Against a backdrop of a couple of
whisky barrels, Fife tartan and a collection of cooper's tools, best-selling
author Iain Banks entertained a packed audience at Dunfermline Carnegie Library
on St Andrew's night with a talk about his book Raw Spirit: In Search of the
An interesting blend of travelogue,
memoir, social commentary and whisky guide, the book recounts his quest to find
the perfect dram, "undertaken in the full knowledge that such a thing
probably doesn't exist." A tough job, you might think, but as the author
puts it: "someone's got to do it, and I'm damn sure it's going to be
"petrol-head", Banks combines his enthusiasm for whisky with his
passion for cars and driving - though virtually every other form of transport
was involved - to weave an amusing tale of the characters he encountered and the
peradventures he met with along the way.
Not surprisingly, the author found
that he was not alone in his enthusiasm and many were the friends keen to
assist him in his "research". In the same infectious spirit of
co-operation, the audience eagerly sampled four whiskies from different areas
of Scotland - Bladnoch (Lowland), Glenfarclas (Speyside), Edradour (Highland)
and Lagavulin (Islay), the consensus being, apparently, that they were all
Cultural Services Librarian, Anne
"We were absolutely delighted
when Iain Banks said he was available to give this talk at the library on St
Andrew's night. It was a brilliant evening - everyone really enjoyed the talk
and the whiskies went down quite well too!
"We were very lucky in receiving
generous support for this event from several of the distilleries featured in
Iain's talk. As well as donating bottles of whisky, Bladnoch and Glenfarclas
distilleries also gave us whisky-related accessories and display materials.
Glenfarclas gave everyone in the audience a VIPGuestPass for a complimentary tour of their
distillery in Speyside, too.
"Cameron Bridge Distillery in
Windygates kindly lent us two whisky barrels, with their perfume pervading the
library air, and a collection of gruesome-looking cooper's tools to feature in
our display of some of the library's whisky books."
"David McGill of International
Tartans in Edinburgh, who designed the Fife tartan, donated a bottle of The Queen of Scots
Liqueur for our Prize Draw."
Ottakar's book shop in Kirkcaldy
provided copies of the book for sale on the evening which Iain Banks kindly
signed for members of the audience who wanted the perfect Christmas gift!
For more information, please contact
Anne Gilmour, Cultural Services Librarian, Dunfermline Carnegie Library, 1 Abbot Street, Dunfermline,
KY12 7NL. Tel: 01383