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The legacy of Iain Banks


Like many British avid readers, I read a lot of Iain Banks’ books during the late 1990s. I cannot remember if I read The Wasp Factory or The Crow Road first. I think I watched the 1992 BBC adaptation of Crow Road and that put me on to his books. Both are very good reads for completely different reasons. The Wasp Factory puts the reader on edge like few other novels can – what an amazing book to write for your debut novel.

After these two books, I moved on to Canal Dreams, Dead Air and Espedair Street. I also read his non-fiction book, Raw Spirit, where he tours Scotland’s whisky distillers, and he was kind enough to grant AbeBooks an interview to promote this book. (He talked as much about Scotland and his love of cars as whisky.) I will remember him for these books but many other folks will always recall him for his extensive science fiction writing.

Banks’ death, from gall bladder cancer, was announced yesterday. Fifty nine is no age at all. Lots of tributes have been made – Irvine Welsh, Neil Gaiman, Ian Rankin. His signed copies won’t last much longer.

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