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on 2 December 2016
Too many sub-plots. Too many characters. Fascinating as always! Another interesting Culture instalment in this amazing, rich universe Banks created.
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on 5 April 2017
Whatever pre conceived ideas you might have,and however confident you might be of an eventual outcome,it will be far beyond your expectations,it may even need a second read,a real tour de force!
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on 13 January 2017
The 1st of the Culture series so far, which has actually been mainly about the culture. Galaxy spanning stuff, orbitals, sentient spaceships,drones, aliens, ridiculous weapons, the full works......This book is awesome!!
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on 20 September 2017
This'll is a great and very imaginative story but with an evolving narrative that you need to stick with in the beginning. You have no idea where the story is heading and are kept guessing until the last, but all loose ends are neatly tied up.
The book could gain from a 'dramatist personae' as there are lots of strange names and it's hard to follow whose doing what to who at times.
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on 24 April 2014
Possibly my favourite book of all time. The humour is outstanding, the arguments between machines, the bickering and plotting, the way they talk about humans, all of it is simply fantastic.
The story is gripping throughout.

This is the book that introduced me to the world that Iain M Banks created and I have since bought every single book in the Culture series.

A must read for science-fiction fans.
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on 21 June 2017
As always, with Iain M. Banks, the novel's plot is convoluted and complex, and a great read!
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on 15 September 2017
And another good read!
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on 29 April 2017
... but enjoyable.
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on 18 August 2017
Cracking.
Loved this story.
Great inter-ship dialogue.
Great scenario.
Slightly slower inbetweeny human bits. Awesome story, in an awesome universe.
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on 20 January 2015
This is Iain M Banks at his very best. The scope of imagination, the humour and the characterisation is outstanding. I've read this book four or five times now and it still thrills me even tho I know the story. For me it stands as the pinnacle of all his works. If you've not yet read it I envy you - you are in for a treat.
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