What was shocking in 1984 (the year, not the Orwell book) when the novel was published does not seem so shocking now. The Wasp Factory is the second Iain Banks book I read, the first one being "Consider Phlebas" (with an M for his middle name). I personally prefer “Phlebas” as sf/f is more my cup of tea. That said The Wasp Factory is far from a conventional mainstream book and rather gothic. I find the murder scenes very creative and the twist in the end is quite startling. However, I find some of the chapters are a little dull with the protagonist roaming around, hanging out with his dwarf, getting drunk etc.