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on 18 July 2015
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on 19 May 2011
Having read many Ian M Rankin books and loved them, I looked forward to this one. Sadly though there are many wonderful SF ideas woven through the story but they only serve to show up the poorly developed yet over drawn-out plot lines and characterisations. Some sub-plots are hinted at, re-visited and then just left unexplained or incomplete. It could have been 150 pages shorter and not lost anything. Disappointing.
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A very good read and an interesting plot with a delightful twist shows that Iain has not lost the style of time jumping established in Use of Weapons. The story shows that the Culture is not perfect but then how do you make amends for meddling where history would have played out its natural conclusion, or would it?(read In The Country Of The Blind).
Banks again gives a little more of a peek into the universe that is the Culture and how the time will drag slowly until we are given another, how sad. What seems like a dull group of characters somehow seem all the more fascinating because they have history or baggage to carry through the story. Even the end was a surprise as I had drawn a conclusion by page 295 that was completely blown out. Wonderful story well told.
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VINE VOICEon 28 August 2000
Well, it was worth waiting for - I felt it returned to the same theme as 'The Player of Games' - the Chelgarians had a regime that was inequitable and althought the Culture may have caused the civil war it was just waiting to happen. I like the Culture as a concept and this novel gives you a great chance to get further details on the type of society it represents Whatever its failings the Culture and its actions are preferrable to the Chelgarians - the parallels with modern society are obvious - if you could slap drone criminals today it would make life a lot easier ! I won't say anything on the plot but its complicated asnd lots of fun to follow - in the day and half it took to read ..
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on 2 March 2001
Unlike the frenetic (although equally enjoyable) nature of some previous IMB SF novels, I found Look to Windward to be a very thoughtful, almost poetic novel. Yes, there are considerable passages where nothing much happens, but these are filled with lyrical description and amusing conversation. While novels such as Use of Weapons pelt along at a fair old rate, slinging hard technology at you from all angles, LTW adopts a different manner. Both are equally pleasing, especially when produced by a fine writer such as IMB. While LTW is not quite up there with The Bridge or Player of Games, it is still a fine novel, an engrossing story and a good read all round.I would recommend it to anyone.
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on 23 March 2015
Excellent, Thank You
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on 16 October 2000
Another thriller set in the huge pan-galactic society in which Ian M. Banks' Culture plays a major role.
Those expecting the superhero romps such as 'Payer of Games' and 'Consider Phoebos' will be disappointed as there is no single key character with superpowers in this novel. Instead the novel centres around several quite different characters, some of whom never even know of the others existance, and the complex interplay that they are involved in.
I found it well paced with a few interesting twists along the way, although I did find the ending a little bit of a let down.
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on 19 September 2000
What I like about Banks writing is the stuff he leaves out. No charactor is set aside as being good or bad, but all charactors exist with in their own moral framework. That the charactors are wrong or right, good or bad, etc is left for us to think about but we are never told what to think, and although this book does not have the strong central charators of player of games, considor phlebas, use of weapons etc it still has fully developed, interesting charactors. The story is good, its well written and it makes you think a little. Theres not much more you can ask for.
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on 24 July 2008
I like Bank's novels about the Culture, but Look to Windward is maybe the weakest in the series. Still, it contains some interesting insights into the Culture, like the life of a Hub Mind. The problem is the plot about the agent from another planet, a world where the Culture was responsible for a catastrophe. This just never gets interesting and is too sentimental.
If you like Banks and The Culture, this is of course worth reading, just to get another glimpse of his universe. If you haven't read Banks before, start with Excession or The Player of Games instead.
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on 12 September 2000
In the realm of science fiction, Banks' space opera tapestries are practically unrivalled and there is plenty fresh here to bolster this view. Whilst not hitting the crescendoes of Excession, the airsphere-inhabiting behemothaurs, the dangerous sports on offer at the Orbital, and the spy who does not yet know his true mission offer many opportunities to fire the imagination. If you love Banks you will really enjoy this novel. Having said that, if you are new to the Culture, this is not the book with which to introduce yourself to it. Go chronological.
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