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
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.
Only so far as I will never listen to another abridged version of an Iain M. Banks book from audible (US).
He was fine.
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.
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"]
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.
Not Peter Kenny [but not a bad performance]
The problem is that too much was cut.
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.
The book was great; it's just that most of it wasn't in the audible recording.
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