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The Hydrogen Sonata (A Culture Novel)
The Hydrogen Sonata (A Culture Novel)
by Iain M. Banks
Edition: Hardcover

4 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars amazing invention, 9 Oct 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Isn't money an amazing invention? Iain M. Banks puts true genius on paper, and I, a pea-brain automaton who could never reach his skill levels in anything, still get access to it just by going to work for a bit ...

by M. John Harrison
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.29

2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Too weird, 18 May 2012
This review is from: Light (GOLLANCZ S.F.) (Paperback)
I am just over half way through this book. Admittedly it is unusual to review a book before the end. But we spend more time reading a book than finishing it. So it is important to know how it makes us feel while we are reading. So I will review it now.

It's too weird. Science Fiction is meant to break barriers in your imagination. I love that. But this book goes too far. I can't visualise what is happening. This detaches me from the experience. For example, saying that something smells of `hot dust' is meaningless. Think about it. There is no such smell.

The book makes me feel exasperated and angry. Exasperated because I don't know what is going on. Maybe I'm not clever enough. But I'm a city lawyer so that would apply to the whole (statistically significant) population. Angry because I feel the author is arrogant. It's an unusual accusation, I know. It is because he wantonly throws about the most bizarre scenes he can imagine. As they are so bizarre, they require careful context and description. But he doesn't bother. Instead he makes occasional references to applied maths as if that justifies all weirdness. He then sits back smugly, watching you tear your mind apart trying to understand what he is saying. Look at me, I can confuse you. Aren't I clever? But he isn't. Because even he doesn't know what he is on about. To sarcastically imitate his writing style:

The crux is this:

Let's see, shall we, if he can tell us: what exactly is it like to smell hot dust?
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 30, 2012 6:10 PM BST

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