11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Fantastic but difficult book,
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This review is from: Feersum Endjinn (Paperback)
The world of "Feersum Endjinn" is incredibly weird. Set in the very far future, the Encroachment threatens the Earth with a new Ice Age and the possible extinction of life on the planet itself. Only the remnants of a civilisation are left on Earth ,with most of the rest of its inhabitants having long since departed for the stars. The society that is left is totally bizarre; it is organised on feudal lines and most of the people live in a huge castle the size and height of a large mountain range. The inhabitants have developed very strange and alien powers of the mind; they possess implants to provide them with AI and their minds are "shared" in a hierarchical manner , with "The Privileged" being able to access people minds at will.In parallel with the real world, there is a surreal virtual reality world called "The Crypt" which people can access through their mind ; a sort of world data bank that contains all the thoughts and actions of the past , a world into which people can even download their souls for reincarnation after death, often returning as chimerical animals. It is the complex interaction between the real world and The Crypt which makes this book a difficult one to understand and enjoy. Banks makes a lot of demands on the reader as he creates this convincing but radically different future world. A world where Life and the Afterlife , the Spirit and the Material World ,have fused together and created a totally new reality.