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106 of 114 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Back to what I like...
As a long time Iain M. Banks fan I must admit I have been a bit disappointed with some of his latest stuff. For example Surface Detail and Matter, while good reads, left me feeling like maybe the prime had been passed. So I didn't have huge expectations for this latest Culture novel. However I was very relieved to find that The Hydrogen Sonata was what might be described...
Published on 11 Oct. 2012 by deMangler

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great ingredients that never quite come together
It's a conundrum. You are one of the greatest living writers in two genres. You have created a marvellous, fertile universe peopled by The Culture and their client civilisations. The Culture is ruled (it is not too strong a word) by Minds, whose omnipotence has grown with every novel. You want to tell stories. it is your gift.

But stories are made of people,...
Published on 21 May 2013 by Andrew Bannister


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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Time to move on?, 16 Nov. 2012
By 
M. Moreton (Marlborough, UK) - See all my reviews
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As you get older in life, you realise that not everything lasts forever. Sometimes you have to move on from things, however wonderful they may have seemed in the past. And I can't help feeling that maybe that time has come for the Culture.

This isn't a bad book, but it doesn't really add anything new over the other Culture books that have come before. It is very much "more of the same" if you don't count the additional information about subliming, which really comes down to "no-one knows anything about it". (Hope that wasn't too much of a plot spoiler...)

The machines squabbling was funny in the first book he used it in, but to be honest it's a bit old hat now. And there is a problem that it's difficult to give any of them a unique character when they're ethereal, disembodied voices. Probably great fun to write, but not that much fun to read any more. So a few more human characters would be nice.

So I really hope he'll call it a day on the Culture books, can give us something completely different in two years' time.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 26 Dec. 2014
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Fast delivery item as described. Thanks
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9 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Still sliding...., 30 Mar. 2013
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I'm a devotee of Iain M. Excession led to Player, Phlebas, Windward, Weapons and all the rest. I've been awestruck by the sheer vast giddy spread of imagination in the books, which are also supremely well plotted with many characters I can relate to in either a positive or negative way and plenty of action. I can go back and re-read any of the books again and enjoy them anew every time.

Not here.

I'm half way through, I couldn't care less about any of the characters, I've been bombarded and smothered with speech after speech after speech, with new characters piling in all the time, with zilch action. And I find, like another reviewer, that I'm skimming pages, that I just... don't... care. Shock horror, I may not even trouble to finish the book (expensive though it was).

His work since 2004 has seen, imho, a decline in M's space opera work - this book just stresses the slide. Oddly, Transition, in Banks' other hat, has been his most successful sci-fi of recent years. But then came Stonemouth, which I felt a bit of a clunker. Etc etc etc. Mr Banks badly needs a ruthless editor, certainly in his M works.

Two stars at most.
============================================================
Three days later:

Sorry, folks, the unthinkable has happened. I gave up.Couldn't follow what the hell was going on, couldn't care less who was doing what to whom where and how. This really is Iain M playing clever clever, going through the old tricks of the earlier novels but without the conviction and passion and above all without the clarity. And it cost an arm and a leg to be conned. I gave the book to a charity shop.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Typical Banks, typically excellent., 29 Nov. 2012
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An excellent culture novel, if you like the rest then there's a good chance that you'll like this as it is by and large more of the same. Excellent story with a focus on the sublime!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 15 Jun. 2015
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This review is from: The Hydrogen Sonata (Culture 10) (Paperback)
Iain M Banks is my favourite author.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 4 Nov. 2014
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This review is from: The Hydrogen Sonata (Culture 10) (Paperback)
Arrived in good time, no problems...
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hydrgen Sonata review, 10 Nov. 2012
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As a fan of Iain M Banks, I was expecting to enjoy this one and I was not dissapointed and I chose this to be the first book to read on my brand new Kindle Fire HD.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Very dissapointing, 3 Dec. 2012
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There are plenty of in-depth reviews on here already, so I'll keep mine brief.

In my opinion, you won't like this book, if (like me):

You really liked the earlier Culture novels
Found Surface Detail a very satisfying read
Felt let down by Matter

I didn't connect with any of the characters. No insights into the "Sublime". The whole premise for the involvement of the Culture in the proceedings turns out to be irrelevant. Feels like a short story that should have been a lot shorter.

Was really looking forward to this, turned out to be a bit of a waste of time. I won't be pre-ordering the next one, will wait for the objective reviews first.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good read, 26 Nov. 2012
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A bit simplistic for Banks but good fun and a pleasure to read. The characters and typically brilliantly drawn and the humour made me chuckle.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 15 Nov. 2014
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Flashes of the old Banks here.
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The Hydrogen Sonata (Culture 10)
The Hydrogen Sonata (Culture 10) by Iain M. Banks (Paperback - 10 Sept. 2013)
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