"Mr. Peter Kenny transforms another of Mr. Iain M. Banks' Culture novels into an excellent audio play again!"
Mr. Peter Kenny brings Iain M. Banks to life once more. Having read this book & now listened to this book (as I have so many other books by the late Mr. Banks), I find only two regrets: 1) Mr. Banks' Culture Series has finite novels which tell, I fancy, of the eventual future of humankind and 2, the limited narrations available of Mr. Banks' Culture Series books by Mr. Peter Kenny.
May I have another Mr. Kenny? May I have another?
Very enjoyable culture novel, makes me want to re-read all of the others. The narrator was fantastic, his many different voices and accents were brilliant.
Another master work from Iain M Banks. Nobody writes a space opera quite like him. A tour de force for Peter Kenny. Kenny voice and accent performance adds layers upon layers to the story.
Iain Banks gives us a culture novel with several merging story lines. Its a satisfying romp through the culture universe. Peter Kenny is an amazing voice actor, maybe my new favorite.
An excellent dramatization by Peter Kenny! Such voices and inflection. An excellent story with plenty of "stuck in the driveway still listening to a chapter end" moments.
Like a collection of short stories with different characters that do not overlap, the culmination of the plot brings all characters together in a meaningful way that is enhanced by the disparate nature of their origins and motivations. Ian Bank's brilliance, though shines in his presenting the expected showdown events with turns and points unexpected. Throw in complete surprise elements and you have a riveting story that ends with a bang.
the difference in voices, accents, speed and delivery intonations as different between characters, that's what I love about Peter Kenny's craft.
I struggled to find a good order to read Ian Banks books, having stumbled upon "Use of Weapons" in a list of "best surprise endings with a twist" sci-fi stories ever. They were right, it is an amazingly excellent surprise twist that you have to make sure doesn't get spoiled for you.
That book, Use of Weapons is a great introduction to the Culture novels as it outlines many of the structures and ideas of the Culture. So I would definitely recommend it as a first book to read. This one, "Surface Detail" is another of course, and here is how I would recommend anyone read their first few...
1. Use of Weapons - Introduction to the Culture
2. The Player of Games - Story set in Culture environment
3. Surface Detail - Story that furthers Culture views, values and SC workings
I'm off now to pick my next Culture novel to dive into.
Iain M. Banks is honestly a God among authors, his stories have such complex, logical yet completely out of this world concepts that set him apart from other SciFi authors, these are as much accurate predictions of the distant future as they are fiction.
The uninitiated reader might not find this story quite as compelling due to some reliance on foreknowledge of the Culture and it's ways. But I believe this to be the best Culture book yet. The characters are developed extremely well and the plot is delightful (if not a little twisted). While lacking some of the moral ambiguity typical of Culture series books, this story still manages to captivate the reader on several levels. Political intrigue, murder, and the search for meaning in life are rampant. It feels to me that the author has shown some literary maturity with this outing, as previous stories felt somewhat unfinished or hastily wrapped up. This story, on the other hand, has more of a completeness and soundness. Despite being somewhat convoluted (as all Culture books are), the story coalesced and resolved more succinctly than any that came before. I look forward to reading the next book in the series, as I hope to see further development of story and Culture lore. .