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74 Reviews
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40 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ... Indistinguishable from magic
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...
Published on 23 Mar 2004 by Dr Frazer Anderson

versus
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Strange Read
Many people have thoroughly enjoyed this book as you can see from the other reviews. I however found it to be less engaging than the other Iain M Banks books.

The characters seemed rather more shallow than those in other books - also the frequent jumps to cryptspace can be quite hard to follow.

To those about to read this book I would recommend...
Published on 2 Feb 2009 by Mr. David Kerr


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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars feers, as thi yung peepil sa, 5 April 2012
By 
S. G. Gilman "Simon Gilman" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Feersum Endjinn (Paperback)
I olwayz luvd eeyun em banxiz cyance fikshun, its bettir than moast ov hiz uthir just eeyun banks bewks, but feersum endjinn iz 1 of thi best evir sints u 2 wirk HARD 2 get wots goin on, c? thass betir than sitin frew 2 hrs ov sum daft film fool ov noyzy xplowzhns laik trans4merz or termin8r rite?

An if u bags (hehe) owt thir r reely havin probs wif thi fownetickly ritn stuf wel i fownd it helps u if u reed it owt lowd in a scotish akzent.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great story, annoying read, 31 July 2010
By 
Christian (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Feersum Endjinn (Paperback)
This book is set in a far future where the planet is not as we recognise it. All live in the same area though a threat is looming to affect all people. The tale focuses mainly on four characters and weaves their seperate, and yet interlinking, tales throughout the chapters.

The story is original and develops a world that is a rich with many levels to it. As the book continues additional levels are added and layers to the story are added.

My main frustration lay with one of the characters. Part of their character meant that they spoke in phonetics and thus their parts were written in such a way. This lead to times where I put the book aside frustrated with the way that my reading had slowed down so considerably.

Get past that and it is a good book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stick With It, 14 July 2007
By 
Roger Cawkwell (London United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Feersum Endjinn (Paperback)
Like some other reviewers, I found this book hard going at first, especially the phonetically spelled sections recounted by a (presumably) intellectually challenged character - it even annoyed me at times. But I did eventually get used to it & have re-read the book a few times with no obvious harmful effects. I was pleased to read a story NOT about the Culture (though I enjoy those too) as Banks creates a fantastic but still believable alternative universe.

It's a permanent fixture on my bookshelf & I'm sure I'll get around to reading it again in the not too distant future (when I've finished all of Peter Hamilton & Neal Asher's books...)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can forgotten messages and technolgy save the Earth?, 19 Nov 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Feersum Endjinn (Paperback)
Not one of Iain M. Banks's easiest books but one of the most imaginative and amoung his best. It is set in the far future where people are effectively immortal; granted 8 lives through the power of The Crypt, an all encompassing Web where souls rest between lives, and can be visited by the living. The book seems to have parralels with Arthur C Clarke's "City and the Stars". Once again death has been abolished and the technical wonders of the past are now lost or misunderstood. In both books the inhabitants of Earth are the reminants of an earlier glorious past, left behind when their forebears left for the Stars. There are also the "Asuras", (Uniques, in the earlier book), people who have NOT lived before and carry messages from the past and the key to future. Banks's book has more humour though, Bascule, one of the main characters narrates not only in the first person, but also phonetically, like the book's title and this requires some careful reading. However, he sez all thi best lines. U must reed it, den reed it 4 a secund time, dere iz so much u must have mist somefing.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Strange Read, 2 Feb 2009
By 
Mr. David Kerr (North Yorkshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Feersum Endjinn (Paperback)
Many people have thoroughly enjoyed this book as you can see from the other reviews. I however found it to be less engaging than the other Iain M Banks books.

The characters seemed rather more shallow than those in other books - also the frequent jumps to cryptspace can be quite hard to follow.

To those about to read this book I would recommend reading it quickly in a few short bursts, you'll probably get more out of it. Personally I found this alot less engaging than Iain's other books - most of which I cannot put down! However, maybe this is a bit like marmite, so many other people have thoroughly enjoyed it!
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just because a book is not easy to read doesn't mean its bad, 15 Aug 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Feersum Endjinn (Paperback)
For my money this is one of the greatest books that Iain M Banks has produced, and I love all of his sci-fi. The colloquial parts slow you down a little, but they are brilliant and highly amusing. Banks' gift isn't necessarily steering clear of cyberscience, rather it is incorporating high technology into a comprehensible and understandable society. The world of Feersum Endjinn is so radically wierd that this all works incredibly well. Any successful far future novel is going to be hard on the reader, because the world is likely to be an irrevocably different place after millenia of development. Feersum Endjinn is also exciting, poignant, haunting and incredibly fast paced. Claims that he has become too 'arty' since about the time that this was written are just patently untrue. Banks has always meditated on important issues and been able to write compelling, dazzling fiction. Just read Excession or Look to Windward to see that he hasn't lost his touch. In fact he is going from strength to strength. This book is a testament to his prodigious skill, and a frankly staggering work of the imagination. Buy it.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic balance of innovation and character development, 11 Sep 2002
By 
I. R. Talbot (Peterborough, Cambs United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Feersum Endjinn (Paperback)
I first picked up "Against a Dark Background" when I was stumbling around looking for something to read in Luton Airport. After that, I decided to read more of Iain M Banks.
"Feersum Endjinn" is one of the more upbeat of his works - when reviewers say he's dark, they're not kidding. This is the closest to a happy ending I've seen so far!
The concept of the world in "Feersum Endjinn" is very innovative, there's tons of political comment if you care to look for it, the plot is intriguing, and if you've ever read any of his other books before, you genuinely wonder how it's going to end, whether he'll kill everybody off or not!
Bascule, the character with phonetic chapters - I found this hard going for the first two chapters, and almost dreaded the next one coming up and trying to work it out. However, the character development of Bascule is absolutely brilliant IMHO, so good that I found myself looking forward to the next instalment after a couple of chapters. And of course, once you twig the title properly you have to keep going to the end to find out what it's all about. Wonderful book.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dazzlingly original, darkly comic, absolutely brilliant, 18 May 2002
By 
Anthony Lynas (Leicester, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Feersum Endjinn (Paperback)
How you manage to squeeze cyberspace, giant birds, robotic ants, a dyslexic hero, a planet heading for oblivion and comment on the futility of worshipping relics instead of utilising them into one book and nearly manage to make it all make sense is beyond me, but Feersum Endjinn manages it and then some.
Divorced from Banks' other sci-fi novels both in terms of content (this is not a Culture space opera set across the sprawling expanse of the universe) and stylistically (Feersum Endjinn has been dipped in the black humour gunk tank), the book also manages a hightide mark in Banks' phenomenal powers of imagination. Like every other Banks' novel, it starts slowly, and then accelerates and accelerates until you find yourself unable to stop turning the final 100 or so pages. And, like most other Banks' novels, it produces a twist at the end The Twilight Zone could only ever have dreamt about. And, more than any other Banks novel save perhaps Song of Stone, it takes the word genre and batters it on the nose. Is it sci-fi? Is it fantasy? Is it humour? Is it a detective novel?
Who knows, who cares. What it is, is remarkable. Alongside Excession and The Player of Games, Banks' finest hour, and that includes his "straight" novels too.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Takes a while to understand and even read but it's definitely interesting, 11 April 2014
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This review is from: Feersum Endjinn (Kindle Edition)
Some brilliant characters and an interesting plot but confusing at times. Defiantly a book you could read more than once. The phonetically spelt chapters take getting used to but definitely add to the character. I think I would have liked more background or description in some parts though.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not one of the best, 15 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Feersum Endjinn (Paperback)
I must admit I didn't take to this book. It doesn't flow as well as the others and isn't as entertaining.
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Feersum Endjinn (Sf Masterworks)
Feersum Endjinn (Sf Masterworks) by Iain M Banks (Hardcover - 1 Jun 2014)
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