September 19, 2003


In my opinion, there are few writers as gifted and versatile as Iain Banks. It continues to surprise me exactly how unknown hes remained, especially in the United States where its difficult to find anything hes written. Regardless, I recently finished Dead Air after finding a copy in Paris. The story begins on September 11, 2001 and, while it doesnt focus on that theme, Banks makes a remarkable point conceived in the immediate aftermath of the attacks.

every twenty-four hours about thirty-four thousand children die in the world from the effects of poverty; from malnutrition and disease, basically. Thirty-four thousand, from a world, a world-society, that could feed and clothe and treat them all, with a workably different allocation of resources. Meanwhile, the latest estimate is that two thousand eight hundred people died in the Twin Towers, so its like that image, that ghastly, grey-billowing, double-barreled fall, repeated twelve times every single fucking day; twenty-four towers, one per hour, throughout each day and night. Full of children.

Im not sure I know what kind of point Im making with that statement or if I even intend one. Its just something that caught my attention.

Excerpt taken from Dead Air by Iain Banks, Abacus, 2002.

Posted by Chris at September 19, 2003 11:20 AM