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Consider Phlebas (Culture) by Iain M. Banks
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Consider Phlebas (Culture) (original 1987; edition 2008)

by Iain M. Banks

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
5,222146852 (3.76)1 / 306
Member:DidIReallyReadThat
Title:Consider Phlebas (Culture)
Authors:Iain M. Banks
Info:Orbit (2008), Paperback, 544 pages
Collections:Read in 2012
Rating:*
Tags:Science Fiction

Work details

Consider Phlebas by Iain M. Banks (1987)

Recently added byLauraM77, BradLacey, mckenzig, Javisan, pennyinsole, erichtwade, cjs87, OneIanBaker, arthos, private library
  1. 60
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    voodoochilli: As good as the Revelation space series, so if you want more check out Banks Culture novels.
  2. 40
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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
    The Wizards and the Warriors by Hugh Cook (themulhern)
    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
    Rocannon's World by Ursula K. Le Guin (themulhern)
    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.
  7. 00
    Piece of Cake by Derek Robinson (themulhern)
    themulhern: A war, questions why the war is being fought, and horrible messes resulting from poor or incomplete information.
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English (139)  Italian (2)  French (2)  Romanian (1)  Spanish (1)  Finnish (1)  All languages (146)
Showing 1-5 of 139 (next | show all)
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... ( )
  HollyBest | Jun 9, 2016 |
5 stars for the ending and the flawed Horza character. ( )
  bbrams17 | Jun 8, 2016 |
Bora Horza Gobuchul is an agent opposed to the Culture in the Culture-Idiran religious war which is engulfing the galaxy. Horza is engaged by the Idirans to recover a lost Culture Mind from the sinister Schar's World. Along the way he is captured multiple times, and falls in with a band of pirates led by the swaggering Kraiklin. Raids, laser battles and explosions ensue, leading to a final confrontation on Schar's World.

The characters are mostly well-drawn. Horza is driven but we don't really learn why he hates the Culture so much. The various battles and firefights and strange settings are quite cinematic; it is easy to imagine a movie of this book. The Culture itself is largely observed by outsiders - chiefly Horza but also the Idirans, the neutral citizens of Vavatch Orbital and the pirates. There is also a prodigal Culture woman who helps plan the war effort, but her story doesn't really go anywhere and is one of the less successful aspects of the novel. ( )
  questbird | May 21, 2016 |
I enjoyed this space opera book (first of the series) by Iain Banks a lot more than I did his 1001 book, [book:Complicity|12014]. This is of course set in the future and is science fiction published 1987 and part of NPR 100 science fiction/fantasy recommendations. I read it because the SCIFFF Cat theme for this month is space opera and it also fits series for PBT. I listened to the audio narrated by Peter Kenny. The story is of the Idiran-Culture War. Its protagonist Bora Horza Gobuchul is actually an enemy of the Culture. Horza is a changer and is assigned the task of retrieving a dispossessed Culture mind. There are many diversions in the novel and the author gives us microcosms of the war. While the book was published in 1987, it has been rewritten by the author. ( )
  Kristelh | May 14, 2016 |
Bora Horza Gobuchul is a Changer who can camouflage as any other species. When we meet him he is working with the Iridian Xoralundra, a tripodian alien with a wedge-shaped head and keratin armor covering his body. They are searching for a computer known as the Mind created by the alien beings known as the Culture. He ends up taking the place of a ship's captain called Kraiklyn and taking over the Clear Air Turbulence and its crew to go to a place called Schar's World to look for the Mind. (The Culture has an amusing way of naming its vessels.)

The last fourth of the book is an exciting finale that flashes between different characters, the Mind, and a sarcastic drone who preferred to be called by his name, Unaha-Closp, recognizing his sentience.

The world building is extraordinary and vast in scale. The interactions between different species is thoughtful even as it is reminiscent of the old story of imperialism and racial superiority.

I wish I had known about the brief historical explanations which followed the book and may have helped understand the conflicts earlier. ( )
  mamzel | May 8, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 139 (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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