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Publisher's Summary

A man lies in a coma after a near-fatal accident. His body broken, his memory vanished, he finds himself in the surreal world of the bridge - a world free of the usual constraints of time and space, a world where dream and fantasy, past and future, fuse. Who is this man? Where is he? Is he more dead than alive? Or has he never been so alive before?

©1986 Iain Banks (P)2013 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"An exceptional talent... a totally absorbing read" ( The Times)
"A stunning book. Banks' powerful imagination is joined to a rare ability to be truly funny while exploring a nightmare world" ( Sunday Times)
"Banks turns inward to explore the complex, surreal microcosm of the human mind in a kaleidoscopic novel for sophisticated, literary readers of speculative fiction. Recommended." ( Library Journal)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

that banks fellow is a sure mad wicked writer!

Another fantastic story by an author who loves to throw the reader off kilter with materfully constructed verses and story lines.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars

Sci-fi fans might skip, but it’s fantastic and well crafted

I’m a huge fan of The Sci-fi works of Ian Banks. Too, though, I’m a huge fan of the audio work of Peter Kenny. I’d listen to him read a grocery list and would likely be thrilled with his phasing, tone and reading quality I’ve enjoyed in every performance.

So, did I listen to this book just to spend time with one of my favorite voice artists? Yes, possibly...

Did I enjoy the book and storyline? Yes, absolutely.

One thing that I did to add to the visuals I generated in my head was to imagine a slightly fantastic steam punk world... think Wings if Honneamise in how things were slightly odd and different... that applied well to the visuals in the Bridge scenes and kept me busy envisioning all of the elements Mr Banks created.

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  • Stuart
  • 09-04-15

Interesting but thin on plot

Brilliantly read by Peter Kenny (as always), but I spent most of the book waiting for something to happen that didn't.
This is one of those Banks books that basically says "here's some stuff that happened to someone" and for the vast majority of that stuff, you could remove massive chunks out of the book and it would make no difference at all to the overall narrative.
Granted, some of that stuff is interesting, entertaining and without fail well written, but you wouldn't miss anything if it wasn't there.

I have a confused opinion about these stories. The way Banks gets me inside the head of his characters is masterful and the book generated plenty of connection and emotion. But I can't help thinking "I wish there was more to this story"

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Ben Moss-Woodward
  • 03-22-15

One of the best books ever written

I first read the bridge back in the early 90s and it gets better with every reading or listening in this case. Peter Kenny does his usual bang up job especially his take on the barbarian

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Stuart Wallace
  • 08-15-18

Possibly the definitive Iain (non-M) Banks novel

Fantastic and weird and perfectly Scottish. The story reminds me of when I was recovering from a brain injury. A superb work from Banks, and an excellent performance by Peter Kenny.

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  • andrew
  • 02-03-18

very well written and narrated.

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Very well written and narrated, the twists and turns, and hidden layers, relieved i have read a few more books by Iain, and this one did not disappoint

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Bridge?

the tumble of stories plots slowly relieved, seeming meaningless details come into focus to give an explanation of what at first glance, was chaos.

What does Peter Kenny bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

very good, really enhanced the storyline

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

i would have done, a little slow to start,, but soon difficult to put down

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-01-17

written 1986, and it's still such a vibrant story!

...also a good snap shot of 1970s/80s Britain. love that bridge, have done ever since the 39 steps.