Learn more Download now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn More Shop now Learn more Shop Fire Shop Kindle Learn More Learn more Shop now Learn more



on 1 June 2015
It is debatable whether Iain M Banks 'Culture' civilisation provided a consistant framework upon which he hung his finely crafted stories, or was a straightjacket which restrained his imagination within set circles...whichever, his two non-Culture science fiction novels are absolutely superb and further increase my respect for this fine author. 'The Algebraist' and 'Against a Dark Background' are set in worlds of alternative technology, alternative that is to the beings who inhabit the Culture, and one can imagine drones, AI's and Minds reading them with interest. This is an excellent story missing the high moral tone of so many of Bank's books: it is an adventure story, a 'hunt for a missing artifact' story, with a few twists in the plot to keep the reader guessing. My only regret is that in this book Banks introduced some excellent characters and then.......no, spoilers, I won't write any more. I would suggest however that if you are contemplating this book, try reading a few of the Culture novels first. Because, quite simply "Against a Dark Background" will take your breath away.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 17 May 2016
Probably my favourite Iain M Banks novel - more accessible than his later works.

The 'Dark' in the book's title is reflected throughout the whole novel!

You don't have to be a science fiction nut (I'm not) to enjoy/appreciate this novel - this is a novel of human drama that explores many different aspects (though, mainly the darker sides) of humanity.

Well worth reading - it could be your best Kindle purchase this year.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 29 May 2015
This is Banks at his best. It's not part of the Culture series, but it has a lot of the same writing elements as the Culture books, without some of the downsides (ie. hamfisted philosophy). It's intelligent, thought-provoking, playful, and re-readable.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 6 March 2014
Iain M Banks is a glorious writer. This book is a grand epic with deeply drawn characters and phenomenal landscapes. The story switches from the past to the present, one explaining the other, developing the main character with pain and realism. The writing can be challenging but the result is profoundly rewarding for those caught up in the journey. I am struck by the reviewer who cherishes and revisits this book above others. Read it and you'll see why. Classic Banks.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 9 February 2014
I've read all of Iain's Culture novels, but I missed this non-culture one first time round so I thought I would catch up with it on my Kindle, and I wasn't disappointed. It has all his invention and his usual fast moving plot with believable characters , as usual interspersed with flash-backs. I think the final chapter is one of his best ever.
The only annoyance with otherwise perfect formatting was that the soft hyphens from the book were left in - very sloppy.
Brian Price
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 4 October 2017
...and you like the great Ian Banks` science fiction, then definitely worth a read. Obviously. Would like to read more of Anaplian’s adventures...
Actually I though I was reviewing "Matter" not this novel. Against a Dark Background is one of his best though :)
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 24 August 2011
I'd like to issue a warning for anyone thinking of buying the Kindle edition of this book. There is no line spacing between passages, and it really makes for an awkward read. I've had to revert to reading the paperback edition, as I've already spent too much time going back through the last few paragraphs after realising that I've continued reading from one passage to the next, and the book is actually in a completely different time and place to the last passage.

Other than that, I'm enjoying the book, now that I'm reading the paperback edition, and it makes much more sense!

It's hard for me to rate the book, as I don't want to do the author a disservice, but I cannot rate the product highly, so I've just stuck at three stars.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 25 October 2017
Great series
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 22 February 2016
Presumtious title from a good author who slips up here in my opinion.
11 Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 29 December 2015
A non Culture sci-fi novel, as always with Banks, great characters and a great plot, just not quite his best and misses a bit of the atmosphere of some of the Culture novels.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse

Customers also viewed these items

Excession
£8.99
Matter
£8.99
Inversions
£8.68

Need customer service? Click here