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Surface Detail Audiobook

Surface Detail: A Culture Novel

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Publisher's Summary

It begins in the realm of the Real, where matter still matters. And it begins with a murder.

Lededje Y'breq is one of the Intagliated, her marked body bearing witness to a family shame, her life belonging to a man whose lust for power is without limit. Prepared to risk everything for her freedom, her release, when it comes, is at a price, and to put things right, she will need the help of the Culture.

Benevolent, enlightened and almost infinitely resourceful though it may be, the Culture can only do so much for any individual. With the assistance of one of its most powerful - and arguably deranged - warships, Lededje finds herself heading into a combat zone not even sure which side the Culture is really on. A war - brutal, far-reaching - is already raging within the digital realms that store the souls of the dead, and it's about to erupt into reality.

©2010 Iain M. Banks (P)2010 Hachette Audio

What the Critics Say

"Banks's labyrinthine and devious ninth Culture space opera novel adeptly shifts perspective between vast concepts and individual passions....New readers may be taken aback by the rapid pace, but fans will dive right in and won't come up for air until the final page." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.5 (779 )
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4.7 (630 )
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Performance
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  •  
    dbernelle 08-16-16
    dbernelle 08-16-16
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    "Mr. Peter Kenny transforms another of Mr. Iain M. Banks' Culture novels into an excellent audio play again!"

    Mr. Peter Kenny brings Iain M. Banks to life once more. Having read this book & now listened to this book (as I have so many other books by the late Mr. Banks), I find only two regrets: 1) Mr. Banks' Culture Series has finite novels which tell, I fancy, of the eventual future of humankind and 2, the limited narrations available of Mr. Banks' Culture Series books by Mr. Peter Kenny.

    May I have another Mr. Kenny? May I have another?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Deborah Entwistle 08-15-16 Member Since 2016
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    "excellent narration"

    Very enjoyable culture novel, makes me want to re-read all of the others. The narrator was fantastic, his many different voices and accents were brilliant.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris Andrew Marshall 08-09-16

    LumpyG

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    "Thank you Mr Banks and Mr Kenny"

    Another master work from Iain M Banks. Nobody writes a space opera quite like him. A tour de force for Peter Kenny. Kenny voice and accent performance adds layers upon layers to the story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Fishy 06-13-16
    Fishy 06-13-16 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Another M Banks triumph!"

    just complex enough to keep me interested, Iain spins another spectacular tale exploring motivations and personality.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dustin 06-04-16
    Dustin 06-04-16
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    "Solid sound and story"

    Iain Banks gives us a culture novel with several merging story lines. Its a satisfying romp through the culture universe. Peter Kenny is an amazing voice actor, maybe my new favorite.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    monicae Sacramento, CA USA 04-11-16
    monicae Sacramento, CA USA 04-11-16
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    "Good Book"

    Narrator was fantastic!! Book was interesting. One does need a background w/ the Culture to enjoy this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Moore Creative Charlote NC USA 01-15-16
    Moore Creative Charlote NC USA 01-15-16 Member Since 2017

    MC Tags&Reviews

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    "Ian Banks is a master of surprise endings"
    Where does Surface Detail rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    An excellent dramatization by Peter Kenny! Such voices and inflection. An excellent story with plenty of "stuck in the driveway still listening to a chapter end" moments.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Surface Detail?

    Like a collection of short stories with different characters that do not overlap, the culmination of the plot brings all characters together in a meaningful way that is enhanced by the disparate nature of their origins and motivations. Ian Bank's brilliance, though shines in his presenting the expected showdown events with turns and points unexpected. Throw in complete surprise elements and you have a riveting story that ends with a bang.


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

    the difference in voices, accents, speed and delivery intonations as different between characters, that's what I love about Peter Kenny's craft.


    Any additional comments?

    I struggled to find a good order to read Ian Banks books, having stumbled upon "Use of Weapons" in a list of "best surprise endings with a twist" sci-fi stories ever. They were right, it is an amazingly excellent surprise twist that you have to make sure doesn't get spoiled for you.

    That book, Use of Weapons is a great introduction to the Culture novels as it outlines many of the structures and ideas of the Culture. So I would definitely recommend it as a first book to read. This one, "Surface Detail" is another of course, and here is how I would recommend anyone read their first few...

    1. Use of Weapons - Introduction to the Culture
    2. The Player of Games - Story set in Culture environment
    3. Surface Detail - Story that furthers Culture views, values and SC workings

    I'm off now to pick my next Culture novel to dive into.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stewart 09-30-15
    Stewart 09-30-15
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    "Another in a long line of masterpieces"

    Iain M. Banks is honestly a God among authors, his stories have such complex, logical yet completely out of this world concepts that set him apart from other SciFi authors, these are as much accurate predictions of the distant future as they are fiction.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris Monrovia, CA, United States 09-21-15
    Chris Monrovia, CA, United States 09-21-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Best culture book yet"

    The uninitiated reader might not find this story quite as compelling due to some reliance on foreknowledge of the Culture and it's ways. But I believe this to be the best Culture book yet. The characters are developed extremely well and the plot is delightful (if not a little twisted). While lacking some of the moral ambiguity typical of Culture series books, this story still manages to captivate the reader on several levels. Political intrigue, murder, and the search for meaning in life are rampant. It feels to me that the author has shown some literary maturity with this outing, as previous stories felt somewhat unfinished or hastily wrapped up. This story, on the other hand, has more of a completeness and soundness. Despite being somewhat convoluted (as all Culture books are), the story coalesced and resolved more succinctly than any that came before. I look forward to reading the next book in the series, as I hope to see further development of story and Culture lore. .

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jack 05-13-15
    Jack 05-13-15

    Hue.

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    "great book. amazing narration. fun romp"

    another smash hit narrated by peter kenny. his command of voice is truly entertaining. ill be devouring more of his narration shortly

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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