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Feersum Endjinn Paperback – 8 Jun 1995


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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Orbit; New Ed edition (8 Jun. 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1857232739
  • ISBN-13: 978-1857232738
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.8 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (88 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 20,480 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Iain Banks came to widespread and controversial public notice with the publication of his first novel, THE WASP FACTORY, in 1984. He has since gained enormous popular and critical acclaim for both his mainstream and his science fiction novels.

Product Description

Amazon Review

In a future where the ancients have long since departed Earth for the stars, those left behind live complacent lives filled with technological marvels they no longer understand. Then a cosmic threat known as the Encroachment begins a devastating ice age on Earth, and it sets in motion a series of events that will bring together a cast of original characters who must struggle through war, political intrigues and age-old mysteries to save the world. (B 4worned, 1 oph Banx' carrokters theenx en funetic inglish, which makes for some tough reading but also some innovative prose.)

Review

Another truly impressive piece of work from the pen of a master storyteller. (STARBURST)

Dazzlingly original. (DAILY MAIL)

Banks is a phenomenon: the widly successful, fearlessly creative author of brilliant and disturbing non-genre novels, he's equally at home writing pure science fiction of a peculiarly gnarly energy and elegance. (WILLIAM GIBSON)

Sharp, witty, comprehensively terrifying. (OBSERVER)

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By L. Davidson VINE VOICE on 18 Jan. 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The world of "Feersum Endjinn" is incredibly weird. Set in the very far future, the Encroachment threatens the Earth with a new Ice Age and the possible extinction of life on the planet itself. Only the remnants of a civilisation are left on Earth ,with most of the rest of its inhabitants having long since departed for the stars. The society that is left is totally bizarre; it is organised on feudal lines and most of the people live in a huge castle the size and height of a large mountain range. The inhabitants have developed very strange and alien powers of the mind; they possess implants to provide them with AI and their minds are "shared" in a hierarchical manner , with "The Privileged" being able to access people minds at will.In parallel with the real world, there is a surreal virtual reality world called "The Crypt" which people can access through their mind ; a sort of world data bank that contains all the thoughts and actions of the past , a world into which people can even download their souls for reincarnation after death, often returning as chimerical animals. It is the complex interaction between the real world and The Crypt which makes this book a difficult one to understand and enjoy. Banks makes a lot of demands on the reader as he creates this convincing but radically different future world. A world where Life and the Afterlife , the Spirit and the Material World ,have fused together and created a totally new reality.
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41 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Dr Frazer Anderson on 23 Mar. 2004
Format: Paperback
In Arthur C. Clarke's famous saying, any sufficiently advanced technology is...
This book tells a tale of a time when the Earth is populated by descendants of those people who were (or chose to be) left behind when technology reached a point which they could no longer cope with. As a result they live in a world which they barely understand, surrounded by the legacy of people using a science way beyond them. Nonetheless, humans being adaptable creatures, they have created a society which just about functions, using the technology they were left, packed with all the usual human virtues and vices, lacking only the faintest idea of why they are where they are. It is only when they discover that their civilisation - and indeed planet - is threatened by something far beyond their abilities that they have to come to terms with what they have lost. Characteristically, they respond in different ways, most of them counterproductive.
The book is told from four viewpoints: a power struggle within the ruling clan, a loser in that power struggle, a boy caught up in the struggle without realising it and a mysterious external factor called an "asura" who despite her initial air of harmlessness is clearly going to be bad news for someone.
Initially the book is hard to get to grips with as these four strands interweave, particularly as the boy speaks/writes a phonetic English which takes hard work and practice to read at a reasonably normal pace. However, as the story starts to gel, the characters and plotting slowly become irresistible and by the end the reader has a real feeling of satisfaction for sticking with it.
This is not as easy to read as some of the Culture novels but in its own way it is every bit as rewarding as, say, The Player Of Games.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By jjandannette@onetel.co.uk, Dr Jeremy J A Black on 14 Sept. 2001
Format: Paperback
Where do you start with such a novel as this one... Before the first chapter ends you have witnessed the birth of an adult (think about it), the assasination of someone who has died seven times already, the beginnings of High Treason against the King, and the abduction of a talking ant called Ergates. It can only be a Banks SF novel. As usual, a happy willingness to suspend disbelief and accept the unexpected rewards the reader with a roller-coaster ride through a microcosmic world, distantly recognisable as being our own many many millenia in the future. Banks throws his own slant on cyberspace and cyborgs as well as demonstrating his dark (and sadly only too true)understanding of human intriguing and politics. As mentioned already in several reviews, the one hurdle placed in ourr way is the phonetic spelling of Bascule's speech. It is tempting to miss out these sections on the first reading as one is too impatient to see what is happening in the other storylines (and anyway - talkin ants are just plain silly, aren't they?) but this destroys the carefully woven grand vision - stick with them and as the man said - "read 'em out loud". Of all IMB's SF novels, this one rewards re-reading again and again, for the plot(s) take you through the first reading far too fast to admire the view. I'm on my sixth re-read - that makes it one of the best value entertainments around!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By John on 3 Aug. 2007
Format: Paperback
Once you get used to reading the occassional chapter written phonetically (initialy hard work - i almost gave up after a few pages!), you can lose yourself in the vivid and surreal worlds of this story. I found this to be one of his best works, full of suspence, intrigue, wit and humour.
Highly recommended for those looking for something challenging and different!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 22 Nov. 1998
Format: Paperback
I only bought the book because I'd remembered seeing it advertised a year or more before, and I wanted to settle whether I was seeing adverts for lousy books, or I was missing a great one.
I loved Adams' HitchHiker stories because of their tangential humor and story line. In Feersum Enjinn, Banks manages to twist and turn with a serious plot line. A fantastic book with some hillarious (and some sombre) undertones. But beware - buying is likely to lead to more purchases.
And a word of caution: Some chapters need to be read with an accent...
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