Disappointing. Read about the first 300 pages and then got bored. The story line wanders all over with side plots that have no pertinence to the central story. The characters are flat and don't generate any emotional response. There are a lot of better written science fiction books out there to read.
I'd heard a lot of positive things about the novels of The Culture, so I thought I'd start at the beginning, with Consider Phlebas. It's a well written, confident start to the series, and I found the ambivalent way the book addresses the politics of the central struggle really intriguing. That said, the pacing was really slow for me, and I wasn't really emotionally invested in any of the central characters. Actually, the closest thing I found to a relateable character was probably the autonomous drone who grumbled his way through the second half of the novel. That said, I do recommend it, and I'm interested in continuing on with the series.
a Good Long Read & a stunning masterpiece. amazing imagination, various worlds come together, and it's so well written & well-edited that the writing itself is not noticeable. get lost in the Culture series. highly recommend Banks for those "anywhere but here" days
A thought-provoking space opera of competing cultures warring across galaxies. The plot is sprawling in the best way, the are characters strong, and the vision of the future both plausible and grand.
The narrative could be better, but it's easy to forgive given the engrossing world that Banks paints for us. This is a piece of fiction that really makes you imagine what the ultimate fate of humanity might look like. More importantly, it leaves you wondering where you might fit into that historical progression.
I highly recommend this book, as well as the rest of the Culture series.
Not as good as some of the Banks books that he has written since. I think he tries to do too much, but I really appreciate his imagination and ideas.
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