Two and a half millennia ago, the artifact appeared in a remote corner of space, beside a trillion-year-old dying sun from a different universe. It was a perfect black-body sphere, and it did nothing. Then it disappeared. Now it is back.
©1996 Iain M. Banks (P)2013 Hachette Digital
"Gripping, touching and funny." (TLS)
"A dizzying adventure." (Daily Mail)
"Explosive but tender." (Sunday Times)
I have waited a long time for 'Excession' to be available on Audible and was frankly worried that it couldn't be converted into an audio book but I needn't have worried! Peter Kenny's narration is superb, his interpretation of the characters is spot on and the book is wonderfully presented! I believe this to be 'Iain M. Banks' finest work and I have read them all, it is a true Sci-fi masterpiece on an epic scale, the characters, both the ships AI's, as well as the people, both Contact and alien, are well rounded and interesting, you want to hear their stories and you are sad when the book comes to it's thrilling climax! Lets hope there is a sequel soon! 5*
"Superb story, better narration"
This book is classic sci-fi covering all scales. There are human stories, various races, Culture Ship Minds and even, from certain viewpoints, the microscopic. Although it contains a huge amount of technical information on the Ships (the story being largely concerned with these) it never becomes bogged down in pointless detail and remains constantly fascinating. It treads a fine line between fleshing out the Culture universe as a whole and maintaining a strong element of mystery. It's great to see the all-powerful and infinitely intelligent ship Minds totally stumped and humbled by something they can't even begin to explain.
Peter Kenny's reading is of such a high standard that this constitutes, to my mind, a definitive edition of the story. This reading manages that rare feat of actually improving on the original work. Here's hoping that Iain M. Banks keeps on writing them and that Peter Kenny keeps on reading them!
Great book, best Culture novel along with Use of Weapons, was looking forward to this audio book and it doesn't disappoint. Peter Kenny is brilliant as usual. Just a quick gripe about the review By Lester from Ilford; should you really be accepting reviews from people who haven't even bothered to finish a book before giving a review?
"Best Culture Novel"
I read the paperback a good few year ago and the audiobook version is great. If you follow the Culture series, then this one is a must with plenty of minds and SC involvement with great creativity!
"YOU WILL BE AMAZED (OR NOT GET IT AT ALL)!"
Ian M Banks has an imagination almost beyond compare. I had not read any of his 'Culture' novels, so did not know what to expect. I don't think this novel would have worked has an audio book without the sheer brilliance of the narrator Peter Kenny.
With its mixture of weired aliens and sentient space ships the size of small planets able to travel at thousands of times the speed of light. The human's seeming to be a only a part of the overall scheme of things. The story is a vast intertwining saga of beauty and madness.
Excession is a story which will appeal to the open minded (or the insane!) Science Fiction fan. For me it was a joy, but be warned, some of you will just not get it!
Having loved every culture novel I have read to date, I struggled with Excession.
The concept of the novel is great and the narration by Peter Kenny is brillant (as ever).
But I really struggled to distinguish between all the various characters, especially the minds. The whole plot seems to hinge on a few plot contrivances, which in other Culture novels I have swallowed without a second though, but here there was a definite 'what'.
I have a feeling that this all may have been different if I had read the book rather than listened to it.
"A breathtaking read!"
Without doubt the I.M.B. book I’ve most eagerly anticipated and I have not been let down.
The Minds of the Culture come out to play and the depth of the human characters, the colourful tapestry against which the live, is stunning.
I’m not going to give anything away about the plot but if you like Banks’ Culture stories just download and enjoy my friend!
"My favourite fiction book of all time"
And really done justice by the reader who is just BRILLIANT. Characters are well voiced, the story is just awesome, I loved it so much when I read it the first time that I turned straight back to the first page and read it all over again. I'm going to do the same with the audio book.
I was so sorry to hear that Iain M. Banks had cancer and wish him all the very best
The Culture novels - you either love them or hate them. This is one of the best of the series. The narration is excellent - one of the aspects of the novel that's a bit trying are the conversations between Minds, and the narrator does an amazing job of giving the Minds different voices which makes it much easier to follow.
"I gave up"
Sorry but I finally gave up on this book - I found the story itself too long-winded and padded with what seem to me to be irrelevancies (e.g. instead of 'message from x' you get something like 'message dated x, sender y, recipient z, timed at tttt, security level xx...' ) and I pretty quickly got fed up with that.
Maybe you have to be a big Banks fan to appreciate it.
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