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Consider Phlebas (Culture) av Iain M. Banks
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Consider Phlebas (Culture) (urspr publ 1987; utgåvan 2008)

av Iain M. Banks (Författare)

Serier: The Culture (1)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygDiskussioner / Omnämnanden
6,9032041,043 (3.72)1 / 359
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.… (mer)
Medlem:tdhack
Titel:Consider Phlebas (Culture)
Författare:Iain M. Banks (Författare)
Info:Orbit (2008), 544 pages
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek
Betyg:
Taggar:Ingen/inga

Verkdetaljer

Consider Phlebas av Iain M. Banks (1987)

  1. 70
    Chasm City av Alastair Reynolds (voodoochilli)
    voodoochilli: As good as the Revelation space series, so if you want more check out Banks Culture novels.
  2. 50
    Tigermannen av Alfred Bester (EatSleepChuck)
  3. 40
    Revelation Space av Alastair Reynolds (nik.o)
  4. 20
    The Waste Land and Other Poems av T. S. Eliot (sturlington)
    sturlington: To understand the title allusion.
  5. 10
    The Wizards and the Warriors av 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. 10
    Piece of Cake av Derek Robinson (themulhern)
    themulhern: A war, questions why the war is being fought, and horrible messes resulting from poor or incomplete information.
  7. 00
    Railhead av Philip Reeve (themulhern)
    themulhern: Profoundly sentient transportation in both.
  8. 11
    Hyperion av Dan Simmons (LamontCranston)
  9. 11
    Rocannons planet av 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.
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engelska (196)  italienska (2)  franska (2)  finska (2)  rumänska (1)  spanska (1)  Alla språk (204)
Visa 1-5 av 204 (nästa | visa alla)
Already reviewed another version ( )
  Sunyidean | Sep 7, 2021 |
Ehhhhhh. It's Banks, so I was never *not* entertained, but overall the book fell short for me.

I've read a number of these novels, and Banks is, for me, all over the map in terms of quality. Some of his novels are great, and some are a hot mess. This was definitely in the hot mess category.

I liked Horza (the mc). Banks does his characters well; they're complex, they're interesting, they're funny. His dialogue was great. There were some good moments in the novel, and some genuinely great moments. I think Banks fans would still enjoy it, and it's more information about the Culture, as ever (the main reason I chose to dip back and read it.)

So. Why the low rating? In nutshell, because novels which aim for greatness and miss by a narrow margin, often fail harder than novels which aim for mediocre and hit. Banks always aims for great, but it's (apparently) 50/50 whether he nails it. For "Consider Phlebas", he missed.

##

Some specifics, for those who are interested:

Structurally, the novel felt sloppy (see: comments above re Hot Mess). If I were beta reading this, I'd be leaving notes about the plot behaving too randomly, about events simply occurring without a strong narrative thread to pull them together. About the tension and pacing arcs being off balance. Things like that. But I'm not, and it's already published, so we'll leave it there. This aspect of the book may not bother anyone except other writers.

In relation to concepts, Banks often has good ideas. But, again for me, he doesn't explore them enough. He introduces ideas, then leaves them hanging; the equivalent of a man who walks into a room, starts a conversation, and the disappears as soon as he has your interest. To varying extents, even his best novels do this, so I think it's a personal style he's chosen rather than an unintended flaw.

I suppose there is scope to say he leaves these issues for your own intelligence and imagination, but I don't feel the need to test my own imagination and intelligence; it's sufficient. I'm here to investigate *the author's* intelligence and imagination. Talk to me about these ideas. Explore them. Shying away is frustratingly coy.

The story itself was ultimately... unsatisfying, and didn't justify the build up IMO. For example, I took an entire star off for some of the deaths which occur in the book (not a massive spoiler, that people die in a SF book). Every single death was wholly predictable, to the point where as soon as a character was introduced, I had a pretty good idea of whether or not they'd live to the end of the novel. Only one of my guesses was wrong and they all died to incredibly predictable and preventable situations.

Given how much the various characters survive against the odds when the story requires, the deaths felt extra annoying because they smacked of authorial fiat. Another improbable solution could have been contrived to save them, and it would have been no more unrealistic than their other escape attempts they endured to that point (probably less) but it didn't happen, because the plot needed them gone at X point. So add a "forced" to that predictable and presentable.


TLDR: Yes there were things to like, and it was written well enough to engage me; and in a weird way, I'm glad I read it, if only for the additional context. But I finished the book far more frustrated than I began it, with a feeling of exasperation--because this could have been great, and wasn't. ( )
1 rösta Sunyidean | Sep 7, 2021 |
A mixed bag of space opera, multi-civilization future history and philosophy. It didn't quite work for me, though it held my interest. The colossal vessels in which some of the action takes place were hard for me to visualize. The final conflict in Schar's World, to find the MacGuffin “Mind” is far too long, and the “interlude” with the Eaters is just disgusting. Some characters and plot threads simply disappear. In short, it didn't satisfy me. ( )
  wdwilson3 | Aug 9, 2021 |
In some ways, I think that "Consider Phlebas" gets everything right. It introduces the concept of the Culture, a galaxy-spanning empire and/or cultural phenomenon, and the world it extrapolates from this premise often feels both sociologically rigorous and comfortably lived-in. It's crisply and efficiently written, having a well-constructed "ticking bomb" structure that goes on for hundreds of pages but which often feels admirably tense. The action scenes here are, well, awesome, but they still felt a bit like action scenes in a summer blockbuster, though that may just be my literary fiction guilt talking. That aside, the descriptions of this novel's technologically super-advanced, ridiculously abundant universe have a weird, sleek sort of beauty. And some of the marginalia that Banks includes here really fascinates. If anything, this book's accounts of Culture history and social structure made we want to pick up the second novel in the series, even if I didn't love everything about the first.

Despite all this, there's enough about "Consider Phlebas" that I don't like to make me wonder if I'm really in the right section of the bookstore here. Banks has obviously given some thought to character development -- especially when it comes to tough guy shapeshifter protagonist Horza. At the same time, a lot of these space adventurers seemed too close to science fiction stock characters, especially since one of them seems to be some sort of sexed-up furry. I certainly didn't travel across the galaxy for that.The main complaint I had about "Consider Phlebas" that I had, though, is that the novel's both a self-contained space-thriller and a galaxy-spanning historical romp, and, talented as its author obviously was, what he seems to be trying to pull off here is still pretty difficult. I'm not sure that he makes it work. There wasn't enough in here about what the Culture actually might be to satisfy my curiosity about it. Most of the book concerns a motley band of none-too-successful space marauders trapped miles underground on a barren planet, which is certainly an odd way of introduce a breathtakingly ambitious series of books about a world-conquering space civilization. A lot of "Consider Phlebas" feels a bit like a prelude, which makes it a bit unsatisfying. That doesn't mean I'm not going to give the Culture series another shot, mind you. ( )
  TheAmpersand | Jul 22, 2021 |
Having a baby destroys my reading habits. I didn't think I would ever finish this book, but I also didn't mind. I don't know if it's because I mostly read American sci-fi or what, but it was reminiscent of Hitchhikers in some ways. Not humorous, so much as quest-y and episodic. The central plot seemed beside the point, and that was ok. ( )
  allan.nail | Jul 11, 2021 |
Visa 1-5 av 204 (nästa | visa alla)
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.
tillagd av elenchus | ändraJohn Black blog, John Black (Oct 4, 2012)
 

» Lägg till fler författare (9 möjliga)

Författarens namnRollTyp av författareVerk?Status
Banks, Iain M.primär författarealla utgåvorbekräftat
Collon, HélèneÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Hopkinson, RichardOmslagmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Hundertmarck, RosemarieÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Kenny, PeterBerättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Keynäs, VilleÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Salwowski, MarkOmslagmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Youll,PaulOmslagmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
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"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
Persecution is worse than carnage.
The Koran, 2: 191
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to the memory of Bill Hunt
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The ship didn't even have a name.
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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.

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