Luke Burrage's Reviews > Surface Detail

Surface Detail by Iain M. Banks
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really liked it
bookshelves: recommended-by-sfbrp-listeners, audio-book, ebook
Read 2 times. Last read June 6, 2011 to August 16, 2014.

Full review on my podcast, SFBRP #129.

Also another discussion with Juliane on episode #242 as part of the Culture series read-through.
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
November 2, 2010 – Shelved
November 2, 2010 – Shelved as: recommended-by-sfbrp-listeners
June 5, 2011 – Shelved as: audio-book
June 6, 2011 – Started Reading
June 7, 2011 –
15.0% "Loving it so far! Is Banks back on form with his Culture novels?"
June 12, 2011 –
70.0% "A slow part in the middle."
July 13, 2014 – Shelved as: ebook
July 13, 2014 –
2.0% "Starting up the Culture series again. Last time I listened to this as an audiobook. This time out I'm reading it as an ebook."
July 19, 2014 –
25.0% "So many people die so many times."
August 16, 2014 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-11 of 11 (11 new)

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message 1: by Tamahome (new) - added it

Tamahome I'd be curious of your thoughts on this one (Time Ships too).


Paul Forbes Phew, I just finished the latest Iain M. Bank, 627 pager “Surface Detail”. The main thread of the novel is about a tattooed slave girl Lededje Y'breq who is murdered by her owner, Jolier Veppers in a fight that occurs when she tried to escape his slavery for the upteeth time. Veppers, a cross between Bill Gates, Peter Stringfellow and Hugh Heffner but more evil, more handsomer and much older, is a highly respected industrialist on his planet and beyond and could do without any scandal emerging that he committed murder. Unfortunately for him and as a total surprise to her, Lededje’s murder isn’t the end of her… [Not a spoiler as this happens within the first few chapters]
But things are not that simple as there are other protagonists and storylines in the novel including that of a Contact agent called Yime Nsokyi and a war against good and evil in the virtual hells called “Hells” where the souls of human and alien races are sent for torment, plus the story of two lovers held in one of the Hells. But the war in the virtual Hells is about to spill out into the reality called “The Real”…
Fans of Iain M. Banks are in for a treat because this is him right back on form with an interesting female lead character, Culture vessels with amusing names, Contact section nicely sticking their noses in where they shouldn’t and best of all hilarious interaction between people, ship Minds and their avatars. Oh yes, there’s also some Special Circumstances trickery... There are quite a few “Wow” moments and some great new technology not seen before in any other Culture novels.
“Surface Detail” is my second favorite Iain M. Banks novel after “Consider Phlebas” and will get some repeat readings (it’s quite complex and will need it!) There are some great reveals and couple of twists and just wait until you read the very last line…
Five out of five.
P.s. Thanks Carl for lending it to me before you even read it. Now I have to buy my own copy!


message 3: by Tamahome (new) - added it

Tamahome It's on audible btw


message 4: by Tom (new) - rated it 4 stars

Tom Rowe I'm glad to see that Audible is putting Bank's stuff on their site. The reader Peter Kenny is really good to.


message 5: by Tamahome (new) - added it

Tamahome Looking forward to the review.


Josh I enjoyed this book, and I'm also interested in your thoughts, Luke.


message 7: by Tamahome (new) - added it

Tamahome Will you wear exotic contact lenses for the picture?


message 8: by Tamahome (new) - added it

Tamahome Hmm, if it's got some boring parts, maybe I'll just hope HBO adapts it into a 10 hour miniseries.


Isabel (kittiwake) I've just listened to your review and it sounds as if the ship minds have Whuffie!


message 10: by Tamahome (new) - added it

Tamahome Wow, I hadn't listened recently, so the Apple Podcasts app stopped updating your feed.


message 11: by Amy (new) - added it

Amy Yeah, the new version of iTunes is being really aggressive about that. "Recent" seems to be a couple of weeks since the last show was uploaded.


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