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Summary

Count Sessine is about to die for the very last time.... Chief Scientist Gadfium is about to receive the mysterious message she has been waiting for from the Plain of Sliding Stones.... And Bascule the Teller, in search of an ant, is about to enter the chaos of the crypt.... And everything is about to change.... For this is the time of the encroachment and, although the dimming sun still shines on the vast, towering walls of Serehfa Fastness, the end is close at hand.

The King knows it, his closest advisers know it, yet still they prosecute the war against the clan Engineers with increasing savagery. The crypt knows it too; so an emissary has been sent, an emissary who holds the key to all their futures.

©1994 Iain M. Banks (P)2012 Hachette Digital

Critic reviews

"Another truly impressive piece of work from the pen of a master storyteller" ( Starburst)
"Dazzlingly original" ( Daily Mail)
"Banks is a phenomenon: the widly successful, fearlessly creative author of brilliant and disturbing non-genre novels, he's equally at home writing pure science fiction of a peculiarly gnarly energy and elegance" ( William Gibson)

What members say

Average customer ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Performance

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Story

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Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Brought the novel to life for me

Honestly, Feersum Endjinn was never my favourite Banks book, but Peter Kenny's excellent narration brought it to life for me in a way reading it didn't, all those years ago. Kenny's intonation and characterisation are perfectly suited to Banks' intricate plots and diverse characters, and this was thoroughly enjoyable.



I'd recommend Feersum Endjinn to any Banks fan out there. It's not perhaps the easiest one to start with, if you're new to his science-fiction. Instead, head for 'Consider Phlebas', Banks' first science-fiction novel and, happily, also narrated by Peter Kenny.



Just the best-value SF audiobooks I've come across!

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Another masterpiece by the master

Any additional comments?

Don't be put off by the reviews about the phonetic speech, doesn't apply to an audible book!
Put me off for a while but no problem when listening.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Interesting story, great narration

Very interesting and enjoyable story, a bit confusing at first but still fun to try to work out what's going on, though I would have preferred some things to have been explained earlier. Brilliant characters and fantastic ideas, with several characters' stories running alongside each other. The book has a well thought out and described world, giving it a sweeping sci-fi epic feel which I really liked. Very good book!

Narration is great. All the characters have distinct voices, and Bascule's section is particularly good. In the actual book, his sections are written phonetically, which can make them a struggle to follow:

"Woak up. Got dresd. Had brekfast. Spoke wif Ergates thi ant who sed itz juss been wurk wurk wurk 4 u lately master Bascule, Y dont u ½ a holiday?"

Listening to the audiobook avoids this problem, and I much preferred it, as it didn't break the flow of the story. However, if you want the true experience of reading his sections as they were written, then you'll need to get the book. Personally, I'd recommend the audio instead.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mark
  • Banchory, United Kingdom
  • 06-02-13

Feersum Good

I first read Feersum Endjinn many years ago when it first came out. At the time I heard the book in my head in Scottish accents. Also - I found the book quite confusing with Bascule the Teller's dyslexia making it slightly heavy going.

So the audiobook was with an English accent - which threw me - but it was very well read and I thouroughly enjoyed the telling! Well done Kenny! So a decent book made great by good telling. Scottish accents could have been more fun though - but that would have been icing on the cake!

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Brilliant world building, unusual styles

First of all, I found it took a good few chapters to get into. I've found this with a few of Banks' novels. He often throws you straight into the story with no background, only later do some things, like people's titles or names for technologies, get explained. However, once you get past that, it all falls into place and you have great stories with interesting and odd characters in some fantastic worlds. This is no exception. One character in particular has an odd style of speech, and this is based directly on how his chapters were written in the book, after seeing some of this written down the peculiar pronunciation made more sense. Peter Kenny does a fantastic job with the voices, I particularly liked Bascule.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Flawless delivery by Peter Kenny.

I always felt the phonetic spelling for Bascilles narration spoilt the flow of the book which is both brilliant and Feersumly inventive . I have listened to a few audio books by Iain Banks including other performers and Peter Kenny was simply outstanding. His range across a wide variety of characters was truly impressive. For me this is the best audio book performance to date and really brought the book to life.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Award winning narration (should be if it isn't)

Once again, Peter Kenny and Ian M Banks are an amazing combination. Easily the best narration of a story, that's has large chunks written phonetically, I've heard.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Banks and Kenny at their absolute best. A cracker.

Such original and mesmerising ideas, and so visual and humorous. this would make a brilliant film.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

How about a sudden en

Great concept. However I felt there was more of the story to tell and I was looking forward to it when I got to the last page.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Enjoyable if still muddled

Peter Kenny does as brilliant a job as any but in this book I think the lines between the virtual and real worlds become too easily blurred and I was left trying to understand if the extraordinary characters were alive in 'base reality' or just the crypt. Still worth the price and contains more than enough of his usual themes to be worth having.