out I ueued up with every Espedair Street the shop was selling five copies I had a good school friend who also loved this book I didn't know what I would do with the rest of them but I wanted his signature on them all I hope you don't mind I nervously asked when I got to the small desk in the book shop where Mr Banks was signing Sci Fi As long as it's not a fking Geoffrey Archer novel I will sign it he said laughing The ueue behind me also laughed It is a precious memory Many years later when he died I cried Last night I took my last signed copy of Espedair Street from my bookshelf over the years I'd given all the others away to lovers and friends and gave it to my son He is 14 and for some reason he has found himself playing base at lunchtimes at school and he is starting to wonder who he will be when he's older and how it will all turn out We both Googled to see whether anyone had made a movie of this book I am a filmmaker But we came across this review site I don't do reviews Any reviews For anything But for this book I made an exception Thank you Iain It's a really special book

  8. says:

    At first I was wondering what all the fuss was about why some friends thought this was Banks' masterpiece It seemed a fairly simple tale of a rock star looking back from the dizzy heights of his early thirties on his life so far with the way his band was formed and how he felt about it now But gradually I realised there was to it than that the book's structure complex and the layers within the plot intriguing As Danny's life was revealed so I became fascinated with the characters he knew and the life style he led then and now I appreciated the hints Banks left occasionally about tragedies and dramatic events yet to be told I was hooked I wanted to know about the band Frozen Gold and the lad himself Was he based on Mick Fleetwood physically and past habits Fish from Marillion as Banks once claimed or another rock star of the 197080s?It's difficult to say too much about what happened later as this would leave spoilers but suffice it to say that I was drawn into the world of WeirdDannyJim especially all the characters from McCann and Wee Tommy in the present to Christine and Inez in the past Each was believable and well drawn The settings too were clear from Ferguslie Park in Paisley to the tours and back to ClydesideI have some hesitations about the ending perhaps too neat too happy but overall an excellent book

  9. says:

    Another great book from Banks I've read a few Biographyauto biography type books about rock bands; including the Stones The Beatles Fleetwood Mac and David Bowie This had a lot of the same elements to it but with an honesty that the others can't match I want to uote a little piece from near the end of the book To me this portion of a long run on sentence is the entire point of what Banks was trying to say with Espedair Streetit felt like faith like revelation that things went on that life ground on regardless and mindless and produced pain and pleasure and hope and fear and joy and dispair and you were lucky and sometimes you weren't and sometimes you could plan your way ahead and that would be the right thing to have done but other times all you could do was forget about plans and just be ready to react and sometimes the obvious was true and sometimes it wasn't and sometimes experience helped but not always and it was all luck fate in the end; you lived and you waited to see what happened and you would rarely ever be sure that what you had done was really the right thing or the wrong thing because things can always be better and things can always be worse

  10. says:

    No sorry I just didn't buy it I think setting up his narrator as a former big name in the world of late sixtiesearly seventies rock operating in the same arena as Zepp and Hendrix was a bad move We can read biographiesautobiographies of actual rock mega stars and their debauched shenanigans so a fictional narrative is never going to cut it for me I rather read a story about the ones that didn't make it big That would be much believable

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