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The Business

by Iain Banks

This is a witty, tongue-in-cheek exploration of high business and intrigue which as well as details of fine clothes, dining and living, includes amusing thumbnail sketches of flights, hotel rooms and chauffeur-driven car journeys. After a dramatic start I was expecting it to be a high-action read but the plot, when it does develop, is more of a gentle journey.

Extract

The last time I'd climbed aboard Otto, at Dacca airport in Bangladesh, fresh off a PIA DC10 (terrible flight, perfect landing), I'd had to share the cabin with a gaggle of drunken Thulahnese bureaucrats (there were about six of them; I later discovered this constituted about half of the entire Thulahnese civil service), two saffron-robed priests with funny hats and plastic bags full of duty free cigarettes, a couple of peasant ladies who had to be dissuaded from lighting up their kerosene stove for a bowl of tea while in-flight, a small but pungent billy goat and a pair of vociferously distressed and explosively incontinent piglets.

Parallels

Mind Games by Hector MacDonald
 

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