The Culture - a human/machine symbiotic society - has thrown up many great Game Players, and one of the greatest is Gurgeh: Jernau Morat Gurgeh, The Player of Games, master of every board, computer, and strategy.
Bored with success, Gurgeh travels to the Empire of Azad, cruel and incredibly wealthy, to try their fabulous game... a game so complex, so like life itself, that the winner becomes emperor. Mocked, blackmailed, almost murdered, Gurgeh accepts the game, and with it the challenge of his life - and very possibly his death.
©1988 Iain M. Banks (P)2010 Hachette Digital
This is a stunning book, that I had not read, since it first came out when I was a kid. But it was good enough to stick with me over the many intervening years. This reading is fantastic. Great interpretations of the characters. Hope the accents don't upset anybody. Highly,highly recommended. If we are lucky Mr.Kenny will be reading the rest of the series too.( He also did a great job with -Consider Phlebas) ps please hurry with the others, I can't wait until -Excession is given this treatment
A bored, disaffected, dilettante game-playing, genius get's twisted by friend who's no friend...
Ian M. Banks' Culture novels are beyond belief in their scope and richness of detail. They are detailed with plots, characters and environments vividly described. That a story of this length can grip you from beginning to end is amazing and I have no hesitation in recommending it.
IMB's Culture stories are a fascinating mix of sociology, solid character development, lavish detail and staggering imagination. The utopian scale of the Culture is beyond anything I have read in 35 years love of sci-fi and each one of IMB's novels adds more and more levels of interest.
If you've heard or read Consider Phelbas, this is different as it's set within the Culture but you'll love it! The action is break-neck and the story is rich!
My only criticism of the audio version is that the character names are so 'out-there' that it can be a problem to remember who's who. It is easier with a hard-copy novel. But that is small criticism and a backhanded compliment to what is a staggeringly good book that is also very, very well read.
An amazing listen! I’ve read the original book and one of advantages of hear the audio version is that you don’t spend ages trying to guess the pronunciation of the insane names.
A brilliant listen. I highly recommend it.
Without giving anything away, this is a masterful demonstration of how wonderful science-fiction can be to illustrate real-world issues, as well as providing insights on such issues and how we could deal with them better. But beside that, this novel is funny, thrilling, exciting and there are very few authors who can match Banks' imaginative power. This is a rich and consistent world, detailed and nuanced. In my view, the ideal starter book to Banks' culture universe novels, i.e. don't worry if you haven't read any of his other books.
A very strong story with twists and turns that keeps you on your toes. It weaves in sci-fi in the story in a very subtle way making you believe in the world described for you. Exceptionally read by Peter Kenny, I truly belive he felt the pain of the main character. A definite worthy read.
Im really enjoying my long car journeys now with the great collection of books offered by audible. Never having read any of Iain Banks books before, so I didnt know what i was getting into. So two books in to the cutlure series "consider Phelbas and player of games" and im VERY VERY much hooked! So enjoying the culture series. Listened to the first book and loved the settings, GSVs, drones, and the characters !!! Peter Kenny is a fantastic narrator, bringing this amazing sci fi world to life with his clever charactor voices and build up to tense moments !!!
Great stories, great narration !!!!
In short..... Brilliant!!!!
I first read this book back when I was a teenager, many years ago and when I saw it in audible I got quite excited. The narrator reads the story well and once you get used to his accents for people's speaking voices it works very well.
A great story revolving around the culture, which requires no prior knowledge of this series of books to enjoy. Highly recommended sci-fi geek romp!
I remember reading this book several years ago, and certain scenes resonating strongly with me. After recently listening to 'Consider Phlebas' and enjoying the experience much more than when I'd initially read it, I thought I'd give this a go. It was like having the entire book acted out in front of me, and again Peter Kenny's marvellous reading takes most of the credit for making this so powerful.
Now, on to 'Use of Weapons'!
For those who have not read any of the Iain M Banks' culture novels, this is an excellent start. To immerce yourself into his far far futuristic world of "the culture". I will recommend it, actually insist on it. (If there are any other books on which to start please let me know.) Actually thats how I got interesed into the whole "culture" idea, and continued reading others.
Peter Kenny does this book justice. He makes it truly engrossing, and just as good, if not better than reading the book itself. His narratives weave the entire scenarios in the imagination.
Following up Consider Phlebas is The Player of Games, and Peter Kenny's able narration makes the book a joy to listen to. Kenny provides a great variety of voices for the many characters, male, female, drone, mind, apex... without the voices grating. I look forward eagerly to the remainder of Iain Banks's work (with or without the M) reaching audible.
"A Worthwhile listen"
I thoroughly enjoyed, Peter Kenny's rendition of Iain M. Banks' "The Player of Games." Kenny's interpretation, especially his unbelievable mimicking of different drone-like voices, brought the book to life.
"Consider Phlebas," the first Culture novel where man and machine lives in a symbiotic relationship, is in my view, only an introduction to the background aspects necessary to understand this book.
The main character, Gergey, an over comfortable citizen of the Culture, is given a chance to get his cage rattled by playing the game of his life! But like the mysterious narrator tells you in the beginning, it is a story about a battle that was not a battle and a game that turned out not to be a game.
While going with Gergey on this "rollercoaster ride," experiencing how he comes to life, experience emotions he has never felt before, something at the back of the listener's mind keeps on gnawing at you, "Who is this mysterious narrator?" The book plays its own game with you, the question is, will you win or it.
This book comes highly recommended.
There are no listener reviews for this title yet.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.