Sunday, June 16, 2013

The saddest line you can say to someone

When novelist Iain Banks found out that he had just a few months to live because he was dying of gall bladder cancer, he uttered the most morose line that I've ever read. Proposing to his partner, long-time girlfriend Adele Hartley, Banks said,

"Would you do me the honor of becoming my widow?"

My heart just breaks every time I think about that line. Only a good novelist can pull off something like that, yes? And I believe that Banks was one damn good writer. When I learned that he died last week, I thought that I should read more of his works.

I really enjoyed his debut, that critically acclaimed novel entitled The Wasp Factory. I enjoyed it so much that it was one of my favorite reads in 2011. And Banks wrote great SF works, too. His Culture novels are considered landmarks in the genre. I've read just the first so far—Consider Phlebas—and found it mind blowing. I should read more of his SF works.

When I went to the bookstore last week, I was fortunate to find 2 of his non-SF novels, pictured below. He had particularly quirk though. When he wrote "literary fiction," he would just go with Iain Banks, and then using Iain M. Banks when writing SF. I love his novels, with or without the M.


Monique said...

Unfortunately (?), I didn't enjoy The Wasp Factory just as much. Something about it just didn't click with me. Perhaps if I read another one of Banks' works, I would find him a good writer, as well (coupled with the fact that he just passed away, meh). :)

Peter S. said...

Hello, Monique! I know of a lot of people who didn't like The Wasp Factory for a variety of reasons. I think it's a very polarizing book, one that would make for a good discussion.