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The Hydrogen Sonata Audiobook

The Hydrogen Sonata: Culture, Book 10

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Publisher's Summary

The Scavenger species are circling. It is, truly, 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 9,000 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 Digital

What the Critics Say

"Nobody does it better." (Sunday Times)

"The standard by which the rest of SF is judged." (Guardian)

"Essential for SF fans." (Library Journal)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (110 )
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4.4 (98 )
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4.6 (96 )
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Performance


There are no reviews for this title yet.

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  • Mr Stephen Davies
    3/16/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not One of Bank's Classics!"

    This novel was a real struggle for me.
    Very fond of his earlier work like consider Phelabas and Use of weapons.
    His stories got weaker later on unfortunately.
    This is one example. Got bored and frustrated with it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    2/14/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A Massive Novel"
    Any additional comments?

    I loved this book when I first read it and I loved it all over again listening to Kenny's excellent narration. He managed to bring the characters to life without in any way getting in the way of Banks' excellent story. Whether or not you're an existing fan of The Culture you'll find it's all here from sweeping alien landscapes to awesome ship minds and from high political intrigues to action packed space battles, yet despite all of this it is still the individual characters and their actions, desires and foibles that make Banks' work so memorable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Martin Eager
    London, UK
    12/31/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "What a way to say goodbye"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Hydrogen Sonata to be better than the print version?

    I have the paperback but I find the small print a strain these days, so the audiobook was a much more relaxing way to enjoy the story.


    What did you like best about this story?

    It's maybe not the pinnacle of Iain Banks' Culture novels but it's certainly up there among his best. It has all the right ingredients for a classic Culture novel - intrigue, plot twists, humour, great dialogue, exotic tech and wonderfully developed characters, organic and AI. Perhaps these ingredients aren't as impeccably mixed as Banks in his pomp, but nevertheless it's still an artfully constructed and engaging story and I was hooked from start to finish.


    What about Peter Kenny’s performance did you like?

    Peter Kenny brings the book alive with an astoundingly good performance. I can't imagine anyone doing better. The way he slips effortlessly between the different voices, especially those of the ship AIs bantering with each other, giving them each a unique personality, is a joy. Clear, well-paced and engaging.


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

    It made me laugh and it made me cry. Whilst there's some great moments of humour, this book is primarily about closure on multiple levels. It's the last Culture book of course, which brings its own sadness that there will be no more. But the over-arching themes of the book are mortality / immortality, closure and spirituality, expressed via the plot mechanism of 'subliming'. It's a thought-provoking and appropriate goodbye, both to the Culture and to Banks himself. It's also a wonderful celebration of the rich imaginary universe that Banks created, his imagination and invention will be sorely missed.


    Any additional comments?

    If you've never read any of Iain Banks' Culture novels, whatever you do please don't start here. It's a fine book, but it's a finale of sorts and a farewell. Pick one of the earlier novels, Consider Phlebas being the obvious place to start.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Doc Robotnik
    England
    9/24/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Easy listen, great Culture ship, average story."

    The ending was built to be a revelation, but was telegraphed from about halfway through the story. The 'Mistake, not' is a typically brilliant character. The culture ships are almost always the highlights of culture stories.

    I enjoyed the audiobook - the performance was great, but they're are better books in the series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Natalia
    Southampton, United Kingdom
    8/19/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Ship fun story"

    Good Culture book, but does drag on a little story-wise. Had to listen 3 times over as kept having my attention drift or falling asleep. Liked the ship characters and their banter though.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lee
    7/6/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A great farewell to the Culture & well performed"

    In what was to be Banks final culture novel we follow a great quest in the days leading up to the subliming of a species. In this well written space opera, Banks delivers some great moments of spectacle, action and humour all excellently narrated by Peter Kenny. Whilst this wasn't my no.1 Culture novel, it was certainly an enjoyable adventure. You will be sadly missed Iain Banks :-(

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Chantal Garcia
    5/31/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Anticlimactic but still worth it."

    Great book, I always look forward to Culture novels. A little disappointed with the end, as it was a bit of an anticlimax! Nevertheless a great piece of work.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Soapy Syrie
    3/10/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great Listen"

    Iain M Banks is a master story teller. I'm glad that this did not take the most predictable path. It made it a great listen!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • J.E.Thomas
    3/6/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "by far my most favourite "

    well read by the Narrator Peter with great use of accent and emphasis, describing and illustrating each of the characters

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mr. N. J. Richardson
    UK
    12/1/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Love Iain Banks"
    What did you like most about The Hydrogen Sonata?

    I like some of the clever ideas like the 'sim problem' makes me smile at Banks' genius.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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