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The Player of Games Paperback – 10 Aug. 1989
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- Paperback : 309 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1857231465
- ISBN-13 : 978-1857231465
- Product Dimensions : 12.9 x 2.1 x 19.6 cm
- Publisher : Orbit; New Ed Edition (10 Aug. 1989)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: 14,797 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer reviews:
Poetic, humorous, baffling, terrifying, sexy - the books of Iain M. Banks are all these things and more (NME)
Banks is an incredibly talented writer. All his books are lively and entertaining. They are laced with a wry humour, fascinating characters and inspired plots. THE PLAYER OF GAMES, I am pleased to say is no exception... Go on, treat yourself, you won't be disappointed. (STARBURST)
In The Player of Games, Iain M. Banks presents a distant future that could almost be called the end of history. Humanity has filled the galaxy, and thanks to ultra-high technology everyone has everything they want, no one gets sick, and no one dies. It's (Brooks Peck, AMAZON.CO.UK)
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Top reviews from United Kingdom
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Banks at his best has the ability to mix thought-provoking subject with gripping narratives and a wondrous imagination. I also feel that the books have a fantastical nature to them. By this, I refer to the portrayal of a world which the reader longs to be part of.
Anyone wanting to enter the Culture universe would do well to first read Banks' online essay on the Culture: "A FEW NOTES ON THE CULTURE". It's good background to the concepts introduced by the books without in any way containing spoilers.
I'm going to drop this series, I was under the impression that Ian M Banks was a great scifi author but so far I have seen nothing to suggest this, and I do not wish to continue with the Culture series.
This novel focuses on Gurgeh, a man who plays games at the highest level, who travels to a distant planetary system - the Acadian Empire - to compete in the game which shapes their society. This is a society utterly unlike the Culture - cruel, hierarchical, hypocritical - a kind of horrid blend of ancient Rome and totalitarian regimes today.
Once there Gurgeh faces challenges unlike anything he has every experienced before. The novel races along with page turning narrative, conjuring up one mental image after another. It is fantastic reading, and hasn't aged a day.
The story of Jerneau Gurgeh, The Player of Games, is incredibly immersive and well-paced, with a fabulous amount of detail within the narrative and some incredibly interesting characters. There are subtle (and not so subtle) nods at our own culture and society throughout the book, and you will find yourself drawn in.
The end-game itself is quite thrilling.
I absolutely recommend this book to anyone, but especially if you have read any Peter F. Hamilton (and you should have, he too is a genius!), as this haute sci-fi will really excite you.
What at first might be described as Utopian Space Opera becomes more political towards the end of the novel as Gurgeh gets more involved with The Empire and their problematic style of society. We get a taste of the dystopian Iain Banks and it is not sweet.