I came across this sad news on Reddit a couple of weeks ago. Assuming you’ve clicked the link, then you know that author Iain Banks has inoperable cancer, and at best has maybe a year to live.
Prior to hearing this news, I had no idea who Iain Banks was. As a fan of the art of story telling, and the authors that tell them, I was saddened to read this. I only just found out this person exists, only to find that he’s dying.
As stupid as it sounds, I felt compelled to read one of his books and be able to rate and review it before he unfortunately passes. To someone that’s been writing tons of books for decades, and had such success, I know that my reading and rating one of his books is as insignificant as a gesture can possibly be.
I buy a lot of books on Amazon, or pick them up when they’re listed free. I have so many books on my Kindle waiting to be read, and I don’t even remember what it was about them that interested me in the first place. So when I went looking at all of Iain Banks books on Amazon, though I never knew who he was, I noticed The Wasp Factory, and the title sounded familiar. I checked, and I already had it on my Kindle.
It’s a strange thing to find that you have in your possession the 25+ year old award winning first book by an author you know nothing about except that he’s dying.
So I read it, and it was very unique and interesting, if a bit odd, in a good way. I’ll never find another book like it, and I’ll always remember it.
I discovered this book nearly three decades after it was written, and I imagine people will be discovering Iain Banks books decades from now. I hope that he takes at least a little satisfaction in knowing how many people he’s reached with his skill and love for story telling, and how many people he will still reach decades from now.
To be able to bring people joy and entertainment across the globe, and across time itself, is something special very few people will ever be able to do, and I look forward to reading more of his work over the years.
I hope that the time he has left is filled with as much love and happiness possible.