kat's Reviews > Transition

Transition by Iain Banks
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's review

really liked it
bookshelves: read-in-2015, owned-ebook

Based on the cover blurb, I passed over this book many times before actually reading it. Thankfully the blurb doesn't really do it justice.

I would describe this novel as quintessential Iain Banks, and I mean that in a good way: the multiple, intertwining narratives; the examinations of (a)morality; the touch of transhumanism and associated thoughtfulness about what it actually means to be human. It has some science fictional elements, but (despite what my library thinks) is not a Culture book (unless -- as is always a possibility -- I missed an oblique reference somewhere that would place it within the same universe). It's essentially a spy thriller that makes use of the many-worlds interpretation, executed with Banks' typical cleverness, finesse, and finely-tuned sense of irony. On the whole, it's not the Banks novel that has moved me the most deeply, but I feel like it would be a pretty good starter book for someone not quite ready to commit to the Culture.

"Lying here, during all this time after my own small fall, it has become my conviction that things mean pretty much what we want them to mean. We'll pluck significance from the least consequential happenstance if it suits us and happily ignore the most flagrantly obvious symmetry between separate aspects of our lives if it threatens some cherished prejudice or cosily comforting belief; we are blindest to precisely whatever might be most illuminating."

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Reading Progress

July 7, 2015 – Started Reading
July 7, 2015 – Shelved
August 2, 2015 – Shelved as: read-in-2015
August 2, 2015 – Finished Reading
May 10, 2020 – Shelved as: owned-ebook

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