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Publisher's Summary

Her eyes were black, wide as though with some sustained surprise, the skin from their outer corners to her small ears taut. Her lips were pale, and nearly too full for her small mouth, like something bled but bruised. He had never seen anyone or anything quite so beautiful in his life. Graham Park is in love. But Sara Fitch is an enigma to him, a creature of almost perverse mystery.

Steven Grout is paranoid - and with justice. He knows that They are out to get him. They are. Quiss, insecure in his fabulous if ramshackle castle, is forced to play interminable impossible games. The solution to the oldest of all paradoxical riddles will release him. But he must find an answer before he knows the question. Park, Grout, Quiss - no trio could be further apart. But their separate courses are set for collision.

©1985 Iain Banks (P)2013 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"[A]n extraordinary feat, terrifying and baffling, going far beyond the bounds of fiction as it's usually defined." ( Publishers Weekly)
"Establishes beyond doubt that Iain Banks is a novelist of remarkable talents." ( Daily Telegraph)

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Stuart
  • 04-17-15

Not his best and a little confusing

If you're an Iain Banks fan, then this is worth listening to. If you're an Iain M. Banks fan, then this is also worth a shot, as it's one of his "cross-over" books, much like "Transition".

However, unlike some of his other books, I didn't really warm to any of the main characters and a couple of them positively annoyed me.

It also takes Banks's penchant for leaving things open to interpretation and takes it to an extreme. For my tastes, it really is a little to open ended, with too many possibilities to get any real satisfaction at the books conclusion.

On the good side, it's as well written as you would expect from early Banks and read as excellently as ever by Peter Kenny.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • T. Hewison
  • 01-03-16

Unsatisfactory Backs with more than a hint of M

3 different stories, or interpretations of reality?
At least 2 of them collide, but the listener is denied the satisfaction of an explanation in the end, and left to their own interpretation. Many abound in literal circles, but mine is just that it's just too much like life - an unsatisfactory ending.

Well read, though.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful