Iain Banks

Iain Banks was a Scottish author known for his mainstream fiction and science fiction works. He wrote mainstream fiction under the name Iain Banks and science fiction as Iain M. Banks.


This list of books are ONLY the books that have been ranked on the lists that are aggregated on this site. This is not a comprehensive list of all books by this author.

  1. 1. The Wasp Factory: A Novel

    The novel is a dark and disturbing tale of a 16-year-old boy named Frank who lives on a secluded island with his eccentric father. Frank, who has killed three children in his past, spends his time engaging in violent rituals and maintaining his "Wasp Factory," a barbaric contraption he uses for divination. The narrative takes a turn when his older brother, who is institutionalized, escapes and heads home, leading to shocking revelations about their family's past and Frank's identity.

    The 940th Greatest Book of All Time
  2. 2. The Crow Road

    "The Crow Road" is a darkly humorous and complex tale of a Scottish family, told through the eyes of a young man who is trying to make sense of his life and the mysterious disappearance of his uncle. The protagonist's journey takes him through various experiences including love, death, and the discovery of a novel written by his missing uncle. The narrative is a fascinating blend of family saga, coming-of-age story, and mystery thriller, all set against the backdrop of Scotland's landscapes and culture.

    The 3082nd Greatest Book of All Time
  3. 3. Consider Phlebas

    "Consider Phlebas" is a science fiction novel set in a vast and chaotic universe where different civilizations and species clash. The story follows a protagonist named Bora Horza Gobuchul, a shape-shifting mercenary who becomes entangled in a dangerous mission to retrieve a powerful artifact from a religious cult. As Horza navigates treacherous alliances and battles, he also grapples with questions of identity, loyalty, and the nature of humanity. With its epic scope and thought-provoking themes, the novel explores the complexities of war, morality, and the search for meaning in a universe teetering on the brink of destruction.

    The 3403rd Greatest Book of All Time
  4. 4. Use Of Weapons

    "Use of Weapons" is a gripping science fiction novel that follows the life of a skilled and enigmatic mercenary named Cheradenine Zakalwe. The story alternates between two timelines, exploring Zakalwe's dangerous missions and his troubled past. As the narrative unfolds, secrets are revealed, and the true nature of Zakalwe's character is gradually unveiled, leading to a shocking and thought-provoking conclusion. With its intricate plot, complex characters, and philosophical undertones, this book offers a thrilling and introspective exploration of war, morality, and the human condition.

    The 5518th Greatest Book of All Time
  5. 5. The Bridge

    The novel is a surreal and complex tale that weaves together multiple narratives and genres, centered around a man who awakens with amnesia on a massive, never-ending bridge that spans an entire world. As he tries to recover his memories and understand his place within this bizarre and sprawling structure, the story delves into his past life, exploring themes of identity, mental health, and the nature of reality. The bridge itself serves as a metaphor for the protagonist's mind and the divisions within it, with various sections representing different aspects of his psyche and history. Through its intricate plot and rich symbolism, the book challenges readers to consider the constructs of the self and the intricate connections between our inner and outer worlds.

    The 8999th Greatest Book of All Time
  6. 6. Excession

    "Excession" is a science fiction novel set in a future where advanced artificial intelligences called Minds govern the galaxy. When an enigmatic and powerful alien artifact known as an Excession appears, it triggers a complex web of political intrigue and power struggles among the Minds and various factions. As the mystery surrounding the Excession unravels, the fate of the galaxy hangs in the balance, testing the limits of technology and the ethics of sentient beings.

    The 9955th Greatest Book of All Time
  7. 7. The Player Of Games

    "The Player of Games" is a science fiction novel set in a futuristic society where games hold immense cultural and political significance. The story follows a master game player who is chosen to represent his civilization in a complex and high-stakes game against an alien empire. As he navigates the intricate rules and strategies of the game, he becomes entangled in a web of political intrigue and discovers the true nature of the society he represents. With its exploration of power dynamics, identity, and the human need for competition, the novel offers a thought-provoking examination of the complexities of society and the games we play.

    The 10075th Greatest Book of All Time
  8. 8. Feersum Endjinn

    In a far-future Earth threatened by encroaching ice, society is on the brink of collapse, with technology and ancient secrets buried in the past. The novel weaves together multiple narratives, including that of a young boy with a unique cognitive condition that allows him to navigate a vast digital realm, a soldier on a quest, and a member of the royal court embroiled in political intrigue. As their stories converge, they embark on a journey to discover the Feersum Endjinn, a mysterious entity believed to have the power to save their world from destruction. The novel is notable for its inventive language, particularly the phonetic speech of one of its characters, and its exploration of themes such as mortality, technology, and the nature of consciousness.

    The 11324th Greatest Book of All Time