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The Hydrogen Sonata Audiobook

The Hydrogen Sonata

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Publisher's Summary

The Scavenger species are circling. It is, truly, provably, the End Days for the Gzilt civilization.

An ancient people, organized on military principles and yet almost perversely peaceful, the Gzilt helped set up the Culture 10,000 years earlier and were very nearly one of its founding societies, deciding not to join only at the last moment. Now they've made the collective decision to follow the well-trodden path of millions of other civilizations; they are going to Sublime, elevating themselves to a new and almost infinitely more rich and complex existence.

Amid preparations, though, the Regimental High Command is destroyed. Lieutenant Commander (reserve) Vyr Cossont appears to have been involved, and she is now wanted - dead, not alive. Aided only by an ancient, reconditioned android and a suspicious Culture avatar, Cossont must complete her last mission given to her by the High Command. She must find the oldest person in the Culture, a man over nine thousand years old, who might have some idea what really happened all that time ago.

It seems that the final days of the Gzilt civilization are likely to prove its most perilous.

©2012 Iain M. Banks (P)2012 Hachette Audio

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (511 )
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4.6 (460 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Brooks Hamilton 11-30-15 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Wonderful swam song"

    This was the last of the series and one of the final books Iain Banks wrote (so sorry to see him go). It was one of my very favorite since it dealt with the Culture from the perspective of the Minds. Highly enjoyable. It was intensely personal at times by examining mortality. I would recommend reading at least two of the other Culture series before tackling this one. Enjoy!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Spencer United States 11-25-15
    Spencer United States 11-25-15 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Still the Best"
    If you could sum up The Hydrogen Sonata in three words, what would they be?

    Science Fiction Excellence


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Hydrogen Sonata?

    The fight to recover the cube.


    Have you listened to any of Peter Kenny’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Good as ever


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

    Yes


    Any additional comments?

    Sadly, Iain Banks is deceased. I found him to be the most innovative writer of SiFi of this generation.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Averitt 07-22-15 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Solid"

    Solid culture book with a Fantastic delivery. Probably a bit much for someone's first culture book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bradley Shannon 06-19-15 Member Since 2014
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    Story
    "Decent story, excellent narration"

    Quite a good story made even better by Peter Kenny's always excellent narration.

    Spoilers below...

    Not quite as goosebump-generating as some of the earlier books, specifically Player of Games and especially Use of Weapons, but I appreciated the more positive ending than some of the other, slightly depressing "everyone dies in the end" books from earlier in the series.

    I like the fact that the Culture was presented here with flaws, and potentially beatable, rather than as all-powerful.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joshua Guttman Atlanta, GA United States 05-12-15
    Joshua Guttman Atlanta, GA United States 05-12-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Brilliant, mind-blowing, and drink-spitting funny!"
    What made the experience of listening to The Hydrogen Sonata the most enjoyable?

    Listening to all the silly names of the ships.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Hydrogen Sonata?

    His discussion on the morality and futility of advanced simulations was extremely interesting as I work in the field of Computer Science. Very profound.


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

    The Mistake Not


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

    I laughed out loud several times and even spit out my drink once.


    Any additional comments?

    Sad he's gone.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 05-03-15
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    1
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    "Brilliantly performed, very good story"

    Not my favorite Banks, but Peter Kenney's performance elevates the work. Plus, it lasts almost exactly as long as it takes to drive from Nashville to Boulder!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Philip 01-06-15
    Philip 01-06-15 Member Since 2014
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    1
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    "Worthwhile reading for Culture buffs... only"

    Required reading for all Culture buffs but overall an unexciting story.

    Probably the best Culture book at giving great incites into how Minds work. Shows how supreme intelligence and curiosity can lead to unnecessary meddling with negligible outcomes.

    Main characters uninspiring, story never really takes off despite its potential. Narration very good.

    Typically expansive in its description of the worlds and races that make up Culture space and beyond.

    Definitely worth the read but don't expect it to be an exciting ' page turner'.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shane SAN FRANCISCO, CA, United States 01-23-14
    Shane SAN FRANCISCO, CA, United States 01-23-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Best so far"
    What other book might you compare The Hydrogen Sonata to and why?

    Terrific culture novel that goes into lots of detail about ships and the sublime. Great listen right after surface detail.


    What about Peter Kenny’s performance did you like?

    Peter Kenny's performance is incredible as always.


    Any additional comments?

    I listen to these while running and only wish there were more culture novels w/ Peter Kenny narrating now that I have finished all of them.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Fred Tucker, GA, United States 07-14-13
    Fred Tucker, GA, United States 07-14-13 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not the best Culture book, but not bad."

    Not the best Culture book, but Peter Kenney continues to deliver. If you are a fan of the Culture series, you will enjoy this book, but it's not the best of the series. The audio performance is as good as ever by Peter Lenney.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alexander B. Shepard 03-04-13
    ratings
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    2
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    Story
    "Classic Iain M Banks, strong performance"
    If you could sum up The Hydrogen Sonata in three words, what would they be?

    classic space opera


    What did you like best about this story?

    The space opera, the epic scale, the politics.


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

    Probably one of the spaceship AIs


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

    Epic Space Opera


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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