Erik's Reviews > Against a Dark Background

Against a Dark Background by Iain M. Banks
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Nov 27, 09

bookshelves: scififantasy, bottom-shelf, detailed-review

I think another reviewer said it best (gah, I want to use the correct "write it best" but it just doesn't work!) when they wrote this book is ideas over plot.

The ultimate failure of a book is when I can't finish it. I'm at page 330 of 600, and I fully expect to never make it to the end. In short, I'm just not interested. The characters are BLAH. In one of the main protagonist's opening scenes, she beats on a guy with whom she'd been having some sort of love affair who also has no chance of defending himself. He slaps her or something, so she decides she's justified to uppercut him and knock him out so like blood is everywhere and she calls an ambulance. So I figured, not necessarily condemning her, she's a bully who doesn't really care much for people. This wasn't ever really redeemed or made into a likeable flaw/trait. And it's hard to stay in this book's mood when you WANT the main protagonist to actually lose. The narrative is constantly being interrupted by not very poignant flashbacks, and the prose is too descriptive, not at all snappy or to the point as I like it to be. If I want to read description, I'll pick up a Faulkner k thx.

Basically, there's better sci-fi out there. And there's certainly better Iain M. Banks out there. So why settle for this?
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