In the winter palace, the King's new physician has more enemies than she at first realises. But then she also has more remedies to hand than those who wish her ill can know about.
In another palace across the mountains, in the service of the regicidal Protector General, the chief bodyguard, too, has his enemies. But his enemies strike more swiftly, and his means of combatin...more
It’s definitely the most subtle of the Culture novels; so subtle that I think a lot of readers aren’t grasping the scope of what it's about. I would suggest only reading Inversions after having read a few other culture novels in close succession; it is very, very subtle but absolutely brilliant.
Told from th ...more
Iain M. Banks' books are packed with big, way-out-there moments. Grandmas explode, people wake up in rooms full of shit, ships run intentiona ...more
Mind you, I didn't quite pick up any definitive proof of actual Culture interference, mind you, because our PoV is actually from the apprentice to the good doctor who hailed from foreign parts, but I think the guess is a very good one, anyway. :)
The plot of Inversions is fairly straightforward - the book is really two interweaved novellas ...more
Suddenly, things became clear. The stories that th ...more
Inversions is a very different approach to what one expects when reading a Culture novel: there's no spaceships, no Artificial Intelligences and no sci fi elements whatsoever. Because of this, Inversions is commonly regarded has one of the weakest entries in the Culture series, but personally, such assessement couldn't be further from the truth: Inversions stands on par with the rest of the series.
Actually I would go even further: Inversions is one of the strongest books ...more
Note: The rest of this review has been withheld due to the ch ...more
4* Consider Phlebas (Culture, #1)
4* The Player of Games (Culture, #2)
4* Use of Weapons (Culture, #3)
4* The State of the Art (Culture, #4)
4* Excession (Culture, #5)
4* Inversions (Culture, #6)
TR Look to Windward (Culture, #7)
TR Matter (Culture, #8)
TR Surface Detail (Culture #9)
TR The Hydrogen Sonata (Culture #10)
For those who aren’t familiar with the premise to this one: the Culture is not mentioned by name at all in Inversions. On its surface, this is a split narrative on a pre-industrial planet. Alternating chapters follow Vosill, foreign doctor to the King Quience of Haspidus, and DeWar ...more
Banks is a well-established name in the space opera genre. In the literary world, he's basically synonymous with modern galaxy-spanning stories featuring alien aliens, snarky drones, 50-kilometre spaceships with attitude, absurd tech, taking place in a far-flung, utopian universe that's only utopian because of some very un-utopian tactics used by space agents. Banks literally has the universe in his fingertips. He was established enough as a writer that he could get away w ...more
I've found that my enjoyment of th ...more
Inversions is about so many worthy ideas, so many ideas that deserve serious consideration, and the book tackles each idea in ways that are both insightful and enjoyable for the reader. Yet this i ...more
If you haven't read any of the culture series books yet, you might enjoy this book, but you will miss all references to the overall series - which I think would be a pity because this is what the book is all about.
"Most men would rather not hear what their fellows have done, what people who may indeed be very like them are capable of."
I don't think this would have been obvious back when the book first came out (I certainly did not think about it on my first reading), but after another trip through Iain M. Banks' 1998 novel Inversions, I now see it as a highly-compressed Game of Thrones—and one which, unlike George R.R. Martin's series to date, actually has an ending. Though Inversions lacks ...more
Anyway. I didn't like Inversions quite as much as Banks' other work; this one was more slow-moving and sedate, and only really turned to Banks' perfect break-neck pace towards the very end. So do be prepared for a slow pace, mainly milling around daily life at court; nothing much actually happens, and it's mainly about character exploration, about fallible narrators, about perspective, about piecing together the puzzle and wonde ...more
The more I reflect on Inversions, the more inverted everything seems. It's a book largely about perspect ...more
To fully appreciate the subtle nuances and hidden gems in it, i think it's better to have read at least some other Culture books, not because of any interlinked story but to appreciate the quiet hints dropped in it. De ...more
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