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Consider Phlebas by Iain M. Banks
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Consider Phlebas (original 1987; edition 1987)

by Iain M. Banks

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
5,134138870 (3.75)1 / 297
Member:SubEuclid
Title:Consider Phlebas
Authors:Iain M. Banks
Info:London : Orbit, 2005, c1987.
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:science fiction, The Culture

Work details

Consider Phlebas by Iain M. Banks (1987)

Recently added byprivate library, ddueck88, JohnHLowery, gchcoisne, chessakat, walktapus, mdagtek, NealStrobl
  1. 60
    Chasm City by Alastair Reynolds (voodoochilli)
    voodoochilli: As good as the Revelation space series, so if you want more check out Banks Culture novels.
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  3. 30
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  4. 20
    The Waste Land and Other Poems by T. S. Eliot (sturlington)
    sturlington: To understand the title allusion.
  5. 00
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    themulhern: A grim quest where the outcome hinges on the precise timing and nature of events. Much complication and a deal of ambiguity.
  6. 00
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    themulhern: Two vast wars fought between vastly different opponents. A small event in that war, and a protagonist who loses much in his struggle. Nothing else about these novels is terribly similar, but the contrasts are so interesting.
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English (132)  Italian (2)  French (2)  Romanian (1)  Finnish (1)  All languages (138)
Showing 1-5 of 132 (next | show all)
This was my first of Banks' books and I enjoyed it. When folk describe it as a gritty STARwars I understand what they mean though I think this has a wonderful scale all its own. I love some of the priceless Banksisms like "evangelical materialism," for example. He's pretty funny sometimes too and I like that in people who tend to write tomes. ( )
  dbsovereign | Jan 26, 2016 |
This guy thinks big. This is (I believe) the first book in his Culture series, and tells the story of Horza, a "Changer" who is on a mission to recover a fugitive AI hiding on a planet that is controlled by a superior civilization. The novel takes many twists and turns, some of them not particularly necessary to the story (there is a diversion on a strange island populated by a cannibal leader; not sure why it's there).
The finale (I won't spoil here) is overwritten- it just takes forever to finish the climactic scene, with a lengthy buildup describing a short period of time. I didn't like that, but I found the novel generally good and gripping. I will read some more. ( )
  DanTarlin | Jan 20, 2016 |
This is a full in your face, love it or hate it Science Fiction, world-building, space operatic, centuries of history and story- telling series. Banks presents the universe in which the Culture presides through individual arcs that jump by hundreds of years in the Culture's history which together creates a panorama of the universe. For more check out my blog: http://girlsguidetoscifi.blogspot.ca/2013/09/the-man-who-sold-world-review-of.ht... ( )
  Girlscifi | Jan 16, 2016 |
This book is written with great vigor. Descriptions are vivid and the action is intricate and dramatic. It is so relentlessly satirical that sometimes I wasn't sure what was being satirized. There was an interlude in the middle so awful and disgusting that it made me dizzy. There is a certain illogic in some decisions made near the end; I am not at all certain why Horza did not simply kill his troublesome prisoner. ( )
  themulhern | Nov 3, 2015 |
Iain Banks consistently breaks the golden rule of Sci Fi: It's ok to invent stuff, but you have to stay consistent.

If you keep inventing stuff just in order to keep the plot going, and if following up on what you've invented already contradicts what you're writing next, then what you have is fantasy. A space opera.

Some people like this kind of stuff... I don't. ( )
  meekGee | Jul 6, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 132 (next | show all)
The choice of name was definitely not an attempt to gain literary credentials or he would have ditched the ‘camp aliens and laser blasters.’ He has acknowledged the similarities to the poem in that the main character in Consider Phlebas is drowning and later undergoes a ’sea-change’ – this being a motif running through The Waste Land – but that is far as it goes.
But there are a number of parallels between the two works, whether deliberate or not on Iain’s part. To prove my point I will take a brief look at Consider Phlebas and then at The Waste Land, followed by examples of how the latter informs the former.
added by elenchus | editJohn Black blog, John Black (Oct 4, 2012)
 

» Add other authors (12 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Banks, Iain M.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hopkinson, RichardCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Keynäs, VilleTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Salwowski, MarkCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Youll,PaulCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
"Idolatry is worse than carnage."

The Koran, 2:190
"Gentile or Jew
O you who turn the wheel and look to windward,
Consider Phlebas, who was once handsome and tall as you."

T. S. Eliot,
'The Waste Land', IV
Dedication
to the memory of Bill Hunt
First words
The ship didn't even have a name.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
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Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 031600538X, Paperback)

"Dazzlingly original." -- Daily Mail
"Gripping, touching and funny." -- TLS

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 within a fabled labyrinth on a barren world, a Planet of the Dead proscribed to mortals, lay a fugitive Mind. Both the Culture and the Idirans sought it. It was the fate of Horza, the Changer, and his motley crew of unpredictable mercenaries, human and machine, actually to find it, and with it their own destruction.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:47 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

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 within a fabled labyrinth on a barren world, a Planet of the Dead proscribed to mortals, lay a fugitive Mind. Both the Culture and the Idirans sought it. It was the fate of Horza, the Changer, and his motley crew of unpredictable mercenaries, human and machine, actually to find it, and with it their own destruction. Consider Phlebas - a space opera of stunning power and awesome imagination.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 6 descriptions

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