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Iain Banks

Started by Nick, October 20, 2002, 15:59:46 PM

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QuoteAnyone read Matter yet? Thoughts...

Yes - typical late period Banks. Lots of ideas but not very well executed. He often puts stuff in because just he is very imaginative and likes to stuff the story with these ideas but they don't add anything much to the story. As a result, it's far longer than can be justified by the plot. If he could have knocked at least a hundred or so pages off it would have helped a lot.

If you are already a fan, it is worth reading. It's still better than his last couple of 'M' books.

It's a real shame but to me Bank's appears to have had his time.
Everybody's got to evalate from the norm.

Has anyone caught up with Banks recently....my last book was the Steep Approach to Garbadale - which didn't really seem to go anywhere....I see that he's written a couple since then....any good ?
RC1.1 abd g/n 11/0/bcd/tG PeW/- ~600 x 0 61%

Quote from: Bez on January 06, 2013, 00:36:43 AM
Has anyone caught up with Banks recently....my last book was the Steep Approach to Garbadale - which didn't really seem to go anywhere....I see that he's written a couple since then....any good ?

Matter - dull
Transition - pretty decent. It's sort of a cross between a mainstream Iain Banks book and a SF Iain M Banks book. Good pay-off at the end.
Surface Detail - also OK but like most of his SF books for quite some time it's too long. If you are a long term Iain M Banks fan the very last word in the book is worth reading the preceding 600 pages for.
Stonemouth - It's OK but really it's an attempt to re-create the feel of The Crow Road.  He doesn't succeed.
The Hydrogen Sonata - for Culture fanbois.

To me, he hasn't written any really good SF since Inversions, or "mainstream" since Complicity.

Old Banks Good, New Banks Meh

Raw Spirit, the book he wrote about touring Scotland visiting whisky distilleries is good fun.


Yep , lost me after Complicity.
Everybody's got to evalate from the norm.

Quote from: BaldiePete on January 06, 2013, 01:24:57 AM
Matter - dull
Transition - pretty decent. It's sort of a cross between a mainstream Iain Banks book and a SF Iain M Banks book. Good pay-off at the end.
Surface Detail - also OK but like most of his SF books for quite some time it's too long. If you are a long term Iain M Banks fan the very last word in the book is worth reading the preceding 600 pages for.
Stonemouth - It's OK but really it's an attempt to re-create the feel of The Crow Road.  He doesn't succeed.
The Hydrogen Sonata - for Culture fanbois.

To me, he hasn't written any really good SF since Inversions, or "mainstream" since Complicity.

Old Banks Good, New Banks Meh

Raw Spirit, the book he wrote about touring Scotland visiting whisky distilleries is good fun.

Cheers Pete

I never really "got" the SF books...I think I gave up after the 3rd one (Use of Weapons or the Player of Games ?)

I'll check out the "mainstream" additions
RC1.1 abd g/n 11/0/bcd/tG PeW/- ~600 x 0 61%

Quote from: Bez on January 11, 2013, 21:41:02 PM
Cheers Pete

I never really "got" the SF books...I think I gave up after the 3rd one (Use of Weapons or the Player of Games ?)

I'll check out the "mainstream" additions

Use of Weapons is the third one and is probably my favourite of the SF books and in my top 3 of all his books.

Espedair Street was my last and that was, umm, 20-21 years ago. I enjoyed that somewhat I think - obviously not enough that I can remember the plot clearly - about a band I think? I also read one or two of his 'M' sci-fi books and haven't bothered again - can't remember a word of them. Certainly can't compare to the greats of the genre.



My wife told me about this earlier, sad news indeed. He always came across as a decent kind of guy.
#herewego10inarow

April 03, 2013, 15:23:09 PM #86 Last Edit: April 03, 2013, 22:12:19 PM by BaldiePete
 Bugger  :( :( :'(

Possibly my favourite author, I've been a fan since the 1980's and his early work from The Wasp Factory through to Complicity was brilliant (ok, Canal Dreams was pish). It dropped off pretty sharply from the mid 90's but we all know artists who have got worse as they got older ;). I've been to a few of his book readings were always entertaining and I got to ask him a question once at a BBC Book Show recording. If you hung around in the Omar Khayamm Indian restaurant opposite Haymarket railway station in Edinburgh you were sure to see him, he was in there regularly.

Very sad.

Awful news.
Anger is a gift.

The thought of being diagnosed with cancer terrifies me.
The lenses inside of me that paint the world black. The pools of poison, the scarlet mist, that spill over into rage.

April 04, 2013, 19:27:44 PM #89 Last Edit: April 04, 2013, 19:30:13 PM by Bisto
I fecking hate cancer!  >:( >:( >:(