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Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Books

The Bridge

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Last Updated: valashain

The Bridge

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Author: Iain M. Banks
Publisher: Macmillan UK, 1986
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Book Type: Novel
Genre: Fantasy
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Synopsis

Orr, the otherwise unnamed protagonist of this Pynchonesque novel, is a successful Scottish engineer who's a bit fed up with life: his work doesn't really interest him anymore; years of doping and boozing have dulled him; his girlfriend has other lovers (he does too, but he would rather she was monogamous). Then one evening he crashes his classic Jaguar into a parked MG. The aftermath is coma and months of amnesiac trance, a condition that Orr apparently comes to prefer. The reader, however, only understands all this towards the end of the novel. Virtually the whole of the narrative consists of Orr's trauma-induced hallucinations. The bridge of the title is a fantastically ramifying construct in Orr's brain resembling an outer-space city in a science fiction movie. Banks' novel is satire, and its target turns out to be the British Isles' equivalent of American "yuppies." Deploying a wide range of stylistic devices, the narrative condemns fiercely an overly mechanistic society and its self-referential ethos.


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