Not only was the book boring, its fixation on toture was very off-putting. I give two stars because, like book 1 of the Splatterjay series, there is a story somewhere in there amongst the shock and gore.
I'm a huge fan of Banks' Culture novels, but this book didn't quite rise to the same level. His gratuitous descriptions of sex acts tended to distract and detract from an otherwise thoughtful story. Several times.
WIth regard to the performance, the narrator did a good job voicing the different characters, but one or two of the English accents were occasionally too thick to comprehend.
Overall, I would still recommend Banks as an author, just not this particular work.
Banks defines the "New Space Opera". Go get some "Culture" (that's what his longest series is called) or even better; The Algebraist. This trash-novel ended faster than i expected, and i was relieved.