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Bettie's Books

A Stuga On the Cusp of the Orust Riviera, tucked away next to a hobbit hole in the woods.


Stonemouth - Iain Banks

bookshelves: radio-4, spring-2012, fradio, published-2012, gangsters, britain-scotland, recreational-drugs

Read from March 17 to 31, 2012


Book at Bedtime : Stewart Gilmour returns home to Stonemouth after fleeing five years ago.

bbc synopsis - 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 seafog, gangsters, cheap drugs and a suspension bridge irresistible to suicides. And although there's 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. 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.

Read by David Tennant. Producer: David Roper A Heavy Entertainment production for BBC Radio 4.

Here we go, a dysfunctional situation that contains no surprises and we are supposed to go 'squee' because the writer thinks the way he's got this down is exceptionally intriguing. Wrong (IMnsHO). Tennant was an ace choice though, dontcha fink!?


3.5* - The Wasp Factory (1984)
3* - Consider Phlebas (1987)
3* - The State of the Art (1989)
4* - Look to Windward (2000)
4* - The Algebraist (2004)
1* - The Steep Descent To Garbage (2005)
TR - Matter (2008)
2* - Stonemouth