The literary world received the sad news yesterday of the death of Iain Banks, author of The Wasp Factory and The Crow Road (which has one of the best opening lines to a novel – see above). Recently I have reviewed The Wasp Factory and also commented on an interview Banks did with the BBC. Considering it was only 5 minutes long, it was full of interesting thoughts, and I personally really identified with a lot of his opinions, particularly those on the notion that just because you might write something a little dark or strange or disturbing, doesn’t mean that you are a dark or strange or disturbed person. You just write what you think is interesting.
This tribute from author Neil Gaiman is one of the more poignant I have read – interesting little anecdotes tinged with the sadness that they never really spent that much time together. I like the way Banks seemed to make a joke out of the fact that his first novel, The Wasp factory, was highly controversial and almost condemned for being too graphic. Luckily, these criticisms didn’t put him off.
Gaiman encourages the reader of this obituary to read Banks’s books – “even the bad ones were good, and the good ones astounding.”