Ok so we enjoyed the films behind the book but what is it actually like to read the original book from 1947?
There are a few prints and versions of the book available but true to form I went with the 2012 release from Birlinn books. It seems whenever I buy a book just now it somehow always seem to come from this publishing house.
Anyway, this version has an introduction chapter from Journalist Roger Hutchinson. As it happens this was by far the most interesting and illuminating piece of writing in the whole book. The level of detail on the author and his work was excellently done and worthy of being expanded into its own publication.
If you haven’t seen the film or read the books then the general outline of the film is available on my article Film Review: Whisky Galore! The book though is actually quite a different story to the film while using the same characters and the odd reference to the original text.
While the film is funny, quick paced and something of a caper the book is slow, muddled and pretty straight laced. The book is actually the last of a trilogy involving the two Todday islands which seems to end with an weak breath rather than a triumphant crescendo although while the film I thought was thin on detail the book has lots of interlaced themes, subplots and painful detail which actually swings us too much in the other direction.
Sadly, for me, whilst films perhaps have a reputation for ruining a good book in this case the comedy classic from Ealing studios took a rather dry book and made something far better from the base material. So in this case stick with the new modern media of moving pictures.