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With or without the M? All Iain Banks fans welcome here.

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Oct 2020
7:53am, 11 Oct 2020
41448 posts
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LindsD
I've just finished Consider Phlebas. Found it bleak and unpleasant and quite hard-going. I'd forgotten Banks likes to sometimes do spectacularly imaginative violence which I don't like. The characterisation and plot were not enough to justify it for me. The Damage game was good though.
Oct 2020
8:11am, 11 Oct 2020
11221 posts
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Little Nemo
That's a weird coincidence, I'm listening to the audiobook version!

It's actually one of my favourites, I love the way he writes the big action parts. It feels like you are there. I don't mind most of the violence, although the bit on the island goes too far :-o I liked the plot of having someone against the Culture, it was good to be on the outside of it. Maybe I'm just a sucker for a good anti-hero ;-)
Oct 2020
8:14am, 11 Oct 2020
41449 posts
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LindsD
Funny! I have enjoyed thinking about the complications of Horza's position and wondering about his motivations. But the island :-0
Oct 2020
8:29am, 11 Oct 2020
12887 posts
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Badger
I have skipped the island on reread before now. It’s not like it’s the only example in the book of Horza coming across people who would be sympathetic with him if his (or their) world view had anything to do with reality. (The Culture and his handler in the Idirans are pretty much the only characters who do anything to help him rather than try to kill him at first sight; the battle lines aren’t where they think they are).
Offhand I don’t think there’s anything as bad as the island sequence in the other books (some bits of Surface Detail are disturbing enough that one of my friends wouldn’t finish it - he said he was angry enough about real life without getting furious about a book, in a very rare attempt to protect his own mental health)
Oct 2020
8:29am, 11 Oct 2020
12888 posts
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Badger
*aren’t where he thinks they are
Oct 2020
8:50am, 11 Oct 2020
47040 posts
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McGoohan
Linds - you've read UoW now haven't you?

There's a very similar bit - though played less horrifically and with some humour where (SPOILER ALERT) Zakalwe is decapitated (and Skaffen gets him a hat as a present while he awaits his new body to be grown).

He wrote UoW first but it sat in a drawer while CP and TPoG were published, but I always felt tyre's been a bit of re-use of writings from his existing, ahem, data-Banks.
Oct 2020
9:50am, 11 Oct 2020
41455 posts
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LindsD
I have and liked it very much. I feel like the violence to other brilliant stuff balance is off for me in CP. See also Song of Stone. But you are right, Badger, the interesting stuff is in where the battle lines are.
Oct 2020
9:52am, 11 Oct 2020
47044 posts
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McGoohan
I don't know where the "tyre's" came from in my last post. I think I meant "there's"

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Maintained by LindsD
The Crow Road or Walking on Glass? Consider Plebas or The Hydrogen Sonata? Have you read The Quarry ...

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