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Dead Air by Banks, Iain New Edition (2003)
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Dead Air by Banks, Iain New Edition (2003) (2002)

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1,572238,527 (3.24)63
Iain Banks' daring new novel opens in a loft apartment in the East End, in a former factory due to be knocked down in a few days. Ken Nott is a devoutly contrarian vaguely left wing radio shock-jock living in London. After a wedding breakfast people start dropping fruits from a balcony on to a deserted carpark ten storeys below, then they start dropping other things; an old TV that doesn't work, a blown loudspeaker, beanbags, other unwanted furniture...Then they get carried away and start dropping things that are still working, while wrecking the rest of the apartment. But mobile phones start ringing and they're told to turn on a TV, because a plane has just crashed into the World Trade Centre... At ease with the volatility of modernity, Iain Banks is also our most accomplished literary writer of narrative-driven adventure stories that never ignore the injustices and moral conundrums of the real world. His new novel, displays his trademark dark wit, buoyancy and momentum.… (mais)
Membro:diskinl
Título:Dead Air by Banks, Iain New Edition (2003)
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Informação:Abacus, Edition: New edition
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Dead Air por Iain Banks (2002)

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Mostrando 1-5 de 23 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
I don't know what it is about Banks' novels, but I can't seem to put themown even though they're not actually about anything! Good writing I guess.

In this case we get to trail around London after Kenneth Nott (a not-so-notorious radio DJ) as he gets into trouble around town. Dear Kenneth is quite the womanizer, so our main source of entertainment is his relationship (clandestine at first, but legitimized by the end) with Celia, the wife of a definitely-notorious gangster. Using this mode to carry us through the novel is clever, if a bit cliché, and provides some great moments (such as the hilarious two word chapter 10), while slipping us quite a bit of social commentary on the sly. Religion, politics, Holocaust denial, and familial relationships are all covered under this guise, so no matter what we're :looking for" in the novel we can find it. ( )
  JaimieRiella | Feb 25, 2021 |
An entertaining novel if you like this sort of thing. I enjoyed the first half of the novel on day one of my reading, but became less enthusiastic on the second day, when the story line became less probable as it wound up and then down to the expected climax. This is not one of Banks science fiction novels but on the whole I still think his target audience was young heterosexual males. I am no longer quite so young. By 2002 Banks had over 18 novels published, about half of which were science fiction, his other novels had fallen into a bit of a rut with his protagonists being thirty something males making their way in a thriving Britain, whilst skating on the edges of the criminal underworld. Fast cars, fast women drugs and alcohol combine to give these novels their edge.

Ken Knott is a radio shock jock probably based on someone like Howard Stern, but Ken Knott is based in London (Scottish ancestry of course as this is Iain Banks) and he is fiercely left wing in his views and rants, which is probably a bit of a novelty. He typically invites controversy and lives on a narrow margin of stepping over an invisible line that could lead to him being fired. Of course he is lead by his prick in relations with women, boasting that relationships never last longer than a year, all well and good until he has an affair with a gangsters wife. Well you can probably guess the rest and you would not be far wrong

In this novel Banks chooses to interrupt the flow of the novel with his protagonist entering into anti establishment rants with anyone who will listen and sometimes with characters who do not want to listen. This gives the novel a lively platform for debate, especially in the first half and also sets the scene for the story to develop in the second part. The reader is in no doubt of Ken Knott's views and knows that it is going to lead him into trouble, but at the end of the day Knott is just as brash as the people with whom he opposes and it is easy to view him as his own worst enemy. I enjoyed Banks depiction of the life of an abrasive disc-jockey even if it skimmed the surface a little, but there are too many other characters that are recognisable stereo-types, however one recognises that this is a fast paced thriller that is written better than most and contains at least one excellent wise-crack:

I’m like the Egyptian fresh-water carp: I’m in denial

An entertaining three stars ( )
1 vote baswood | Feb 1, 2021 |
Pretty good read if a bit coarse. Takes one through the inner workings of talk radio and London's dark underbelly, immediately after 9/11. ( )
  charlie68 | Nov 16, 2020 |
Just when you thought Iain Banks' non-science fiction novels were getting into something of a rut - not entirely true, but easy to get that impression if you don't read them in order of publication - he came up, in 2003, with this story about an expat Scot in London in 2001 who is a highly opinionated shock jock (literally!) on a London commercial radio station. His days are full of witty - if obscene - repartee, political rants of a Leftist nature, hedonism and glancing contact with the world of celebrity. Even the attacks on the Twin Towers barely shake his world, though they open up new avenues of controversy and argument for his daytime radio phone-in show. But at an exceedingly posh party given by the owner of the radio station, he meets the wife of a notorious London mobster and things start down a road that shows all the signs of ending really, REALLY badly.

Everything ends happily, though. Some see the happy ending as a tacked-on getout, and it's easy to see why. But like most of Banks' central characters (I nearly wrote 'heroes' there, but there's little heroic about Ken Nott, the character in question), there is a transformation, a dark night of the soul and an emergence into daylight of sorts.

The main thing I took away from the novel was how enjoyably funny I found it (which makes the dark turn as we descend into Ken Nott's existential crisis all the darker). Banks' writing always showed off his Scots humour, but this was regularly laugh-out-loud funny. Moreover, I visualised Ken Nott as Banks himself, which perhaps made the book much more immediate to me. The politics is certainly genuine Banks, as is the inventiveness (Nott's plan to deflate a Holocaust denier on live tv has an elegant simplicity amidst the hoisting of petards). And of course, I remember the times, and although I didn't move in those circles, I knew some who did and heard the tales.

Collector's lament: the UK Little, Brown hardback first edition saw a completely new cover design for Banks' novels. It's a nice cover, but it's not the striking alternating white-on-black/black-on-white design, with illustrations by Peter Brown, of Banks' mainstream works up until then. This means that my collection of Banks first editions is not in any way uniform from 2003 onwards. This irritates me in ways that only a collector will understand. ( )
3 vote RobertDay | Dec 9, 2019 |
This is the book to read when beginning to tire of Iain Banks's non-scifi formula. It starts out seeming, well, pretty formulaic, but as the plot develops it becomes clear that the author realised he was in danger of falling into that sort of rut, and decided to play with the expectations that he'd set up. The result is one of his lighter and more laugh-out-loud funny novels, even though at the same time it has some pretty pointed things to say about a thoroughly regrettable period of recent history, and in hindsight about the things that white men get away with. My one criticism is that at times the protagonist's political rants--which were clearly Banks speaking through a character--get self-indulgently long. Even agreeing with him I found myself wanting him to shut up and move the story on at times.

This book also captures the zeitgeist of 2001/02 London really beautifully - a time I remember particularly vividly because it was the last couple of years of me living in London's orbit.

I would recommend not reading this one until you've read a few of his others. It stands alone, but some of the surprises would have had less impact if I'd read it with a less of an expectation of what Iain Banks did. ( )
  eldang | Sep 18, 2019 |
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Iain Banks' daring new novel opens in a loft apartment in the East End, in a former factory due to be knocked down in a few days. Ken Nott is a devoutly contrarian vaguely left wing radio shock-jock living in London. After a wedding breakfast people start dropping fruits from a balcony on to a deserted carpark ten storeys below, then they start dropping other things; an old TV that doesn't work, a blown loudspeaker, beanbags, other unwanted furniture...Then they get carried away and start dropping things that are still working, while wrecking the rest of the apartment. But mobile phones start ringing and they're told to turn on a TV, because a plane has just crashed into the World Trade Centre... At ease with the volatility of modernity, Iain Banks is also our most accomplished literary writer of narrative-driven adventure stories that never ignore the injustices and moral conundrums of the real world. His new novel, displays his trademark dark wit, buoyancy and momentum.

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