The Hydrogen Sonata (A Culture Novel)

The Hydrogen Sonata (A Culture Novel) - Iain M. Banks As sometimes happens with the Christmas Gift, I received this book, which I really really wanted to read when I saw the synopsis - and then discovered it's #10 in a series. Now, do I read it anyway, series be damned, chronology is over-rated! I can always go back to the beginning after! Or do I adhere the the strict structure of serial works and slog through the first nine, getting more and more desperate to reach the final goal of that book that I actually own?

Actually that's more that just a rhetorical question - seriously, is it deeply important that I read the rest of the series first? Any fans of the Culture series should now feel free to advise me!