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Matter | [Iain M. Banks]

Matter

In a world renowned even within a galaxy full of wonders, a crime within a war. For one brother it means a desperate flight, and a search for the one - maybe two - people who could clear his name. For his brother it means a life lived under constant threat of treachery and murder. And for their sister, even without knowing the full truth, it means returning to a place she'd thought abandoned forever.
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Publisher's Summary

In a world renowned even within a galaxy full of wonders, a crime within a war. For one brother it means a desperate flight, and a search for the one - maybe two - people who could clear his name. For his brother it means a life lived under constant threat of treachery and murder. And for their sister, even without knowing the full truth, it means returning to a place she'd thought abandoned forever.

Only the sister is not what she once was; Djan Seriy Anaplian has changed almost beyond recognition to become an agent of the Culture's Special Circumstances section, charged with high-level interference in civilisations throughout the greater galaxy.

Concealing her new identity - and her particular set of abilities - might be a dangerous strategy, however. In the world to which Anaplian returns, nothing is quite as it seems; and determining the appropriate level of interference in someone else's war is never a simple matter.

Matter is a novel of dazzling wit and serious purpose. An extraordinary feat of storytelling and breathtaking invention on a grand scale, it is a tour de force from a writer who has turned science fiction on its head.

©2009 Iain M. Banks; (P)2009 Hachette

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

2.7 (18 )
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3.5 (16 )
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Story
3.9 (17 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Jim Sabshin Woodbridge, CT United States 05-06-12
    Jim Sabshin Woodbridge, CT United States 05-06-12 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    33
    ratings
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    3
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    "Don't Buy this Abominable Abridgement"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Someone who hasn't read the book or doesn't realize how bad the abridgement is and what a chopped up terrible version they're listening to.


    Has Matter turned you off from other books in this genre?

    Only so far as I will never listen to another abridged version of an Iain M. Banks book from audible (US).


    What didn’t you like about Toby Longworth’s performance?

    He was fine.


    What character would you cut from Matter?

    None.


    Any additional comments?

    This is a terrible abridgement of a wonderful Culture book. It made me wish it was a cassette so I could break it. I wonder if Mr. Banks approved this horrible massacre of his book. Audible.co.uk (owner by Amazon) has an unabridged version but of course we in the states can't get that one. Go figure.

    32 of 32 people found this review helpful
  •  
    P Watertown, MA, United States 03-05-13
    P Watertown, MA, United States 03-05-13 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
    ratings
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    9
    3
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    1
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    Story
    "Tragedy done to the Culture"

    The editing/abridging done to this book for all intents and purposes has removed any "real" elements of Mr. Banks' Culture- my apologies to himself if he was involved, but no excuses. This book was 600 pages of text and edited down to 5 1/2 hours. A tragedy.
    On the plus side, I will never be suckered again by purchasing anything "abridged." I read the original novel in hardcover when it first came out, and this was like the "made-for-television" version of a bad paperback.
    Not worth the time or money in the abridged version. I wish I could not even give it one star overall.

    [Reviewer's note: "Please note: Audible posts reviews at its discretion"]

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Doylestown, PA, USA 09-03-13
    Michael Doylestown, PA, USA 09-03-13 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    52
    3
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    "Beware! This is the ABRIDGED version"
    What would have made Matter better?

    If this review were a Culture spaceship it would be called the "GSV Not What I Was Expecting". I should've looked before I bought. I've been on an Iain Banks binge lately. I bought this just because of his name. The abridgment of the story takes a lot of Banks' great writing away. I left completely disappointed. It would've been better if I skipped purchasing this recording.


    What three words best describe Toby Longworth’s performance?

    Not Peter Kenny [but not a bad performance]


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Matter?

    The problem is that too much was cut.


    Any additional comments?

    Don't buy this. If you're a fan of Iain Banks you'll most likely walk away as disappointed as I was. If you're new to Banks and the Culture series this isn't a good introduction at all. Try one of the unabridged novels. Consider Phlebas is a great place to start.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James LAKEVILLE, MN, United States 09-29-13
    James LAKEVILLE, MN, United States 09-29-13 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    "Didn't realize this was an abridged performance"
    What would have made Matter better?

    The book was great; it's just that most of it wasn't in the audible recording.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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