Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Lunchtime read: The Steep Approach to Garbadale

Banks is winding it up now with Alban suddenly getting clarity on quite a few of the questions that have been going through his head.

Firstly, he goes fishing with Sophie and realises that although he loves her the feeling is not mutual and he is wasting his time thinking anymore about a life with her.

On their way back from fishing the pull to start the engine comes loose and they only just manage to get back in time for the AGM and the discussion of the sale. Both Sophie and Alban suspect that the cord was cut with the idea of preventing them from returning in time for the meetings.

As the action draws closer the use of flashbacks diminishes and there is a technique of using different view points to give a feeling of large numbers of people and the uncertainty of the sale.

Secondly, Alban suspects his grandmother of authorising the cord being cut and comes close to accusing her of driving his mother to suicide. She certainly fits the sort of person who could do that being a grudge-bearing and manipulative old crone.

Finally, as the storms lash the Highlands Alban is spending a fair amount of time worried about his girlfriend out climbing alone. Is that the love he thought he could only feel for Sophie coming out? He doesn’t seem to realise it but it has to be.

This has reminded me of The Crow Road but it lacks the same power that story did. Maybe it is because at a big part of the heart of it is a story about money and greed – something that is cold and not easily empathised with.

Final chunk and the showdown and climax tomorrow…

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