Whit, or Isis Amongst the Unsaved MOBI ó Whit, or

Whit, or Isis Amongst the Unsaved ➩ Whit, or Isis Amongst the Unsaved Ebook ➯ Author Iain Banks – Natus-physiotherapy.co.uk A little knowledge can be a very dangerous thing Innocent in the ways of the world, an ingenue when it comes to pop and fashion, the Elect of God of a small but committed Stirlingshire religious cult A little knowledge can be a Isis Amongst PDF º very dangerous thing Innocent in the ways of the world, an ingenue when it comes to pop and fashion, the Elect of God of a small but committed Stirlingshire religious cult Isis Whit is no ordinary teenager When her cousin Morag Guest of Honour at the Luskentyrian s four yearly Festival of Love disappears after renouncing her faith, Isis is marked out to venture among the Unsaved and bring the apostate back into the fold But the road to Babylondon as Sister Angela puts it is Whit, or MOBI :Ê a treacherous one, particularly when Isis discovers that Morag appears to have embraced the ways of the Unsaved with spectacular abandon Truth and falsehood kinship and betrayal herbal cigarettes and compact discs Whit is an exploration of the techno ridden barrenness of modern Britain from a unique perspective.


10 thoughts on “Whit, or Isis Amongst the Unsaved

  1. Manny Manny says:

    I m a sucker for fictional religions, and Banks is brilliant at inventing them Luskentyrianism is his best effort yet If the thing you liked most in Cat s Cradle was Bokononism, you may well enjoy this book too The charming young heroine, Isis, is the Elect of God, and terribly matter of fact about it it s remarkable how quickly you get used to almost anything at all, and find it normal Someone s got to be the Elect of God Why not me I particularly enjoyed the scene where she got all in I m a sucker for fictional religions, and Banks is brilliant at inventing them Luskentyrianism is his best effort yet If the thing you liked most in Cat s Cradle was Bokononism, you may well enjoy this book too The charming young heroine, Isis, is the Elect of God, and terribly matter of fact about it it s remarkable how quickly you get used to almost anything at all, and find it normal Someone s got to be the Elect of God Why not me I particularly enjoyed the scene where she got all indignant about the perfunctory way in which they washed her feet Another memorable bit is the incredibly complex and bizarre method they have developed to circumvent the ban on using telephones You let it ring, and count the rings, but don t actually pick it up Then you agree on a code which maps numbers of rings onto words Whatever could he be satirizing there The running joke is the food The founder of the cult is Scottish, and his wives are from India, so they eat things like Haggis Pakora and Neeps Bhaji Banks was clearly having fun when he wrote the book, and it s hard not to be amused by all his delightfully silly ideas


  2. Terence Terence says:

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers To view it, click here Maybe a 4 star I m still digesting.Review to come.The review has arrived If we could give stars to individual characters, I d give Isis, the narrator of Iain Banks novel, five, which is why I m revising my initial rating of the book as a whole to four stars.The novel begins in the religious community of High Easter Offerance, the base of the Luskentyrians, a sort of Amish like sect that has rejected much of modern civilization The community is ruled by Salvador, its founder, and Isis is his g Maybe a 4 star I m still digesting.Review to come.The review has arrived If we could give stars to individual characters, I d give Isis, the narrator of Iain Banks novel, five, which is why I m revising my initial rating of the book as a whole to four stars.The novel begins in the religious community of High Easter Offerance, the base of the Luskentyrians, a sort of Amish like sect that has rejected much of modern civilization The community is ruled by Salvador, its founder, and Isis is his grand daughter Unlike Salvador s other children, Isis is also the Elect of God because like her grand father and father she was born on February 29 she s a Leapyearian and heir apparent She also appears to have an ability to heal, though Banks is very coy about and Isis herself doubts whether or not it s real When it appears that her cousin Morag, a world renowned baryton soloist, has become apostate, she is sent out into the world to bring her back It turns out that things are not quite what they seem, either with Morag or with the community s motivations for sending Isis on her mission, but it gives Banks opportunity to look at the phenomenon of religion how beliefs arise, how they re manipulated, how modernity clashes with traditional faith, and spirituality vs religion.Unlike most of his other mainstream work The Wasp Factory, Complicity or A Song of Stone, for example Whit is a satirical comedy Nothing really awful happens to anyone in the story, and Banks is having a great deal of fun telling us about Isis adventures in the world of the Cluttered one of many labels given to the unsaved.As hinted, the novel succeeds wholly because of its narrator Isis She is a na ve but not stupid or ignorant 19 year old, whose remarkable self confidence and belief in her grand father s religion stand her in good stead as she confronts her co religionists and the unsaved she meets when she leaves High Easter Offerance Despite some disillusioning events her brother betrays her, her grand father tries to molest her, she learns the truth about the cult s origins, etc , Isis doesn t despair or become cynical, but turns the tables on her enemies and succeeds in redeeming her faith and her wayward relatives probably Banks manages to end the novel on a somewhat ambiguous note Isis confronts her grand father and brother with the truth and extorts control of the cult from them but the truth she promises to tell the community is at the end is left unspoken or was it the entire preceding narrativeHere was what mattered here, looking out over these stunned, bewildered, awed, even fearful faces, herewas action at a distance, here was palpable power, here was where belief self belief and shared belief could truly signify.Truth, I thought Truththere is no higher power It is the ultimate name we give our Maker.I took a deep breath and an abrupt, fleeting dizziness shook me, energising and intoxicating and leaving me feeling strong and calm and able and without fear.I cleared by throat I have a story to tell you, I said p 455 The other thing about the novel I think deserves mention is Luskentyrianism the religious faith Banks has concocted If I were looking for a faith to follow, I could easily see myself following this one On pages 52 55 of my edition, Isis succinctly lays out the beliefs tenets 1 God is both and neither male and female, and is referred to as the singular God or the third person plural Them 2 God is omniscient but only strategically not tactically I.e., They know what the ultimate outcome will be but They don t know all the details.3 God is omnipotent but doesn t intervene in Their creation unless things go either apotheosistically well or apocalyptically bad 4 Our universe is just one of many They have created.5 Man is a deformed child God loves us but They regret that we aren t perfect.6 There is no Devil the world s ills are caused by Man s inability to clearly see God s radiant splendor.7 A fragment of God s spirit resides in Man.8 Man s intelligence, necessary to God s purpose for him, has nevertheless corrupted his perception of Their purpose.9 Man must learn to stand and walk with his spirit rather than crawl with his technology What this means is that the Luskentyrians reject most technology, much like the Amish.10 God s ultimate aim for Man is unknowable in his present state but will be revealed as he evolves spiritually leaving open the possibility in fact, the need for future prophets.11 Death is reunion with God.12 Man can achieve perfection.13 Body and soul are a unity.14 Physical love is the communing of souls This is not free love in its worst, stereotypical sense like drug addled orgies but the acceptance of love and its physical aspects in its many forms As Isis explains, generally the community encourages stable relationships it s only at the sects quadrennial Festival of Love that promiscuity is encouraged so that the odds of another Leapyearian being born are increased.15 All religions contain grains of Truth but are cluttered up by the misinterpretations of their followers.16 God speaks to his people at random moments it s prophets like Salvador who hear Them most clearly.17 Since merit and calmness are to be found in the out of the way, the byways of life there is goodness and the potential for enlightenment in doing things differently, seemingly just for the sake of it This is definitely a must read for the Banks fan but I think newcomers to the author might enjoy it, as well


  3. Sonia Gomes Sonia Gomes says:

    Whit is one of the funniest books that I have ever read The founder of the cult Salvador is Scottish, who has been rescued by two Indian women These ladies have a holy of hollies, much like a Communion wafer, which is something called slonjish , a hardened and brownish paste like substance It is taboo to touch slonjish, or even to cast a look at it As usual with such things in every religion nobody knows the reason why.I thought about this slonjish, after all it did sound like Hindi, what Whit is one of the funniest books that I have ever read The founder of the cult Salvador is Scottish, who has been rescued by two Indian women These ladies have a holy of hollies, much like a Communion wafer, which is something called slonjish , a hardened and brownish paste like substance It is taboo to touch slonjish, or even to cast a look at it As usual with such things in every religion nobody knows the reason why.I thought about this slonjish, after all it did sound like Hindi, what could it be And then I had this Eureka moment, it struck me, I thought of that old medicament, Sloans Liniment, used by everyone here in India for various ailments, a sort of a rub to ease aches and pains In Hindi, it is corrupted to slonjish This was hilarious Considering that Salvador has two wives who are from India there is a lot of fusion cooking, Haggis Pakora and Neeps Bhaji.Funny though the book is, it takes a hard look at sects sprouting all over the world, with their complicated rules, their intricate traditions.Being an Indian did not help me understand the book, not at all, but it helped me laugh deeply and heartily at stuff like slonjish, the fusion Haggis Pakora and Neeps Bhaji


  4. Fatma Fatma says:

    I don t think I ve ever misjudged a book so badly in my life I had completely different expectations when I started off I was expecting a raging tirade concerning the folly of religion, the blindness of the human race, the contradictions between cold hard logic and warm fuzzy faith I couldn t have beenwrong There was definitely a level of satire here, a warm touch which I noticed is common to Scottish writers, and something which I definitely have a great appreciation for.The story fo I don t think I ve ever misjudged a book so badly in my life I had completely different expectations when I started off I was expecting a raging tirade concerning the folly of religion, the blindness of the human race, the contradictions between cold hard logic and warm fuzzy faith I couldn t have beenwrong There was definitely a level of satire here, a warm touch which I noticed is common to Scottish writers, and something which I definitely have a great appreciation for.The story follows an obscure and fictional I m sure religious cult set in rural Scotland, called the Luskentyrians Isis Whit is the Elect of God, and she has the divine ability to heal the wounded, and ostensibly to bring animals back from the dead One of her beloved cousins Morag weird names abound in this book Love it sends a vague letter renouncing her faith, and Isis goes on a journey to seek her out and bring her back on the straight and narrow Unlikely events unfold, and her seemingly perfect and sheltered universe slowly reveals its true colors as secrets and mysteries begin to surface It could very well be that Iain Banks is an atheist, and like I said there is a relatively clear bit of mockery aimed at religion, but it s not done in a jarring way that I find distasteful His tone is very subtle, and the way he makes his point about the oftentimes extreme gullibility of humans in the face of the God question was well done, I would say Disclosure I m Muslim, but if I wanted to get criticised about religion, I d rather it would be by Banks than someone like Dawkins Just saying Aside from that, the story had a compelling plot, I was interested in all the characters from the very first page I generally don t really like ingenue characters, but Isis is a pretty tough cookie as her grandmother would say Some things which dampened it a bit were that I felt like Isis journey was a bit too easy for her She definitely goes through some trials and tribulations throughout, in fact her entire foundation of belief is thoroughly tested, but it seemed as though she found the solutions far too quickly and Banks was quick to get everything resolved nice and neatly and with as little pain as possible to the characters he loved I m assuming There were some characters I was expecting to hear about at the end, as well, but they sort of only came up when their presence was needed, like a deus ex machina several times over, played their necessary part, and then kind of disappeared into the Scottish mist Other than that, it was a thoroughly entertaining read, I had that feeling of not wanting to put the book down It was an intelligent, fun book to read during my short holiday, and I am definitely looking forward to the other books I have of his on my TBR


  5. Kevin Kevin says:

    The thing I have noticed in Iain Banks contemporary non culture novels is how quite different they all really are Yes, Iain had a great style and a unique way of crafting a tale, usually showing us some great inconsistencies, hypocrisies and wrongness within our society, no doubt, but each tale deals with different things showing usthan anything what a quite unique and varied imagination he most certainly had I have not read all of his books, I still have many left to read and I have re The thing I have noticed in Iain Banks contemporary non culture novels is how quite different they all really are Yes, Iain had a great style and a unique way of crafting a tale, usually showing us some great inconsistencies, hypocrisies and wrongness within our society, no doubt, but each tale deals with different things showing usthan anything what a quite unique and varied imagination he most certainly had I have not read all of his books, I still have many left to read and I have read quite a few since The Wasp Factory including the culture and science fiction works , but with all I have actually read, each one has its own raison d tre Its quite difficult to really actually pin down a specific genre of fiction for his contemporary novels all I have read include crime, murder, conspiracy, family secrets and so on He is not a crime writer, although his works contain crime he is not a political writer, and some of his books contain politics and he is not specifically a writer stuck into any particular field of literature What he is or rather was however, was a gripping story teller with his own brand of humour and craftmanship, covering contemporary fields as well as his own Science Fiction created Culture novels Unequaled during his time because of his originality and creative ability.Whit is no exception to this In fact, of all the works I have actually read, its the least distressing and most accessible tale of his It is by far not his best however, The Bridge still for me holds that mantel plus some of the Culture works , but still is a good read, really showing that maybe our modern world, our world of materialism and technological progress really could be dumbing us down from any form of spiritualism or belief structures that older, non technological societies held to be truth Isis, the young Woman protagonist, during the novel both exposes this modern world we live in as well as shows us that not even these religious cults that try and live naturally without the influence of modern society, really are not immune to its guile either which is what the book essentially deals with corruption of the cult from a materialist agenda An interesting, escapist read


  6. Joey Joey says:

    I liken Iain Banks along with all writers who may resemble him to a student inspired to be recognized as a prolific writer To fulfil his ambition, with dogged determination, he applies to a publishing company submitting all the samples of his works The top banana is impressed by his latent talent, but turns him down because he finds Banks works subjective to plagiarism Nevertheless, he will be given a chance to work for the company as a prot g , commissioned to write a story for a literary I liken Iain Banks along with all writers who may resemble him to a student inspired to be recognized as a prolific writer To fulfil his ambition, with dogged determination, he applies to a publishing company submitting all the samples of his works The top banana is impressed by his latent talent, but turns him down because he finds Banks works subjective to plagiarism Nevertheless, he will be given a chance to work for the company as a prot g , commissioned to write a story for a literary magazine, insteadI.Banks buries himself in coming up with a cluster of ideas He makes sure that all his ideas are the figments of his outlandish but advanced imagination Fortunately, his left hand is as handy as his exceptional ability to weave beautiful prose He keeps on writing down whatever the train of thoughts rumbling through the tunnel of his mind As a result, his sentences areemphatic and riveting than the contents of his stories However, he comes to realize that writing exquisite sentences does not get anywhere He needs to embellish them with a story that his readers will find engaging He will experiment on his convoluted plots which he is not sure of whether they will pan out or not, whether his readers will buy them or not He will be at his wits end, and decide that he d better focus on topping them with icing of his alluring and glamorous sentences He predicts that his readers will still enjoy his book regardless of his ideas his readers will find banal And he is right In the long haul, his story will be one of those brightest galaxies in the literary universe With the wisdom of hindsight, he realizes that to be a writer, he has to be creative by trying out his cornucopia of ideas If he keeps on doing it ,and finds it consistent in the totality of his masterpiece, his writing skills will be extremely well developed until he becomes a full fledged writer who will be recognized as one of the best imaginative writers in his generation Eventually, the publishing company who puts him on probation will now take him by the storm as if he were about to be carved on the pedestal and groomed to pit against the other unbeatable writers.My analogy between Iain Banks and that hard driving student above is the fruit of my impression of WHIT, along with his other novels I have read I have proven my observation that he had this audacious skills in making the storyabsorbing despite that the story could be drudging and colourless It seemed like he was keen to carry out an experiment whether the plot we may not be familiar with yet will sell like a hot cake or not No wonder I enjoy reading every ravishing line, deeply immersed, insouciant to what will happen to the stories in the next chapter In other words, Iain Banks may not have been cowed into contentment by taking the risk of writing a book he may not have been sure of its literary success Lo and behold, his works became best sellers He could beat any big timers in his generation.There are some parts of the story I was disappointed with.First Since I had worked up interest assuming that the story was all about a cult and Isis Whit, the cult community proclaimed Elect God, would have a quest adventure for her apostate cousin, Morag, I recoiled in remonstrance when Morag turns out to be a porn star Jeers I had expected somethingsurprising than that Instead, I suggest Morag decide to leave her religious group she has been committed to and live in the city Then, she has become a liberal and hostile atheist who will lock horns with Isis, trying to brainwash her that the religion she is into turns out to be farcical.Second The twist that Morag and Isis will make it up to each other after the long, unclear misunderstanding This twist is superficial and two dimensional What I felt from the beginning was that Morag did not want to meet Isis Her mind has been poisoned by Isis s brother, Allan Her anger has been fed to the point that she hates Isis Jeers What I had expected was that they would split hairs The scene would be intense But nah Third The ending surprised me Since Isis s grandfather, Salvador, the Founder, turns out to be a rapist and hypocrite, and she almost falls to his senescent sex urge, she still forgives him under some conditions she has drawn up to save the Order or the cult which he has caused to convert a great deal of people Jeers What I had expected was that she would drag him out of the community and make his head hang in shame by divulging his dark side to the converts and the fake religion they are into Then, the cult would frizzle away into complete oblivion What a common but exhilarating plot If I Banks was an atheist, but as far as I know he was, the novel could reflect his religious points of view In fact, most of the settings are the ideas some prominent atheists but notorious for some incorrigible religious people have wanted to voice out For example Religion shows a sense of arrogance because its believers are inculcated in the belief that only they will be SAVED.Religion is a product, especially an avatar of mass hysteria It is a delusion its believers consider normal, omnipotent, and omniscient However, behind that circus door, there are logical explanations of which the believers may be ignorant.Religion is a backward cult that revolts at the changes of human life.Religion allows different practices of marriage.Religion is a Luddite The cult strictly prohibits its believers from using phones and other machines alike Religion abuses children.Religion is a sexist.On the other hand, if I.Banks was a passive atheist, the novel could suggest that no matter what the illogical reasons religion appears to have, for the communal interest, as long as the followers benefit them in a justifiable way, be it as it may stand That s how the ending goes Isis Whit still chooses to save the face of the Order despite the disgrace her grandfather, the Founder, has brought.This is now my fourth Iain Banks novel Now I have figured out why his books are so gripping He is so ingenious His writing styles may suggest evidence of his blazing desire to learn how to be one of the best writers So, what I feel now is that I am inspired to do the same thing and excited to read the other results of his literary experimentation


  7. Chris Chris says:

    This was a phenomenally good read Based around an obscure religious sect in Stirlingshire, we follow the character Isis Elect of God on a journey through the Order s past, combined with a quest to find a lapsed member and return her to the fold I quickly warmed to the character of Isis, a nineteen year old with enviable courage and a somewhat unworldly but interesting moral compass I was moved by her predicaments and dilemmas, and endeared to her by her way of dealing with them The story c This was a phenomenally good read Based around an obscure religious sect in Stirlingshire, we follow the character Isis Elect of God on a journey through the Order s past, combined with a quest to find a lapsed member and return her to the fold I quickly warmed to the character of Isis, a nineteen year old with enviable courage and a somewhat unworldly but interesting moral compass I was moved by her predicaments and dilemmas, and endeared to her by her way of dealing with them The story continues to surprise and engage you right to the end of its 440 odd pages I had previously read The Wasp Factory and enjoyed it, ditto one of his Sci Fi Culture novels, but I enjoyed thisHeartily recommended


  8. Lorna Lorna says:

    I ve decided that Iain Banks is my go to easy, entertaining reading I just find his style so readable and funny and clever This book has a lot of flaws and it is not as insightful about religion living in a cult as I was hoping, however it is a lot of fun and the main character is brilliant so I can forgive quite a lot.


  9. Campbell Campbell says:

    Enjoyable enough, after a slow start, but not one of his best.


  10. Sally Melia Sally Melia says:

    I have read all of Iain Banks novels and I read Whit first of all when it was first published in 1986 I re read it over the weekend to write this review.Whit is a very whimsical story, and is a great escape It is set in the lowlands of Scotland, this time close to Sterling where in an old mansion house, a christian sect led by Salvador Whit live out a peaceful communal idyll.The story is about Isis Whit who is Salvador s granddaughter, who is set a mission to track down her cousin Morag who le I have read all of Iain Banks novels and I read Whit first of all when it was first published in 1986 I re read it over the weekend to write this review.Whit is a very whimsical story, and is a great escape It is set in the lowlands of Scotland, this time close to Sterling where in an old mansion house, a christian sect led by Salvador Whit live out a peaceful communal idyll.The story is about Isis Whit who is Salvador s granddaughter, who is set a mission to track down her cousin Morag who left the community a few years before to pursue a career in London as a concert musician I don t want to say much about the story, but just to say it starts as a road movie with Isis trying to make her way to London without using any conventional means of transport and in compliance with the arcane rules of her cult s faith.The second half becomes a bit scary as the cult turns against Isis, ultimately the mystery of Morag is resolved and the story works its way to a satisfactory ending This is a laugh out loud, feel good book It includes surprise revelations, wacky millionaire aunts and some truly amazing mixed influence cooking bridie samosa, channa neeps, black pudding bhaji and saag crowdie paneer.Recommended


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