Sharrow was once the leader of a personality-attuned combat team in one of the sporadic little commercial wars in the civilisation based around the planet Golter. Now she is hunted by the Huhsz, a religious cult which believes that she is the last obstacle before the faith's apotheosis. Her only hope of escape is to find the last of the apocalyptically powerful Lazy Guns before the Huhsz find her. Her journey through the exotic Golterian system is a destructive and savage odyssey into her past, and that of her family and of the system itself.
©1993 Iain M. Banks (P)2012 Hachette Digital
"Imaginatively brilliant." (Daily Mail)
"Banks ain't kidding. He warned you up front that this is a dark novel." (Norman Spinrad)
"Few of us have been exposed to a talent so manifest and of such extraordinary breadth." (The New York Review of Science Fiction)
"There is now no British SF wirter to whose work I look forward to with greater keenness." (The Times)
"Dark & difficult"
Although I love Iain banks and love all his culture books. this story floored me. from the start I found it very difficult to follow what was going on and only until half way did I really get to grips with what was happening. He is undoubtedly an excellent of science fiction writer but this book was pretty challenging. This is partly to do with listening to the book rather than reading it. Nevertheless the ending pretty unsatisfying. I will certainly re-read/listen to the book and hope the end improves ...
"It's probably just me but..."
I have listened to most of his books and thought they were all brilliant. He's a fantastic writer and I look forward to listening to his books. I listened to about 2 hours of this and realised I had no idea what was going on so I started again. I have just finished the first of the three parts and again I have no idea what is going on. Sometimes a book unravels so you are put in the picture and everything comes together in the end. That may well happen in this book but I have no idea what has happened so far as the book is very disjointed. It's well read but maybe it demands more of my attention than my usual books. I will go back to it but I've just removed it and downloaded The Hydrogen Sonata to see if I fair better with that one.
I may have to actually read this book as I'm having no luck listening to it.
"A dark story with interesting characters"
The book lives up to its name. It is a dark story. The majority of the Characters are as eccentric as Banks usual efforts. The story is engrossing but not as good as some of the culture series.
The book is enjoyable and disturbing in equal measure!
The Narrator Peter Kenny is good as ever. He has an interesting voice which brings the story alive.
Not one Banks best but worth a read.
"Quality Sci Fi"
Enjoyed the book would recomend it to fellow listeners, naration was good, I am an a artist and listen to these books while I paint
"My least favourite..."
I completely agree with the other reviews. For some reason this just feels disjointed and I've found myself having to rewind parts because I feel like I've missed something. There's too much irrelevant backstory and I just didn't really warm to any of the characters. Desperately in need of some Culture!
"A decent book well read but not Banks' best."
This book was well read by Peter Kenny which for me went someway to making up for the short comings of the author in places, yes I really did write the last bit which was a little galling as I normally enjoyed his work. As usual the plot lines are strong and the characters engaging. It did seem at times however that bits of the text were purely padding but the thing that actually bother me most was one of the things that usually makes a Banks' book so interesting - which characters will survive. It did seem a bit formulaic in places as the body count rose. I felt this detracted from his normal approach where you don't know if any character will make it to the end. At times it can feel like an opera where everyone will be dead by then end. On balance a good book which was well read but not quite Banks at his best. This may well reflect my expectations of Banks who I think is an extremely creative and engaging writer. And if someone else had written this I would have thought it an excellent performance I just think that Banks is a star and this doesn't quite reach his usual standard.
Again Iain M Banks has managed to combine writing that would please those having an Eng. Lit. degree with a science fiction story that satisfies those from the other side of the two cultures. A unique talent.
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