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Summary

In a world renowned, even within a galaxy full of wonders, a crime occurs within a war. For one man it means a desperate flight and a search for the one, maybe two, people who could clear his name. For his brother it means a life lived under constant threat of treachery and murder. And for their sister, even without knowing the full truth, it means returning to a place she'd thought abandoned forever.

Only the sister is not what she once was. Djan Seriy Anaplian has changed almost beyond recognition to become an agent of the Culture's Special Circumstances section, charged with high-level interference in civilisations throughout the greater galaxy. Concealing her new identity, and her particular set of abilities, might be a dangerous strategy, however. In the world to which Anaplian returns, nothing is quite as it seems; and determining the appropriate level of interference in someone else's war is never a simple matter.

Listen to our fascinating interview with Iain Banks on the Audible.co.uk Podcast.
©2008 Iain M. Banks (P)2008 Hachette Audio

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  • mark
  • Bristol, United Kingdom
  • 03-07-16

An abridged version

No where does it say this in the details and I didn't know this till the end 'titles' which mentioned this.
In fact the word murdered or obliterated fits what has happened here better!
I have loved the 2 Culture books I read before this and Matter felt very different, hurried and like I was missing parts of the story. I was, I was missing 12 hours of the story.
Avoid this version, get the full version!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

multiple world saga

I have not read any of this authors books previously, so I approached with caution. It starts slowly and for about the first 20 minutes I was unsure if I would complete it, however once you have the characters placed in the correct "worlds" it becomes one of those stories that you just have to get to the end of. The character names are not always easy to remember and some of them are very similar, concentrate! Not a bedtime book but a very good tale.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Marie
  • newcastle, United Kingdom
  • 29-11-17

long and waffling

i wanted to love this but it was so long and rambling that I didn't need to pause it when I left the room

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    1 out of 5 stars

unfinished

A terrible book!! Just getting started when it finished!! Is this what 'abridged' means ?

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  • Groobert
  • 08-05-18

ABRIDGED VERSION - STAY AWAY !!!

The full version of this sprawling, excellent, and excellently narrated book is also available - Drop this sorry, mutilated version and go get it now!