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Mõtle Phlebasest (Culture #1)

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  56,401 Ratings  ·  2,829 Reviews
The war raged across the galaxy. Billions had died, billions more were doomed. Moons, planets, the very stars themselves, faced destruction, cold-blooded, brutal, and worse, random. The Idirans fought for their Faith; the Culture for its moral right to exist. Principles were at stake. There could be no surrender.

Within the cosmic conflict, an individual crusade. Deep withi
Paperback, 504 pages
Published 1998 by Varrak (first published April 23rd 1987)
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Chris Kok I'd say... about the same. Lots of space battles and death. But, with lasers and plasma guns rather than swords and axes. If that makes sense?

I'd say... about the same. Lots of space battles and death. But, with lasers and plasma guns rather than swords and axes. If that makes sense?

Plus, the "gory details" often include alien physiology - so, purple blood, three legged aliens, and so on. Or, sentient machines. (less)
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Chris Kok
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J.G. Keely
Welcome to another edition of 'Notable Genre Author Fails to Impress Some Guy on the Internet', I'll be your host: some guy.

Like so many highly-lauded authors featured here, Banks has been haunting my shelf for quite some time now. Countless are the times I have passed this book before bed, letting my eyes linger longingly on the spine, relishing the notion that I will actually read this book, some day. There have even been those occasions where I thumbed it down, peering at the cover, carefull
Nov 21, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Many discerning readers, even ones who like SF, will reflexively sneer if you say the dreaded words "space opera". One need only think of E.E. Doc Smith, for a long time the unquestioned king of this particular sub-genre. I read Galactic Patrol when I was at primary school; like innumerable other geeky nine year olds, I adored it, and particularly loved the "Helmuth speaking for Boskone" tagline. I also remember how, aged 12 or 13, I picked it up to see if the magic was still there. Oh dear! It ...more

And today, mine is going to be unpopular. But remember the advice from 9th grade Advanced English teacher Mrs. Muench about metaphors. Or maybe I mean false equivalency. Regardless: you are not what you like. If I dislike something you love, I am not disliking you. But you may not want to read my review, friends who love this book.

Consider Phlebas is classic sci-fi that I missed growing up. Periodically, I try to exercise my genre core, and it was with a bit of ‘read-harder’ spirit that I picke
mark monday
Jun 26, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Consider Iain M. Banks. an unsentimental, often ruthless writer. his characters are provided robust emotional lives and richly detailed backgrounds... all the better to punish the reader when those characters meet their often bleak fates. his narratives are ornate affairs, elaborately designed, full of small & meaningful moments as well as huge, wide-scale world-building...all the better to deliver a sucker punch directly to the reader's gut when those narratives turn out to be ironic, prede ...more
Jan 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: faves, sci-fi
I can't really say much, other than Iain Banks has become my #1 favorite Sci-Fi author. I love the way he fleshes out flawed, believable characters in a Space Opera setting. I'm always surprised by his writing, and that keeps me coming back for more. If you're not into the genre, but want to give it a try, pick up this book. You will not regret it!
This is the second Culture book I read but the first one Iain M. Banks wrote. One of us did something wrong, because I liked The Player of Games a lot more, and yet my reasons for not liking Consider Phlebas are almost all about what the book isn't.

It isn't about the Culture, for one thing. Sort of. Not really. The other books in the series are from the perspective of a citizen of the Culture, which is difficult to define succinctly so I will just say, imagine if you lived in a universe where yo
Dec 05, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone that thought Spaceballs was a clever SciFi movie.
Recommended to Richard by: Robin Barooah
Two stars is about right.

Voltaire said something like "the best is the enemy of the good" (okay, he actually said le mieux est l'ennemi du bien). But what is really annoying is that the coulda-been-good is more disappointing than the meh.

Banks clearly has a great deal of imagination. If he was able to discipline himself, he'd have some four-star stuff going on here, easily — maybe better.

But he fritters away his energy on irrelevant grotesquerries, like a schoolboy scrawling naughty pictures ins
I read all of Iain Banks' Culture books in order in which they were written, beginning with Consider Phlebas and ending with the latest, Surface Detail, from 2008 through 2010. Consider Phlebas being the first Culture book Banks wrote, it was the first I read back in the Spring of 2008. I liked it. One might even say I liked it a lot. But I didn't love it. Not yet.

I just re-read Consider Phlebas and I can tell you it’s a whole different book when you have the entire collection under your belt. T
Nov 10, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Be warned. This book is hard-core, gateway reading-crack. Science fiction loving readers will be incurably hooked, staying up late, letting their social life decay and cravenly devouring all the Iain M. Banks they can get their hands on in a desperate, sleep-deprived book-orgy. Well, that’s what happened to me anyway.

As is obvious, I loved this book. Consider Phlebas is everything I want in science fiction, and it is where my passionate love of Iain Banks’ work began. This is big concept, spraw
Aug 29, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
“You’re ruled by your machines. You’re an evolutionary dead end. The trouble is that to take your mind off it you try to drag everybody else down there with you.”

Back to the beginning. Consider Phlebas is the first book of the Culture series (ten volumes in total, I believe), one of the most beloved sci-fi book series ever, written by the late great Iain M. Banks, feel free to confuse him with the equally late and great Iain Banks, who is indeed the same writer but is described as a “literary
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  • Absolution Gap
  • Prador Moon  (Polity Universe, #1)
  • The Naked God (Night's Dawn, #3)
  • Newton's Wake: A Space Opera
  • Saturn's Children (Freyaverse #1)
  • A Fire Upon the Deep (Zones of Thought, #1)
Iain M. Banks is a pseudonym of Iain Banks which he used to publish his Science Fiction.

Banks's father was an officer in the Admiralty and his mother was once a professional ice skater. Iain Banks was educated at the University of Stirling where he studied English Literature, Philosophy and Psychology. He moved to London and lived in the south of England until 1988 when he returned to Scotland, li
More about Iain M. Banks...

Other Books in the Series

Culture (10 books)
  • The Player of Games (Culture, #2)
  • Use of Weapons (Culture, #3)
  • The State of the Art (Culture, #4)
  • Excession (Culture, #5)
  • Inversions (Culture, #6)
  • Look to Windward (Culture, #7)
  • Matter (Culture, #8)
  • Surface Detail (Culture #9)
  • The Hydrogen Sonata (Culture #10)
“Experience as well as common sense indicated that the most reliable method of avoiding self-extinction was not to equip oneself with the means to accomplish it in the first place.” 35 likes
“I had nightmares I thought were really horrible until I woke up and remembered what reality was at the moment.” 18 likes
More quotes…