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The Player of Games Audiobook

The Player of Games

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Publisher's Summary

The Culture - a human/machine symbiotic society - has thrown up many great Game Players, and one of the greatest is Gurgeh. Jernau Morat Gurgeh. The Player of Games. Master of every board, computer, and strategy. Bored with success, Gurgeh travels to the Empire of Azad, cruel and incredibly wealthy, to try their fabulous game... a game so complex, so like life itself, that the winner becomes emperor. Mocked, blackmailed, almost murdered, Gurgeh accepts the game, and with it the challenge of his life - and very possibly his death.

©2008 Iain M. Banks (P)2011 Hachette Audio

What the Critics Say

"Poetic, humorous, baffling, terrifying, sexy - the books of Iain M. Banks are all these things and more." (NME)

"An exquisitely riotous tour de force of the imagination which writes its own rules simply for the pleasure of breaking them." (Time Out)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.5 (1597 )
5 star
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4.4 (1431 )
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4.6 (1427 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Luke Welker Chicago, IL USA 06-28-16
    Luke Welker Chicago, IL USA 06-28-16 Member Since 2017
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    5
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    "An exceptional read."

    Loved it. The book is loaded with ideas and concepts any scifi fan will appreciate.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A. Davis 06-24-16
    A. Davis 06-24-16
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    67
    9
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    Story
    "great story"

    narrator is wonderful but takes a bit to get acclimated. The world is food for thought and the ship names are humorous.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Maria Marsans SEATTLE, WA, US 06-22-16
    Maria Marsans SEATTLE, WA, US 06-22-16 Member Since 2015

    Audible is the soundtrack to my busy, city-walking life!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    132
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    "Phenomenal creativity and writing"

    Loved this book so much. From the creative world building to the questions it raises for me about human nature and our perceptions of what a civilized society is.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tim Dierckxsens Belgium 06-15-16
    Tim Dierckxsens Belgium 06-15-16 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    29
    10
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    Story
    "Stick with it"

    It took some time to get into the story. After getting used to the sci-fi I loved it.

    I understand why Musk and Zuckerberg love the book and use it as a vision of our possible future.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephen Lynch Hobart, IN United States 06-14-16
    Stephen Lynch Hobart, IN United States 06-14-16
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    2
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    "Essential Iain M. Banks"

    A great addition to the culture series. Good vocal performance and an amazing story. A must for sci fi fans.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jordi diaz 05-19-16
    jordi diaz 05-19-16
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    7
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    "Another wonderful Culture story."

    great story, really took its time building and the natural progression and ending were quite satisfying.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Maggie 04-23-16
    Maggie 04-23-16
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    14
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    "Not as great as I hoped"

    I've heard a fair amount of praise for this author, and this was supposed to be his best. I had tried starting with his first book (Consider Phlebas) and it failed to grab me, to the extent that I gave up around halfway through. Disappointed in that, but thinking that 'Hey, an author's early work is usually poorer,' and knowing Banks' books to be more episodic than not, I thought I would give him another chance, but alas.

    It's hard for me to describe why I grow so easily bored with this author. I can say that some of it stems from feeling unattached to most of the characters, the main protagonists especially. Gurgeh, the main for this book, was too close a Mary Sue for my tastes. I cared very little as to whether he would succeed or fail, especially after some rather cartoonish efforts were made to make his opponents (a whole civilization) out to be thoroughly vile and contemptuous.

    Spoilers (sort of?) from this point on.

    The fact that Gurgeh was shown to be obviously capable of breezing through every obstacle in his path, yet still had to be manipulated into doing "what needed to be done", and therefore was not so much the glorious hero as a selfish but useful buffoon, didn't make him any more interesting or respectable, it just made me feel all the more disappointed for giving *his* story any attention. The perspective of his handler(s) might have been more interesting, but on the whole, the lack of any real conflict/challenge means it would likely feel stagnant either way.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ElzabetG 04-17-16
    ElzabetG 04-17-16

    Geeky Bookish Mother

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Narrator on Fast Forward"

    I enjoyed this story greatly. The only drawback was the narrator. Was the man mainline Nguyen 5Hour Energy or what? I kept checking to see if the speed was right. It was. He just read like he had to be someplace in the next five minutes.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bill 04-13-16
    Bill 04-13-16 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A great book"
    Any additional comments?

    I would strongly suggest reading the series from start to finish. This one, however, is one of the highlights on the journey. Masterfully crafted. Beautifully written. Wonderful characters. Cutting social commentary. Brutally honest.

    RIP Mr. Banks. This book has made you immortal.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dillon Clay Enarson 04-02-16 Member Since 2016
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    2
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    "Enthralling (My First Culture Novel)"

    I never once "phased out" and needed to rewind. I'd often find myself sitting in my car, listening, well after I'd arrived at my destination. I can't recommend this enough.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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