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Raw Spirit: In Search of the Perfect Dram (2003)

Tekijä: Iain Banks

Muut tekijät: Katso muut tekijät -osio.

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
6301837,978 (3.53)23
In a bid to uncover the unique spirit of the single malt whisky, author Iain Banks has decided to undertake a tour of the distilleries of his homeland. His tour of Scotland combines history, literature and landscape in an entertaining and informative account.
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Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 18) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
This was a book which I had pondered over acquiring quite a bit. When it first came out, I assumed that it was a little bit of spinoffery, a packaged book that drew on Iain Banks' Name, but not really of much real interest. Then, some years later, we lost Iain way too early, and I thought I ought to acquire a copy because, you know, completism. But it was still not a major priority.

Then I saw a copy on sale from a friend of mine, and I bought it. And then I wondered why I had never done so earlier. Because this is not just a book about Scotland and whisky. Rather, this is a memoir by and of Iain Banks, written by the man himself, and recounting stories of his life. Now, it might seem that this is a bit of what I'm sure Banks himself might call a "wankfest"; after all, Iain did very well out of his books and could indulge his passions without wondering where his next £10 was coming from. He makes it very clear throughout the book that he is in a privileged position to be able to afford nice cars, expensive malt whiskies, or to noodle around as a dilettante with music; but he was also a Scotsman and a socialist, and he knew that the fates had dealt him a good hand and that he was privileged. Fate also dealt him a hand that meant that he wasn't in a position to live to a fine old age to enjoy it. And unlike a lot of other celebs, Iain didn't drop Famous Names to make him look big. One of the nice things about this book is that Banks talks a lot about his mates, and the only names that I felt he dropped were his agent, his publisher and a couple of people who I know/have known and who are/were only well-known within the science fiction community.

And there's another thing. Although this book is published under the "Iain Banks" by-line, throughout Banks makes plenty of reference to the science fiction community, where he was as well-known for the novels he published under the 'highly impenetrable pseudonym" of "Iain M. Banks"; and he has no cultural cringe (or would that be a Cultural cringe?) over talking openly about that side of his life and work. Iain was always very up-front about the role his first literary love, science fiction, played in his life, and always leapt to its defence when the literary establishment short-changed science fiction's role in his life. The SF novels paid for the mainstream ones, no matter how many favourable column inches the literati gave his "mainstream" novels. Indeed, the last time I spoke to him, he'd put his name to an open letter in The Guardian over genre literature not getting onto literary award shortlists, especially those where nominations were in the hands of publishers.

(This solved a problem for me: where to shelve this book? Should I shelve it with other books on Scotland? Now I've read it, the answer is "no"; it proudly goes with the Iain Banks/Iain M. Banks novels.)

We also get the benefit of Iain's opinions on politics, the Gulf War, Tony Blair, cars, music and Scotland. Oh, and whisky. And other mind-altering substances, mostly legal. We get a first-hand account of the Great Brighton Metropole Hotel Climbing Expedition at the 1997 World Science Fiction Convention; confirmation that yes, Iain Banks was an extra in the closing scene of Monty Python and the Holy Grail; and a thorough account of how he wrote off a Porsche 911.

In short, this is not a book about whisky. Rather, it is the closest thing we shall get to an autobiography, for which any of the readers of Iain Banks, Iain M. Banks or any other variation you can think of should be grateful.

Half a star knocked off for not having at the very least an index of whiskies and distilleries. ( )
  RobertDay | Nov 19, 2022 |
Kind of a strange book. It's part travelogue and part essay on Scotch whisky, with digressions about the then-current global political scene, in particular the US invasion of Iraq ("Gulf War II"). I'm not sure I learned anything about whisky from it, but then again, I read it just six months after spending two weeks touring distilleries in Scotland myself. It was interesting, though, to read another aficionado's take.

While Banks is always a talented writer, I'm giving this only three stars because honestly, I could have used a lot fewer passages (or at least shorter ones) about what it was like driving a particular vehicle over a particular stretch of road, why this vehicle was chosen over another one, what makes some kinds of driving more fun than others, etc., etc., etc. ( )
  JohnNienart | Jul 11, 2021 |
Reread as in the mood for something anecdotal, though I'd forgotten there was more about motoring than whisky in large parts of the book. Still enjoyable, mostly for the familiarity of places I've been and whiskies I know of (from a former job in whisky packaging, not because I've tasted as many as Mr Banks!) ( )
  jkdavies | Jun 14, 2016 |
Funny, great writing, and of course plenty of whisky. ( )
  ine1976 | Feb 6, 2014 |
Scotland. Booze. Scottish booze. There is no bad here. ( )
  veracite | Apr 7, 2013 |
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 18) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
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» Lisää muita tekijöitä (2 mahdollista)

Tekijän nimiRooliTekijän tyyppiKoskeeko teosta?Tila
Iain Banksensisijainen tekijäkaikki painoksetlaskettu
Gray, MartinValokuvaajamuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Sinun täytyy kirjautua sisään voidaksesi muokata Yhteistä tietoa
Katso lisäohjeita Common Knowledge -sivuilta (englanniksi).
Teoksen kanoninen nimi
Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
Alkuteoksen nimi
Teoksen muut nimet
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Henkilöt/hahmot
Tärkeät paikat
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Kirjaan liittyvät elokuvat
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Omistuskirjoitus
Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
For Gary and Christiane
Ensimmäiset sanat
Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
‘BANKSIE, HI. WHAT you up to?’
Sitaatit
Viimeiset sanat
Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
Erotteluhuomautus
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Englanninkielinen Wikipedia (1)

In a bid to uncover the unique spirit of the single malt whisky, author Iain Banks has decided to undertake a tour of the distilleries of his homeland. His tour of Scotland combines history, literature and landscape in an entertaining and informative account.

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