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Excession Audiobook

Excession: Culture Series, Book 5

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Publisher's Summary

Two and a half millennia ago, the artifact appeared in a remote corner of space, beside a trillion-year-old dying sun from a different universe. It was a perfect black-body sphere, and it did nothing. Then it disappeared. Now it is back.

©1996 Iain M. Banks (P)2013 Hachette Digital

What the Critics Say

"Gripping, touching and funny." (TLS)

"A dizzying adventure." (Daily Mail)

"Explosive but tender." (Sunday Times)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (120 )
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4.4 (107 )
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Story
4.7 (106 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Peter 12-01-13
    Peter 12-01-13

    Can't erdit reviews...

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    "A perfect team(?) at the top of their game"

    Peter Kenny has brought a whole new experience to my understanding the writing of Iain Banks. Mr Kenny seems to have a number of uncanny knacks of what I believe a true storyteller should have, an ancient art form that went out of favour with the invention of the printing press and now, thanks to audio books, is making a comeback.
    A little too dissimilar to how Messrs. Kubrick and Clarke created the universe of 2001 apart but together to be comparable, Mr Kenny was not a co-creator yet he is a collaborator. His obvious skill, talent and intelligence as an actor, most essentially I believe with radio-play experience, has given him a gift permitting him to join Mr Banks in 'The Culture' in a way I think few others could hope to achieve.
    I would encourage any fan of story telling, whether written word or film or stage play or photojournalism etc., who don't mind a bit of the ol' spec-fic to give this a go. While I believe there are other readings by Mr Kenny as powerful as this, none are better and this will forever remain a performance not to be missed.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Deborah Morgan 03-30-15
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    "My favourite Culture series book"

    Complex, witty and thought-provoking. Ian Banks at his very best. Sleeper Service is surely one the best heroic characters of all his books. I must add that Peter Kenny does the most superb job as narrator. His range of accents and nuanced delivery is delightful I wish he'd get to work on Terry Pratchett's body of work next!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eszter North Melbourne, Australia 01-23-15
    Eszter North Melbourne, Australia 01-23-15 Member Since 2012
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    "One of the best Culture books"

    Such a good story - the wit of the Minds is fantastic to listen to. Peter Kenny's narration is absolutely flawless.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jim OxfordUnited Kingdom 05-16-13
    Jim OxfordUnited Kingdom 05-16-13 Member Since 2014

    Member since 2004 Audible not 2014! Either that or I've bought an awful lot of books in one year.

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    "Mr Banks on top form"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Excession to be better than the print version?

    Mr Kenny is a superb complement to this excellent book. I had to smile as he subtly changes the voice of a character as they moved between sexes. Very slick!


    What other book might you compare Excession to and why?

    Its up there with "Consider Phlebas" in terms of breadth of story, large ideas and character detail. Compulsive reading for Culture addicts.


    What about Peter Kenny’s performance did you like?

    See above, but I also liked the conceit of giving the ship minds british regional ( and occasional colonial :-) ) accents that really rather suited their personalities. Really a very impressive rendition.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Hard to imagine it being a film, but I bet it is "the way many people want the future to be", which is the function of good sci-fi; to inspire.


    Any additional comments?

    Great writer at the top of his game. If we lose him it will be a big loss to our collective imagination, so my best wishes to the man.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Aaron Edmonton, AB, Canada 10-15-16
    Aaron Edmonton, AB, Canada 10-15-16 Member Since 2012
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    "My Favorite Culture Novel!!"

    I first read this novel 20 years ago and just re-read it a second time (as an audiobook) - quite frankly - a little bit skeptical of why I recalled enjoying it so much. What a treat it was to read it again for the first time!

    This unique and ground breaking space opera!! The ships themselves are the main characters and the humans are the supporting cast. A really fun read...

    The drone action sequence in the opening chapter is one of my favorites... Also Peter Kenny's portrayal of "The Killing Time" is quite perfect!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Legendary Teeth 09-08-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Interesting premise ruined by a lame side plot"

    Not really about "the excession", just a vessel to tell a dumb story about a mopey hermit lady.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    N 08-18-16
    N 08-18-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Good, solid Culture novel."

    Different from other Culture novels, but in a refreshing way. The Culture Minds have always been fascinating and this novel focuses on how they interact with humanity - but more importantly - each other, when addressing galaxy-wide matters of importance. It's cool, I enjoyed it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    richard adam 05-18-16
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    "Brilliant"

    How on earth does he keep coming up with such amazing insights?
    Long book but gripping.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeff Dunedin, New Zealand 03-29-13
    Jeff Dunedin, New Zealand 03-29-13 Member Since 2011

    Doctor strangelove

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    "Whip those Alien asses!"
    What did you love best about Excession?

    One of the best books Ive read. It's as good on audio.


    What other book might you compare Excession to and why?

    Most of Iain Banks books but a bit shorter and snappier


    What about Peter Kenny’s performance did you like?

    Good story teller


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    gulp!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Marc
    CAERPHILLY, United Kingdom
    3/22/13
    Overall
    "Superb story, better narration"

    This book is classic sci-fi covering all scales. There are human stories, various races, Culture Ship Minds and even, from certain viewpoints, the microscopic. Although it contains a huge amount of technical information on the Ships (the story being largely concerned with these) it never becomes bogged down in pointless detail and remains constantly fascinating. It treads a fine line between fleshing out the Culture universe as a whole and maintaining a strong element of mystery. It's great to see the all-powerful and infinitely intelligent ship Minds totally stumped and humbled by something they can't even begin to explain.



    Peter Kenny's reading is of such a high standard that this constitutes, to my mind, a definitive edition of the story. This reading manages that rare feat of actually improving on the original work. Here's hoping that Iain M. Banks keeps on writing them and that Peter Kenny keeps on reading them!

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • RGM9588
    London, United Kingdom
    3/14/13
    Overall
    "Masterpiece!"

    I have waited a long time for 'Excession' to be available on Audible and was frankly worried that it couldn't be converted into an audio book but I needn't have worried! Peter Kenny's narration is superb, his interpretation of the characters is spot on and the book is wonderfully presented! I believe this to be 'Iain M. Banks' finest work and I have read them all, it is a true Sci-fi masterpiece on an epic scale, the characters, both the ships AI's, as well as the people, both Contact and alien, are well rounded and interesting, you want to hear their stories and you are sad when the book comes to it's thrilling climax! Lets hope there is a sequel soon! 5*

    21 of 23 people found this review helpful
  • Marc
    BRIDGWATER, United Kingdom
    11/5/13
    Overall
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    Story
    "One of my all time favourite banks books"
    Would you listen to Excession again? Why?

    I would listen to this again and again. Its a fantastic story, and performed to perfection. I've read the book several times, and will most definitely listen to this book again and again.


    What about Peter Kenny’s performance did you like?

    Not only is it a fantastic story in true banks style, but the performance of Peter Kenny is just astounding. Only Peter could take such a challenging book (those that have read the book will understand) and turn it into an fantastic adventure into the culture universe. His range of voices are second to none and his consistency of character personalities and styles boggles the mind. How does he do it! Not only am I a huge fan of Banks, but now a huge fan of Peter Kenny.


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    This book is one of the funniest in the culture universe. The ships personalities and egos are simply amazing and make this book easily one of banks greatest.


    Any additional comments?

    Peter Kenny has done this book an immense justice. The paper version of this book can be hard to read with all the ship names and chatter, but Peter Kenny pulls it off and makes this one of the best audio books I've ever listened to. Well done Peter!

    Not bought it yet? Why not!

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Anonymous Coward
    Ashington, United Kingdom
    4/7/13
    Overall
    "My favourite fiction book of all time"

    And really done justice by the reader who is just BRILLIANT. Characters are well voiced, the story is just awesome, I loved it so much when I read it the first time that I turned straight back to the first page and read it all over again. I'm going to do the same with the audio book.



    I was so sorry to hear that Iain M. Banks had cancer and wish him all the very best

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Andrew
    kirkcaldy, United Kingdom
    4/14/13
    Overall
    "YOU WILL BE AMAZED (OR NOT GET IT AT ALL)!"

    Ian M Banks has an imagination almost beyond compare. I had not read any of his 'Culture' novels, so did not know what to expect. I don't think this novel would have worked has an audio book without the sheer brilliance of the narrator Peter Kenny.

    With its mixture of weired aliens and sentient space ships the size of small planets able to travel at thousands of times the speed of light. The human's seeming to be a only a part of the overall scheme of things. The story is a vast intertwining saga of beauty and madness.

    Excession is a story which will appeal to the open minded (or the insane!) Science Fiction fan. For me it was a joy, but be warned, some of you will just not get it!







    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Ian Jamison
    UK
    4/17/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Simply outstanding."
    If you could sum up Excession in three words, what would they be?

    Clever, clever, clever...


    What did you like best about this story?

    The story is my favourite of the Culture series. I've been a fan from the very beginning, and am only just starting to get into Audiobooks. I was, I must confess a little sceptical that this could be pulled off satisfactorily in this medium - Excession is involved, complex and quite challenging in all kinds of ways. It is, however, simply brilliant. The story's quality shines through, and the performance (for such it is - rather than just a reading) substantially enhanced it.


    Which character – as performed by Peter Kenny – was your favourite?

    Peter Kenny's performances (in this, and in other Culture novels - which I'm now working my way through) is utterly brilliant. These novels must present an enormous challenge in the range of characters (human, non-human, machine intelligences etc) who have to be brought to life and differentiated - and he does so with a brilliant range of voices and accents - none of which ever grate (as it would be so easy to do), or do anything other than add to the clarity of the story. It's really amazing.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Of course - but who has got 20 + hours?


    Any additional comments?

    Even if you're not a sci-fi fan, then Kenny's readings of the Culture novels will be a joy (although, in all honesty, if you're not a sci-fi fan already, then this is probably not the one to start with!)

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Jeremy
    BRACKNELL, United Kingdom
    4/15/13
    Overall
    "Minds alive"

    There's a lot about the Minds in this Culture classic. And the better for it. As Iain himself said: wouldn't it be nice to have gods like culture minds! Two groups of like minds (ha!) has different ideas on how to manage a particulrly cruel civilization with a incursion from another universe(s) to complicate matters. The usual wheels within wheels stuff with thoughtful genius from Banks throughout

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • John
    Oldham, United Kingdom
    3/20/13
    Overall
    "Best Culture Novel"

    I read the paperback a good few year ago and the audiobook version is great. If you follow the Culture series, then this one is a must with plenty of minds and SC involvement with great creativity!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • A User
    3/23/13
    Overall
    "Rhysophylla"

    Great book, best Culture novel along with Use of Weapons, was looking forward to this audio book and it doesn't disappoint. Peter Kenny is brilliant as usual. Just a quick gripe about the review By Lester from Ilford; should you really be accepting reviews from people who haven't even bothered to finish a book before giving a review?

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Curzie
    1/9/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Banks at his best"

    This was my favourite Culture novel. The Minds take centre stage in this epic space opera. Brilliant!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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