Wendy sent me Iain Banks’s Raw Spirit for my birthday, and I’ve just finished it. I very much enjoyed it; it’s more of an autobiography by way of some whisky distilleries. We have favourite drams in common â€” Laphroaig and Balvenie being a couple â€” and we both have a failing for Mull Cheddar, the potency of which can only be described as sinus-clearing. It’s an amusing read, and you don’t have to be a whisky nerd or Banks geek to enjoy it.
I applaud Iain Banks’s stand on the Iraq war, but I do wonder if he’s thought very hard about the the cause of the war. Banks witters on (sorry, but he does so, incessantly) about being a “petrolhead”, and describes his cars in intricate detail: LandRover TD5, BMW M5, Porsche 964 Carrera 4, Porsche 911, Jaguar MkII 3.8l. None of these have sane fuel economy, and fewer of these on the road might’ve meant we wouldn’t have needed to get palsy with the odious Hussein, then need to oust him later. Maybe the fumes â€” whisky, weed or petrol â€” went to Banksie’s head.