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Summary

It was the day my grandmother exploded. I sat in the crematorium, listening to my Uncle Hamish quietly snoring in harmony to Bach's Mass in B Minor, and I reflected that it always seemed to be death that drew me back to Gallanach.

Prentice McHoan has returned to the bosom of his complex but enduring Scottish family. Full of questions about the McHoan past, present and future, he is also deeply preoccupied: mainly with death, sex, drink, God, and illegal substances.…

©1992 Iain Banks (P)2013 Hachette Digital

Critic reviews

"Riveting...exhilarating...its pace, development, intensity, and, above all, its hip and sexy humour never allow it to flag. Banks reinforces his credentials as one of the most able, energetic, and stimulating writers in the UK." ( Time Out)
"As fine and ambitious a novel as any from a Scottish writer since the 1960s." ( New Statesman)

What members say

Average customer ratings

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Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Rachel
  • Andover, United Kingdom
  • 07-04-13

Highly enjoyable

The Crow Road is one of those books that draws you in from the very first line, which in this case is a rather memorable "It was the day my grandmother exploded." Set in Scotland and beautifully read by Peter Kenny, whose interpretation of Prentice McHoan (and all the other characters through whom the story is told) is spot on. Without wanting to give away any spoilers, the story is quite dark in places, concerning as it does a "perfect" murder, but peppered with dark humour and great characterisation. The Crow Road is not only a street in Glasgow but is also an expression for death as in "He's away the Crow Road", and the suitability of this as a title becomes more apparent as the book progresses. I found it very enjoyable to listen to, and recommend it without hesitation.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

The Crow Road

When a book starts with such a brilliant line as The Crow Road does it can be downhill after that but not in this case. Set in a fictitious village in Argyll in Scotland (part of the fun is trying to place exactly where the village is) this is a brilliantly written family saga in which the plot is revealed as the narrator's life unravels. The narration by Peter Kenny's reading of the book is excellent; drawing you in and making you believe in the characters. I may have read The Crow Road many times but I was still enthralled while listening to it.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Linda
  • Bridgwater, United Kingdom
  • 19-05-13

Laugh out Loud

Have so enjoyed this book it makes you laugh out loud. Never read or heard anything from this author before. Thank you to another Audible reviewer I have now found a gem

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • zac
  • north walsham, United Kingdom
  • 08-04-13

a great book beautifully read

This is a particular favourite, both as a book and the Short TV series that was produced, so the risk was it wouldn't meet expectations... on listening to this it not only met but surpassed all the expectations, and is one of the best Audio books I have listened to so far. It's well read and Peter Kenny really brings to life the characters... The only disappointment of the listen was that it had to come to an end, well worth a listen....



7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mark
  • LITTLEHAMPTON, United Kingdom
  • 10-07-13

Have listened to this book many times!<br /><br /><br />

Love this story,have read the book many times. It,s a thriller a love story and a lot of my life with the Aunty's, Uncle's etc. is so like my own life.( yes, I am that old) .

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Borbála
  • London, United Kingdom
  • 05-11-13

Brilliantly written, laugh-out-loud funny

Who was your favorite character and why?

I loved Kenneth. The way he taught his children was amazing and his stories really appealed to me, even the made-up ones were very clever.

Which character – as performed by Peter Kenny – was your favourite?

The children. Peter Kenny is probably my favorite narrator so far. It is very difficult for an adult to narrate children without affectation. I have found that most adult attempts at narrating or dubbing children is annoying and even pitiful and ridiculous. Peter Kenny manages to narrate everyone, even the children without affectation and very amusingly too.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It made me laugh a lot. Iain Banks has an incredibly witty and often very dark sense of humor which I love.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Peter
  • READING, United Kingdom
  • 14-02-13

Superb

The Crow Road is one of my all time favorite books, and Peter Kenny has brought it to life in his usual brilliant manner.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

The best British novel of the last 30 years.

I read this when it first came out and loved it, it has all the warmth and intellect that Mr Banks brings to his work coupled with a love story, a family history and a murder mystery. Add to that a completely believable protagonist, that rare thing: a likeable, sympathetic late-teenage lad.

Mr Kenny brings all of his skill to bear in this reading: he is perfect for Banks's work and absolutely excels himself here. Do give this book a listen, it is a work of joy and beauty.

I miss Iain Banks, a great British novelist and such a credit to Scotland. Unequalled.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • W
  • United Kingdom
  • 04-03-14

Great fun

Very enjoyable, utterly satisfying family saga and coming of age tale, full of family secrets and discoveries. Iain Banks's humour really twinkled wryly throughout and Peter Kenny's narration was great.

My only criticism would be that it took me a while to get used to the jumping back and forth in time in the beginning and I sometimes wasn't sure who was who and when was when. I'm sure that this is a problem only with the format and you would probably follow this much more easily if you were reading on paper - just takes a bit of concentration at first on audio. (Might be me, I tend to listen whilst cooking & cleaning and sometimes the attention drifts.)
Anyway, enjoy!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

I love Banks, but not unconditionally.

I read and loved every one of the culture novels, I loved the wasp factory, and I will continue to read his fiction.

This is well written, and funny in places. but overall it is mind numbingly boring. Out of deference to his brilliance as a writer I soldiered on. But even listening to someone else reading it was arduous. I almost never give up on books, let alone audio books. This is an exception. At the half way point I have given in. It is a long book, and even by this point there is nothing like a clear plot to follow.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Mafalda
  • 09-10-17

great reader

the man who reads this story is delightful,the story gets a bit boring but if you have to read this book for school i strongly recomend the audio