Culture

16 books in series
4.5 out of 5 stars 9,633 ratings

Consider Phlebas Publisher's Summary

The war raged across the galaxy. Billions had died, billions more were doomed. Moons, planets, the very stars themselves, faced destruction - cold-blooded, brutal, and worse, random. The Idirans fought for their Faith; the Culture for its moral right to exist. Principles were at stake. There could be no surrender.

Within the cosmic conflict, an individual crusade. Deep within a fabled labyrinth on a barren world, a Planet of the Dead proscribed to mortals, lay a fugitive Mind. Both the Culture and the Idirans sought it. It was the fate of Horza, the Changer, and his motley crew of unpredictable mercenaries, human and machine, actually to find it, and with it their own destruction.

©1987 Iain M. Banks (P)2011 Hachette Audio
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  • Book 1

    • Consider Phlebas

    • By: Iain M. Banks
    • Narrated by: Peter Kenny
    • Length: 16 hrs and 26 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 2,340
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 2,100
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 2,112

    The war raged across the galaxy. Billions had died, billions more were doomed. Moons, planets, the very stars themselves, faced destruction, cold-blooded, brutal, and worse, random. The Idirans fought for their Faith; the Culture for its moral right to exist. Principles were at stake. There could be no surrender. Within the cosmic conflict, an individual crusade. Deep within a fabled labyrinth on a barren world, a Planet of the Dead proscribed to mortals, lay a fugitive Mind. Both the Culture and the Idirans sought it....

    • 3 out of 5 stars
    • Visionary but half-cooked intro to Culture 'verse

    • By Ryan on 07-20-13

    Regular price: $28.50

    • Consider Phlebas

    • Culture Series, Book 1
    • By: Iain M. Banks
    • Narrated by: Peter Kenny
    • Length: 16 hrs and 29 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 343
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 306
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 304

    The war raged across the galaxy. Billions had died, billions more were doomed. Moons, planets, the very stars themselves, faced destruction - cold-blooded, brutal, and worse, random. The Idirans fought for their Faith; the Culture for its moral right to exist. Principles were at stake. There could be no surrender. Within the cosmic conflict, an individual crusade....

    • 4 out of 5 stars
    • Peter Kenny makes the book worthwhile

    • By Jacobus on 12-24-10

    Regular price: $21.31

  • Book 2

    • The Player of Games

    • By: Iain M. Banks
    • Narrated by: Peter Kenny
    • Length: 11 hrs and 25 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 2,254
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 2,031
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 2,037

    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.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Great introduction to The Culture series

    • By Ken on 08-04-11

    Regular price: $28.50

    • The Player of Games

    • Culture Series, Book 2
    • By: Iain M. Banks
    • Narrated by: Peter Kenny
    • Length: 11 hrs and 26 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 279
    • Performance
      5 out of 5 stars 250
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 253

    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.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • A Worthwhile listen

    • By Jacobus on 01-03-11

    Regular price: $21.31

  • Book 3

    • Use of Weapons

    • Culture Series, Book 3
    • By: Iain M. Banks
    • Narrated by: Peter Kenny
    • Length: 13 hrs and 28 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 118
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 107
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 108

    The man known as Cheradenine Zakalwe was one of Special Circumstances' foremost agents, changing the destiny of planets to suit the Culture through intrigue, dirty tricks or military action. The woman known as Diziet Sma had plucked him from obscurity and pushed him towards his present eminence, but despite all their dealings she did not know him as well as she thought. The drone known as Skaffen-Amtiskaw knew both of these people.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Persevere and find gold!

    • By Jacobus on 04-20-12

    Regular price: $18.11

    • Use of Weapons

    • By: Iain M. Banks
    • Narrated by: Peter Kenny
    • Length: 13 hrs and 30 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 1,045
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 951
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 956

    The man known as Cheradenine Zakalwe was one of Special Circumstances' foremost agents, changing the destiny of planets to suit the Culture through intrigue, dirty tricks, and military action. The woman known as Diziet Sma had plucked him from obscurity and pushed him toward his present eminence, but despite all their dealings she did not know him as well as she thought. The drone known as Skaffen-Amtiskaw knew both of these people. It had once saved the woman's life by massacring her attackers in a particularly bloody manner. It believed the man to be a lost cause.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Tips on how to listen to this novel - NO SPOILERS

    • By Ken on 05-12-13

    Regular price: $28.50

  • Book 4

    • The State Of The Art

    • Culture Series, Book 4
    • By: Iain M. Banks
    • Narrated by: Peter Kenny
    • Length: 6 hrs and 20 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 62
    • Performance
      5 out of 5 stars 52
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 53

    The first ever collection of Iain Banks's short fiction, this volume includes the acclaimed novella, The State of the Art. This is a striking addition to the growing body of Culture lore, and adds definition and scale to the previous works by using the Earth of 1977 as contrast. The other stories in the collection range from science fiction to horror, dark-coated fantasy to morality tale. All bear the indefinable stamp of Iain Banks's staggering talent.

    • 2 out of 5 stars
    • Wtf

    • By kiril okun on 10-24-16

    Regular price: $21.31

  • Book 5

    • Excession

    • Culture Series, Book 5
    • By: Iain M. Banks
    • Narrated by: Peter Kenny
    • Length: 15 hrs and 54 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 211
    • Performance
      5 out of 5 stars 187
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 188

    Two and a half millennia ago, the artifact appeared in a remote corner of space, beside a trillion-year-old dying sun from a different universe. It was a perfect black-body sphere, and it did nothing. Then it disappeared.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • A perfect team(?) at the top of their game

    • By Peter on 12-01-13

    Regular price: $21.31

  • Book 6

    • Inversions

    • Culture Series, Book 6
    • By: Iain M. Banks
    • Narrated by: Peter Kenny
    • Length: 11 hrs and 26 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 91
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 84
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 83

    In the winter palace, the King's new physician has more enemies than she at first realises. But then she also has more remedies to hand than those who wish her ill can know about. In another palace across the mountains, in the service of the regicidal Protector General, the chief bodyguard, too, has his enemies. But his enemies strike more swiftly, and his means of combating them are more traditional. Spiralling round a central core of secrecy, deceit, love, and betrayal, Inversions is a spectacular work of science fiction, brilliantly told and wildly imaginative, from an author who has set genre fiction alight.

    • 4 out of 5 stars
    • "A Culture Novel that Wasn't" (But Really Was)

    • By Jefferson on 12-27-15

    Regular price: $21.31

  • Book 7

    • Look to Windward

    • Culture Series, Book 7
    • By: Iain M. Banks
    • Narrated by: Peter Kenny
    • Length: 12 hrs and 11 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 114
    • Performance
      5 out of 5 stars 106
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 106

    It was one of the less glorious incidents of a long-ago war. It led to the destruction of two suns and the billions of lives they supported. Now, 800 years later, the light from the first of those ancient mistakes has reached the Culture Orbital, Masaq. The light from the second may not.

    • 4 out of 5 stars
    • ...never ceases to surprise

    • By Anonymous User on 03-21-18

    Regular price: $21.31

  • Book 8

    • Matter

    • Culture Series, Book 8
    • By: Iain M. Banks
    • Narrated by: Toby Longworth
    • Length: 17 hrs and 56 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 88
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 38
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 38

    In a world renowned, even within a galaxy full of wonders, a crime occurs within a war. For one man it means a desperate flight and a search for the one, maybe two, people who could clear his name. For his brother it means a life lived under constant threat of treachery and murder. And for their sister, even without knowing the full truth, it means returning to a place she'd thought abandoned forever. Only the sister is not what she once was.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Much more than a 'read'

    • By Rasheed on 11-05-09

    Regular price: $21.31

    • Matter

    • Culture, Book 8
    • By: Iain M. Banks
    • Narrated by: Toby Longworth
    • Length: 18 hrs and 3 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 591
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 538
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 535

    In a world renowned even within a galaxy full of wonders, a crime within a war. For one man it means a desperate flight, and a search for the one - maybe two - people who could clear his name. For his brother it means a life lived under constant threat of treachery and murder. And for their sister, even without knowing the full truth, it means returning to a place she'd thought abandoned forever.

    • 4 out of 5 stars
    • What happened to Peter Kenny?

    • By Bill on 01-18-16

    Regular price: $28.50

  • Book 9

    • Surface Detail

    • A Culture Novel
    • By: Iain M. Banks
    • Narrated by: Peter Kenny
    • Length: 20 hrs and 28 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 1,000
    • Performance
      5 out of 5 stars 841
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 838

    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....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Devestatingly superior

    • By Steven on 11-21-10

    Regular price: $22.80

    • Surface Detail

    • Culture Series, Book 9
    • By: Iain M. Banks
    • Narrated by: Peter Kenny
    • Length: 20 hrs and 22 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 119
    • Performance
      5 out of 5 stars 83
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 85

    The dazzling new Culture novel from a modern master of science fiction - a tour de force of brilliant storytelling, world-building and imagination.It begins in the realm of the Real, where matter still matters. It begins with a murder. And it will not end until the Culture has gone to war with death itself.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • amazing narration

    • By Hope on 08-07-11

    Regular price: $21.31

  • Book 10

    • The Hydrogen Sonata

    • Culture, Book 10
    • By: Iain M. Banks
    • Narrated by: Peter Kenny
    • Length: 17 hrs and 17 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 130
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 113
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 116

    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....

    • 3 out of 5 stars
    • Hmm... Ok.. But not great

    • By Benbarian on 11-08-12

    Regular price: $21.31

    • The Hydrogen Sonata

    • By: Iain M. Banks
    • Narrated by: Peter Kenny
    • Length: 17 hrs and 14 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 848
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 771
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 770

    The Scavenger species are circling. It is, truly, provably, 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.

    • 4 out of 5 stars
    • Another excellent chapter in the Culture series

    • By James on 01-27-13

    Regular price: $28.50