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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars164
4.1 out of 5 stars
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on 29 September 2015
Nice book, bit meandering at times, not much more for me to say.
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on 20 October 1999
I really liked it, Zakalwe is a real hero, u feel instinctively interested by this character, whit his contradictions and his multiple experiences. The end is just a masterpiece, it is genial and inventive. I have to say Iain M. Banks' books are really good, much better than his "normal" books.
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on 2 December 2000
Mr Banks must surely be at the hight of his powers. One of the best sci-fi authors ever. He writes with confidence and aparent ease. His books have a subtle humour and likeable, three dimension characters. If you like sci-fi, read everything Mr Banks has written except the dismal Feersum Endjinn.
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on 31 August 2015
Another gripping adventure in the Culture series
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on 21 April 1999
This novel was short-listed for the Arthur C. Clarke Award some years ago. It didn't win, but 'Take Back Plenty' by Colin Greenland did. If there was ever an injustice then Iain was robbed, guv. I have read Greenland's novel - it was great but no classic, and in any other year it would have deserved to win easily.
To put it simply 'Use of Weapons' is the best SF novel ever written, and by Banks' standards that's saying something.
'Use of Weapons' is a complex, though-provoking and ultimately shocking novel. The ending leaves your head spinning and will stay with you forever. This is what good SF is all about: it is not about the spaceships, the aliens, the laser guns and the cutting-edge scientific theories; it's about the people and what it is to be human. And it is that sense of humanity that echoes throughout this book: if you think you know the human mind, think again.
PLEASE READ 'USE OF WEAPONS'!
I would just like it to be known that Mr. Iain Menzies Banks of Fife did not pay me large sums of money to write this gushing review. Everything you've read is true!
As a word of warning I suggest to any prospective readers that they read 'Consider Phlebas', 'The Player of Games', 'Against a Dark Background' etc. etc. first. If you read 'Use of Weapons' before any of his other SF it will be disappointing if read afterwards, which would obviously be a great shame as they are stunning works of literate SF in their own right.
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on 23 October 1998
Mr Banks certainly has a nice turn of phrase. There is a certain amount of angst and a lot of almost flippant use of grandiose technology. The world of the Culture is certainly impressive! Definitely worth a read if your a Cyberjunkie.
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on 26 May 1999
Astoundingly good science fiction. Even for the speed reader (even for his or her opposite too...perhaps), a terrific tale, the best by far of Banks's novels of the Culture. Bears -- and rewards -- reading at many levels.
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on 17 April 2016
getting a bit bored with this series.
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on 19 August 2004
I must have read a dozen or so of Mr Banks's books and this is, in my opinion, the best of them. Indeed, it is one of the best sci-fi books I've ever read. On it's lowest level this is superlative space opera - fast and flashy. Superimposed on the sequence of events played out on a galactic scale is the story of a man torn apart by guilt, his life disintegrating in front of him. To put the icing on the cake the whole thing is set in the realm of The Culture, a society where technology has removed the need for labour and divine decadence rules.
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on 20 March 2015
Enjoyable story of the Culture
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