Use of Weapons Hardcover – 13 Sep 1990
|New from||Used from|
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
There is now no British SF writer to whose work I look forward with greater keenness (THE TIMES)
In many ways his best yet... rich, vivid and great fun. (VECTOR)
To say that Banks is Britain's best writer of science fiction would be to understate the case. He's simply one of our best novelists, whatever the genre. Read him (BOOK PEOPLE)
At last SF as it should be written!... If you aren't as yet familiar with these works I urge you to become so at your earliest opportunity. (CRITICAL WAVE) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
A Culture novel from a modern master of science fiction - a tour de force of brilliant storytelling, world-building and imagination --This text refers to the Perfect Paperback edition.See all Product Description
What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?
Top Customer Reviews
I've read enough of Iain Banks' other work to be able to say that Use of Weapons is almost certainly his masterpiece, which is really saying something compared to the high quality of his other novels. In this book everything just works. The characters are sublimely handled, with Banks immersing you in their lives to the point where you stop thinking of them as characters and instead accept them as people. The structure of the story is inventive without over-relishing its own cleverness. The chapters alternate between a forward-moving story about Diziet tracking down Zakalwe for a new mission, and how that mission unfolds, and a backwards-moving one as we follow Zakalwe's story back to his youth. Just to shake things up, both narratives also feature flashbacks to earlier events as well. The structure could have confusingly imploded in on itself (and earlier drafts stretching back fifteen years before it was published are apparently far more complex), but in the published book it works effortlessly. The storylines may be moving in different directions and feel dislocated from one another, but they collide with impressive force at the end of the novel in a stunning final chapter.Read more ›
Do you like heroes? Plots where good and evil are easily distinguished? Straightforward, linear narratives? That's not here.
The book is like Marmite - there are those that loved it and those that hated it. The reviews from those that hated it make the same complains - basically the reasons I list for it being a great book in the first sentence.
If that sounds like your cup of tea, buy the book, it is the best of its kind. If it's not your thing, don't buy it, it's the worst of its kind.
Personally I think it's Banks' best.
There's a page thumbed down in my much-read edition that describes the origin and nature of a certain chair - the central metaphor of the book. Even as I write about it, my hackles are starting to rise at the thought of what this character did. And yet I liked him, loved the Culture and are lost in awe at Mr Banks' grasp of his art.
There are very few science fiction books that stand up as good literature - this is certainly one of them. Even though I had nightmares for weeks, thank you Iain, for this and for Consider Phlebas (PS I >hated< 'Canal Dreams').
Weird then that I think it should probably be read twice by anyone interested in attempting it.
See, there is a fantastic story in here - unfortunately you get your first taste of it in the last tenth or so of the book when a brutally effective title drop suddenly brings the entire confused narrative into bright focus. From that point on, the book is a revelation - an epiphany that adds all kind of texture and context to the earlier disjointed stories. The problem is, by that time I'd already disengaged with the little character vignettes and I hadn't absorbed the nuance to the extent needed to really appreciate all the subtle inter-sectional elements that were introduced.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Poorly written and lacking a discernable plot, I gave up a third of the way through. However I recommend the fisrt two books in the series.Published 4 months ago by Jonathan Forbes
Self indulgent and difficult to read, I thoroughly enjoyed the first two books in the culture series but frequently lost interest in this one due to oblique plot changes and... Read morePublished 5 months ago by gavv8
One of the best books I've ever read.
Of course, I'm biased - ever since being given "The Bridge" (which is an Iain Banks rather than Iain M. Read more
Dark but gripping story , slightly confusing timeline which requires the reader to pay attention to the chapter numbers to make it clear.Published 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
The best of the 'Culture' stories. An intricate tale told in a convoluted manner so that you don't really know what's going on until the final page. Read morePublished 7 months ago by W. Black
It's a difficult one to get to grips with, but in my opinion, the very best of a prodigious body of work from what will be a sadly missed author. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Darren Davison
Classic Ian M Banks - always mind-blowing, always thought-provokingPublished 9 months ago by Mr. John Butler
My least favourite Culture novel. Story is fractured, doesn't have a sence of drive and has a weak ending.Published 9 months ago by RB