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Inversions by Iain Banks

Inversions (original 1998; edition 2000)

by Iain Banks

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2,317322,727 (3.63)1 / 57
Authors:Iain Banks
Info:New York : Pocket Books, [2000]
Collections:Your library

Work details

Inversions by Iain M. Banks (1998)



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English (29)  Italian (1)  French (1)  All languages (31)
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Spoiler ahead...

A Culture book, but you wouldn’t necessarily know it. It’s the Culture from the point of view of a civilisation which hasn’t the framework or breadth of perception to begin to contemplate what the Culture is. But then providing inverted points of view of the Culture is something Banks has been doing since Consider Phlebas. It’s the story of a doctor and a warrior, who you can link together easily, even if you’re not paying close attention. But the resolutions of their stories are very different and the crucible of the story demands an inversion of their roles and approaches. Banks excels with the court intrigues and the contrast of the twin narratives. ( )
2 vote JonArnold | Mar 4, 2014 |
Was expecting the usual high-tech space setting of The Culture and instead I got kings, fiefdoms and medieval politics. Everything is elegantly wrapped in two parallel storylines. Very good.
4.5 ( )
  MickeNimell | Aug 24, 2013 |
Another great Banks story with a twist. It's a culture novel which you can read like an 'ordinary' medieval fantasy. But if you know the Culture series and pay attention to the little hints, you'll discover a whole new level of the book.... Flawless! ( )
1 vote TheCrow2 | Jul 24, 2013 |
at first glance this looks like a fairly minor book in the Culture series. it's so accessible, it seems at first a bit below his pay grade. it's not, of course. it's a book about the Culture, written from outside the Culture, by people who have never heard of the Culture. reads like some version of a medieval fantasy, about two opposing cultures on opposite sides of the same world. but that world is enveloped in a little personal experiment born out of that invisible far-future Culture, which contributes its worldview not via the local narrators but rather via the portraits they paint of the two Agents who once had the argument. said argument being itself expressed as an small story on page 104 offhandedly told to a child as a fairy tale about two people in a land of impossible magic who quarrel one day about whether one should set out to change a world or to leave it alone. and gradually we see the result of the argument in the world. so the whole thing, while appearing fairly straightforward, consists of a whole series of inversions: the genre shifting between fantasy (visible) and sf (invisible) depending on the point of view, the connections between everything shifting as we sift through the accounts of a series of unreliable narrators, the importance of the gameplay hidden within differing Larger and Smaller Intentions, and the whole argument buried - yet definitively answered - about the method and the morality of acting, or not acting, as an instrument of change. ( )
2 vote macha | Jun 18, 2013 |
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» Add other authors (8 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Iain M. Banksprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bailey,BrianCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Salwowski, MarkCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 074341196X, Mass Market Paperback)

Iain M. Banks, the international bestselling author of The Player of Games and Consider Phlebas, is a true original, a literary visionary whose brilliant speculative fiction has transported us into worlds of unbounded imagination. Now, in his acclaimed new novel, Banks presents an engrossing portrait of an alien world, and of two very different people bound by a startling and mysterious secret.

On a backward world with six moons, an alert spy reports on the doings of one Dr. Vosill, who has mysteriously become the personal physician to the king despite being a foreigner and, even more unthinkably, a woman. Vosill has more enemies than she first realizes. But then she also has more remedies in hand than those who wish her ill can ever guess.

Elsewhere, in another palace across the mountains, a man named DeWar serves as chief bodyguard to the Protector General of Tassasen, a profession he describes as the business of "assassinating assassins." DeWar, too, has his enemies, but his foes strike more swiftly, and his means of combating them are more direct.

No one trusts the doctor, and the bodyguard trusts no one, but is there a hidden commonality linking their disparate histories? Spiraling around a central core of mystery, deceit, love, and betrayal. Inversions is a dazzling work of science fiction from a versatile and imaginative author writing at the height of his remarkable powers.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:38:44 -0400)

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In the winter palace, the King's new physician has more enemies than she at first realises. In another palace across the mountains, the chief bodyguard of the Protector General also has his enemies.

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INVERSIONS discussion (The Culture group read) in 75 Books Challenge for 2014

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