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Publisher's Summary

For short-lived 'quick' races like humans, space is dominated by the complicated, grandiose Mercatoria, whose rule is both military and religious. To the Dwellers who may live billions of years, the galaxy consists of their gas-giant planets - the rest is debris.

Our human hero, Fassin Taak, is a Slow Seer privileged to work with the Dwellers of the gas-giant Nasqueron in his home system Ulubis. His work consists of rummaging for data in their vast, disorganised memories and libraries. Unfortunately, without knowing it, he's come close to an ancient secret of unimaginable importance....

©2004 Iain M. Banks (P)2005 W.F. Howes Ltd

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Finally! The unabridged version!

I listened to this 12 years ago on cassette tape from my library and I really enjoyed the story and the narration by Geoffrey Annis is perfect. I wanted to listen to it again but I could never find a version to buy on CD or a digital version to download. Thank you Audible for making the unabridged version available for download. I can't wait to listen to this story again! A master SF work by Iain M. Banks.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

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Incredibly Boring

I quit a quarter of the way through. The characters and story we just flat.

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One of the best Culture Books ...

Banks again plucks at the fibers connecting the deeply personal with the widely galactic. One of my favorite books in the Culture universe.

The performance quickly becomes invisible, which is the desired effect.

2 of 5 people found this review helpful

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I love this book!

I love this book! I wish that there wasn't a lower limit on Amazon reviews

0 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Robert
  • 11-12-17

Not The Culture But A Great Listen

A little over long but a great listen, have previously listened to the abridged audio book but enjoyed this a lot more. Not quite Banks at his best but still a brilliant!!!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Martin
  • 12-05-17

Spoiled by awful narration

I jumped at the chance to get hold of the unabridged version of this book which had previously only been available in its severely abridged seven-hour version. To be fair, it is probably not one of IMB's best works, butt is still a hugely entertaining story. Unfortunately, the narrator is very poor indeed. He has clearly acquainted himself with the rather arcane names of places and people typical of IMB, but he seems to have failed utterly to plan ahead in his reading, so the intonational contour of what he reads is frequently wrong, and he often fails to get the tone of the dialogue right as well as making occasional errors with the pronunciation of words (he obviously doesn't know the words hegemony or exigencies for example). He then proceeds to ham it up with overdramatic rendering of action sequences. I shall certainly be looking out for his name as one to avoid in future.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Mrs J E Travers
  • 02-11-18

Quality Banks

Filled with the usual comically long winded names, madcap escapades and exceedingly dark humour Iain M Banks delivers another of his epic sci fi romps. A solid affair, not his greatest work but fans of the Culture series looking for a bit more of Banks letting his crazy imagination run wild among the stars in a Culturesque fashion will probably find what they are looking for here. I thoroughly enjoyed it. If you are new to the author I suggest starting with book 1 of the Culture series that can be found here on audible, and when you have devoured that immense body of sci fi novels and are left wanting more then come back for this one. The performance by Geoff Annis was extremely good, he manages to capture the theatric eccentricity of the characters we came to expect from Banks perfectly. Top marks.

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  • Toadjuggler
  • 02-03-18

Hooray and oh dear.

Brilliant book by my favourite writer.

Please get it re-recorded by Peter Kenny. Mr Annis just doesn't get Iain Banks and it comes through in his reading. I lost track so many times and it took me three goes to get through it, so disappointing.

I actually first joined Audible to listen to Iain M. Banks' books but this really doesn't cut it.

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  • simon doherty
  • 01-09-18

struggling to keep track of the story..

not the best, struggling to remember the plot even after just finishing it. Not a patch on consider phlebas

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  • Matthew willey
  • 11-27-17

Fantastic addition to the Iain M. Banks Audiobook

Thank goodness audible returned to this book and decided to re-record an unabridged version of it. Having had the abridged for many years I now realise what I have been missing.
There are many intersecting storylines and only together do you get as good impression of the novel as a whole. There is one scene in particular, where a couple stand looking at an evening sky, and begin to see bright points of light appear. It's a sign of terrible things but it is months away still, and their calm evening continues. Touches like that are brought back to life in this new version.
The narration is good and well paced, the range of voices is wide but not over emphatic. I will forever know the system as "Ooloobis" rather than his pronunciation "Ullabis" but I can live with that.
Without having prior knowledge of the book, the abridged version would be almost incomprehensible. This is a lovely reintroduction to a vast, sprawling classic.
Thanks guys!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Friedrich Clausen
  • 12-29-17

Effortless storytelling

I had first read The Algebraist in book form and it’s even better the second time around in audio form.

The story flows naturally without feeling contrived. The universe Iain M. Banks has created is deep and complete. Were Mr Banks still with us I’d say a whole series could be written about the Dwellers alone.

An excellent journey and worth every minute.

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  • simmax
  • 12-15-17

good

consistently interesting a much better story and plot than many of the authors other books