The Quarry (Iain Banks novel)

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The Quarry
Author Iain Banks
Country Scotland
Language English
Publisher Little, Brown
Publication date
Media type Print (Hardback)
Pages 336 pp
ISBN 978-1-4087-0394-6

The Quarry is Iain Banks' final novel, which was published posthumously in late June 2013. It deals with an autistic youth, Kit, and his father, Guy, a misanthrope who is dying of cancer.[1]

The author, who died on 9 June 2013, was in the advanced phases of terminal gall bladder cancer at the time the book was being prepared for publication, although he did not discover this until the book was almost finished.[2] The novel is said to draw from Banks's own experiences on this topic.[3] The dates of publication of The Quarry were brought forward at Banks's request,[2] and were 20 June 2013 in the UK[4] and 25 June 2013 in the US.[5][6] The Scotsman reviewer Hannah McGill, reflecting on Banks's condition at the time of writing, called it "a state-of-the-self book, a meaning-of-life book".[7]

2017 General Election[edit]

During online conversations in the June 2017 UK General Election campaign a phrase from the novel became common currency on social media:

“I’m not arguing there are no decent people in the Tory party but they're like sweetcorn in a turd; technically they kept their integrity but they ‘re still embedded in shit” [8]


  1. ^ Hannah McGill (9 June 2013). "Book review: The Quarry by Iain Banks". The Scotsman on Sunday. 
  2. ^ a b "Iain Banks dies of cancer aged 59". BBC. 9 June 2013. Retrieved 9 June 2013. 
  3. ^ Bryant, Ben. "Iain Banks dies of cancer aged 59". Telegraph. Retrieved 2013-06-10. 
  4. ^ "Iain Banks - The Quarry cover art, release date and synopsis reveal". Retrieved 30 April 2013. 
  5. ^ Lindsay Deutsch (7 May 2013). "Book Buzz: New Iain Banks coming in June". USA TODAY. Retrieved 10 May 2013. 
  6. ^ Jason Boog (6 May 2013). "Iain Banks to publish 'The Quarry' in June". GalleyCat. MediaBistro. Retrieved 10 May 2013. 
  7. ^ McGill, Hannah. "Book review: The Quarry by Iain Banks". The Scotsman. Retrieved 20 December 2013. 
  8. ^ Banks, Ian M (2013). The Quarry. London: Little, Brown. p. 25. ISBN 978-1-4087-0394-6.