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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great - if challenging - read
This is the first of his books I have read. At the start I was a bit annoyed. Making up dreams seemed a bit cheap. But then the suspension of disbelief got in there and the the narrative and the description of this place took over.
A brilliant "other place" that completely takes you over. The vision of the place is completely visual - you can see it on the...
Published on 7 Nov. 2001 by Ian L, Yorkshire

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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great idea, mediocre execution.
Banks is without doubt a remarkably inventive and talented author and "The Bridge" highlights some of his best features - the story is initially gripping and some of the imagery is inspired. Unfortunately the story flags towards the end, losing focus and meandering and not maintaining the mystery and intrigue of the earlier chapters. Whilst I appreciate that this may have...
Published on 4 Feb. 2004 by stuartmurphy4


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3.0 out of 5 stars banks brilliant imagination, but jumps alot, 16 Mar. 2001
This review is from: The Bridge (Audio Cassette)
This is a good book and iain banks has let his imagination run wild in this dream like world that he creates brilliantly around the main character. The only problem is that just as you get into one of the worlds the book jumps which can some times make the book hard to follow and i felt that when banks had his main character in reality , the book did seem a little slow and you just wanted him to write more about the dream worlds that the main character finds himself in . This book is a good read but is far less of a gripping book as the wasp factory or even wlaking on broken glass.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing and inventive, though sometimes confusing, 22 Mar. 2000
This review is from: The Bridge (Paperback)
This is the type of book that you just want to keep reading to find out where the story is going, and what happens at the end. It is a very interesting and imaginative view on the sub-concious. However, I personally found myself getting rather confused at parts, and wondering at their relevance - I'm still baffled at the whole "barbarian with the familiar on his shoulder" thing, so anyone who can shed light on that one, feel free to e-mail me.
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5.0 out of 5 stars my second favorite Iain Banks book read so far!, 17 Mar. 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The Bridge (Paperback)
I became facanated by Banks books, when my English teacher gave me 'the wasp Factuary' since then i have read 'canal dreams', 'walking on glass' and i've just finished 'the bridge'. It certainly is my second favorite book next to 'wasp factuary'. I would certnainly recomend the the book to any returning Banks fans out there. I hope that the next Banks book i go for know will live up to the standard of the Bridge!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Surreal/dark humour interspersed with gritty consciousness., 21 Sept. 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Bridge (Paperback)
If you can't get inside other peoples heads, and immerse yourself in another's thoughts, this may not be the book for you. Not to be taken literally, this book is a dream sequence made print. Occasional bursts of violent discourse are the thoughts of a car accident victim experiencing exquisite pain and hallucination. Top stuff, but probably not a book you'll laugh out loud to.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not for me, 17 Sept. 2009
By 
Peter Lee (Manchester ,United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Bridge (Paperback)
Last year I bought Iain Banks' entire fiction (not SF) catalogue as I'd loved "The Steep Approach to Garbadale" and wanted to try his others, and since then I've been working my way through. I decided to save "The Bridge" until near the end as I'd read that Banks regarded it as his best book, and so this year I took it on holiday with me.

So far my feelings on the books have been polarized, and I've either loved them ("...Garbadale", "The Crow Road", "Espedair Street") or I've hated them ("Walking on Glass", "Canal Dreams", "Complicity"). Sadly "The Bridge" fell into the latter category for me.

"The Bridge" begins with our narrator in a coma in hospital, dreaming that he lives on a massively elongated version of the Forth Bridge, but with people living along its length and vertical axis. The well-off live in the highest parts, whereas the workers and less well-off live beneath the level of the railway. After this imaginative set-up the book becomes a convoluted multi-layered tale where each strand essentially focuses on our narrator but different aspects of his character, and there are many references between each of these storylines, linking each to each. It's all very clever, but I didn't find it at all enjoyable or engaging, more often than not infuriating and not worth the effort.

If, like me, you enjoyed Banks's more "conventional" novels such as "The Crow Road" and "The Steep Approach to Garbadale", this book isn't for you. If, on the other hand, you want something which is more SF than fiction, you may well enjoy it. Sadly it just wasn't my cup of tea. At all.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Creative as always, 25 Mar. 2014
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This review is from: The Bridge (Kindle Edition)
Of all his books, this one gets lost in a few places. But, I've always been a fan of Banks's incredible creativity and messing with your head a little is all part of the reward for me. Such a shame that Iain Banks is no longer with us to take us to these magical places and share these magical stories.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, 6 Sept. 2011
This review is from: The Bridge (Paperback)
I liked the plot. Banks is a great writer and his novels have many twists and turns. They are sometimes a bit in your face. This oje seemed to run out of steam partway through, revived itself and then became a little mundane. A good read though and I would recommend it.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Technically skilful but not an easy read, 30 July 2013
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This review is from: The Bridge (Paperback)
You always get an intriguing read from Iain Banks. This irritated me at times because of its constantly changing 'voices' and the depiction of slang dialect, but I stuck with it and was glad I did. I am intrigued to know what the rest of our reading group made of it.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved This Book, 17 Feb. 2009
By 
Ian B (Northampton UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Bridge (Paperback)
I read this many years ago and it was one of my all time favourite books. It was the kind of book I just didn't want to end. The world of the Bridge itself is captivating, and as such as other reviewers have said, the book loses a little once the protagnist travels away from it as, like many others, I was left wanting for more exploration of this strange and intriguing society.

It's no spoiler to reveal that the Bridge exists only in the protagonist's comatose mind. But it would make a wonderful "real" setting for a novel, or series of novels set in a "real world" of The Bridge, and I have no doubt that it could be totally awesome in a big screen movie. It's one of literature's most compelling settings- and it feels something of a pity that we cannot as readers ever visit it again.

Five stars are not adequate for this novel.
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5.0 out of 5 stars For the most part it is Banks being really on ..., 14 May 2015
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This review is from: The Bridge (Kindle Edition)
For the most part it is Banks being really on form. I thought he lost it a bit on the train journey but that did not detract too much. My five stars might be just a tad generous - I read it to get over a truly dire read for our book group.
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The Bridge
The Bridge by Iain Banks
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