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Extended Audio Sample Stonemouth: A Novel, by Iain Banks Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (858 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Iain Banks Narrator: Peter Kenn Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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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 its five-mile beach, can be beautiful on a sunny day. On a bleak one it can seem to offer little more than sea fog, gangsters, cheap drugs, and a suspension bridge irresistible to suicides.

And although there is 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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Brilliant, irresistible, compelling.”

    New York Times

  • “Addictive, funny, and brilliantly observed.”

    Daily Mail (London)

  • “It’s tender, and funny, and heart-stoppingly exciting.”

    Times (London)

  • “Jocular, gritty, and smart-alecky, Stonemouth is very Iain Banks.”

    Sunday Independent (Ireland)

  • “This is Banks at his waspish, intelligent, nuanced best. His fans will give thanks.”

     Scotland on Sunday

  • “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.”

    Guardian (London)

  • “Spare and swift and barrels toward a satisfyingly thrilling conclusion. Distills Banks’ manifold talents into an entertaining confection.”

    Times Literary Supplement (London)

  • “Macabre and quite impossible to put down.”

    Financial Times

  • “Establishes beyond doubt that Banks is a novelist of remarkable talents.”

    Daily Telegraph (London)

  • “The flower of Scotland’s more than a wee bit wilted from drink and recreational drugs in this violent, funny, coming-of-age explosion from veteran Scottish novelist Banks set in moderately affluent Stonemouth, near Aberdeen…Stunning descriptions of coastal Scotland alternate with the rain-soaked violence…Banks ends by hopefully assuring us that even a land sapped by corrupt compromise and the ‘new orthodoxy’ of materialism can bloom again.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Contemporary, hilarious, gritty—yes, this is genre fiction, and no, the genre doesn’t get much better than this.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “Banks has fashioned a dark, deep, and subtle study of a young man trying to come to grips with himself.”


  • “The storytelling is very, very smooth…One of his best.”

    Evening Standard (London)

  • “Begins with all the elements of a good noir: a protagonist in over his head, a moody setting, and an atmosphere of danger…[and] ends up more as a love story and a meditation on returning to one’s childhood home.”

    Library Journal

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Chuk | 2/6/2014

    " Good book, a little more low-key than some of his other stuff (kind of basically a love story with some complications). It's more the individual moments than the plot as a whole that make this good, vividly drawn characters and setting. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Franstew | 1/31/2014

    " A cracking story read as a preface to a trip to Scotland. Good plot and interesting relationships. I read it in two sittings and was as gripped as if I were watching a film "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Liam Dowling | 1/17/2014

    " A low key return to form, less flashy less showy but more memorable than some recent efforts. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Yve-Anne | 1/15/2014

    " Great Iain Banks book-gritty, edge of the seat stuff. Well worth a read! "

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About the Author
Author Iain Banks

Iain Banks (1954–2013) was a Scottish author considered one of the most powerful, innovative, and exciting writers of his generation. He wrote mainstream fiction under the name Iain Banks and science fiction as Iain M. Banks. Following the publication and success of The Wasp Factory in 1984, he began to write full time. His first science fiction book, Consider Phlebas, was released in 1987, marking the start of the popular Culture series. His books have been adapted for theater, radio, and television. In honor of his science fiction work, an asteroid was named for him in 2013, and asteroid (5099) Iainbanks now resides in the main asteroid belt of the Sol system.