Absolutely fantastic. Reading it for the second time gives new meaning to the Culture. After having read other Culture novels, most of which are toldAbsolutely fantastic. Reading it for the second time gives new meaning to the Culture. After having read other Culture novels, most of which are told from the Cultures perspective, coming back to Consider Phlebas adds a new understanding to the incredible universe that Iain M. Banks has created. Principally because the main protagonist is on the side of the Idirans who are at war with the Culture. It's a refreshing perspective that answers a number of questions about the nature of the utopian society. The scale is suitably vast and colourful and whilst we are guided through the most impressively thought out of space opera landscapes, it is the story that drives the plot rather than having a plot that exists just to service a journey through imaginative vistas.
I loved the Eaters. It's a superb allegory to our own ignorance and a microcosm of the absurdity of the wider conflict. Banks doesn't pull his punches with his characters either. Their own inadequacies and assumed superiority are all tested to the ultimate conclusion. He also has a canny way of using the characters foibles and persona's to connect with the reader in a way that very unforced and beguiling. It's all here. Humorous drones, vast orbitals, huge General System Vehicles, tripodal aliens, incredible technology and sentient computer minds. This is a fantastic tale, right up to its breathless conclusion.
This certainly ranks as one of my favourite Good reads....more