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on 1 August 2001
Banks built some good foundations at the beginning of this book. The story was interesting and well written. BUT (!) yes, he does rush it towards the end with an implausible conclusion. I've read all of his other books and this was by far the weakest.
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on 7 July 2000
After a promising start this book gets bogged down in acres of pointless dialogue which you have to suppress the urge to just scan through. The ending was far too obvious, I was waiting for a twist that never appeared.
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on 23 August 1999
Absolute Pants, Banks has written some top Novels but this really isnt one of his best - waffly and lacks the usual gripping intensity of his other works. Go read Complicity for a really good Banks Novel.
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on 23 August 1999
Absolute Pants, Banks has written some top Novels but this really isnt one of his best - waffly and lacks the usual gripping intensity of his other works. Go read Complicity for a really good Banks Novel.
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on 12 November 2001
Yet again Iain Banks has written another brilliant book. Its always a pleasure to read any of his writings. Sometimes it takes a while to find the 'hook' of some books, but not often. While the 2 personas of Iain Banks write what appears to be different genre books, over time there seems to be a blending of the 2 styles ie in the fiction we see elements of sci fi/futurology/unknown, while the SF side has eternal human stories, with the science presented as given fact. This book has all those blends and is a craking good read! I really couldn't put it down, and when I had to ( work etc) I was desperate to get back to it. Brilliant!!
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on 27 November 2000
I've always found Iain Banks a bit hit and miss and this is definitely a miss. There is a semblance of a plot which shows some promise early on but this is followed by vast acres of nothingness until Banks himself appears to get bored with the whole thing and bring it to an abrupt and unsatisfactory end.
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on 10 April 2016
Good
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on 14 November 2000
Having never read an Iain Banks book befor I was plesently supprised. Having heard horror stories about his books being dificult to read and somewhat iratic, I took this book up with caution. I was however glad that I did take it up. Not being one to dabble to much in the rhelms of Sci-Fi, I thought this would be a good imalgamation of a little Sci-Fi and general fiction. It is! The book is compelling and interesting if just a little stale in the second half. The charicters are interesting if not in-depth, and the plot is thoughtful if not gripping. I would recomend this to fans of genuine fiction, fiction that could not possibly happen in the real world. It offers an insight in to the plausable if not possible. I have read better books, indeed I have read much better books. But I have also read much worse books and enjoyed them.
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on 5 November 2001
This is the one and only book by Banks that I have read and to be honest it has turned me off venturing to read any of his other novels. I thought the basic concept of this novel was good (that's why I bought it!), however I rapidly began to feel that Banks didn't treat a theme like "international covert organisations" with the necessary depth or power to be expected. I got an impression that he had a great idea but such was the scale needed to present this theme, he instead opted to make a concise, second best attempt at a plot and therefore fell short of the mark. In addition I felt that - bar one - the characters really lacked depth or dimention. Sorry Mr Banks, I was totally unimpressed!
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on 7 July 2009
This is a stinker! I've read a few Iaiaiain Banks novels before and have only picked this up recently, but it was awful.
There's not a character in the whole thing that is remotely appealing. You wind up hoping one of the planes to the Himalayas will crash so as to spare us all from more ridiculous ponderings from characters apparently way beyond Banks' ken. The excruciatingly painful and awkward references to then-contemporary music are almost enough to make you dispose of the book before completing it. Unfortunately I persevered to the end before confining this to a forgotten corner of a provincial hotel, from where I hope it never troubles anyone again.
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