Customer Reviews for

Consider Phlebas (Culture Series #1)

Average Rating 3.5
( 447 )
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(90)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

8 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

The Best of the Culture Novels

I'm a fan of Iain M. Banks, and this is the book that made me such. It's an odd novel, detailing the efforts of a member of a genetically engineered race to aid his employers in a war against the Culture, largely by finding the AI of an enemy ship that was thought destr...
I'm a fan of Iain M. Banks, and this is the book that made me such. It's an odd novel, detailing the efforts of a member of a genetically engineered race to aid his employers in a war against the Culture, largely by finding the AI of an enemy ship that was thought destroyed. The setting is extremely high-tech - the Culture is post- Age of Scarcity, and there's a lot of rather spectacular bits of engineering along the way, but they're not the real focus of the novel. This is, like most good books, one driven by the characters.

For those of you who are already Banks fans, you might have divided opinions about this book. I personally like it because I see the Culture as a dystopia, not a utopia, and of all the novels he's written about them this one comes the closest to reflecting that sentiment.

It's also a rather depressing book, so if you're looking for a bit of light reading to brighten your day this is not the one you need. It's a thought-provoking novel, the sort that'll still be in your head days after you finish it, and well worth reading in my opinion. Banks is one of the best SF writers alive right now; this novel will show you why.

posted by Halykan on March 18, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

9 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

Iain M Banks=Dean Koontz of science fiction

I'm really trying to give Iain a chance. I just got done reading this book and I have read 2 others of his books and one thing really holds true with this author...he screws up the ending. No Im not looking for a love conquers all or I am the one neo- esque ending but h...
I'm really trying to give Iain a chance. I just got done reading this book and I have read 2 others of his books and one thing really holds true with this author...he screws up the ending. No Im not looking for a love conquers all or I am the one neo- esque ending but his ending are so blah as to make the rest of the book meaningless...He does the same thing as dean Koontz does...he build up this great story with cool characters and different plots twisted in. You become embroiled in it and then he just poo poos the ending out and your like "Huh?" "What?" "Wait that's it Iain/ That's all you got buddy? That's all your gonna give me? It's like he got bored with his own story and just stopped being an amazing author...sigh...I digress...can't beat 99 cents though.

posted by Pica13 on April 12, 2011

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  • Posted March 18, 2010

    The Best of the Culture Novels

    I'm a fan of Iain M. Banks, and this is the book that made me such. It's an odd novel, detailing the efforts of a member of a genetically engineered race to aid his employers in a war against the Culture, largely by finding the AI of an enemy ship that was thought destroyed. The setting is extremely high-tech - the Culture is post- Age of Scarcity, and there's a lot of rather spectacular bits of engineering along the way, but they're not the real focus of the novel. This is, like most good books, one driven by the characters.

    For those of you who are already Banks fans, you might have divided opinions about this book. I personally like it because I see the Culture as a dystopia, not a utopia, and of all the novels he's written about them this one comes the closest to reflecting that sentiment.

    It's also a rather depressing book, so if you're looking for a bit of light reading to brighten your day this is not the one you need. It's a thought-provoking novel, the sort that'll still be in your head days after you finish it, and well worth reading in my opinion. Banks is one of the best SF writers alive right now; this novel will show you why.

    8 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2013

    It seems like a lot of people missed the point

    This is what happens in life, especially war. We learn to care about people experience their lives and emotions while reading. However, this book define, in a sense, ourselves. Perhaps that is why so many find it uncomfortable. Looking in a mirror is not always pleasant. It shows the best the worst and the mundane. This is not escapist,it brings up emotions and makes you think. If you chose to read it superficially as entertainment only I suggest you read it again on abdeeper level.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2012

    A Dazzling Must Read

    This novel is the first in a chronological series by Banks known as the Culture Novels. This series explores, in essence, what it means to be. Simply phenomenal writing and a vast complex universe with a rich cultural heritage from all forms of life are woven into a rich tapestry that implies we can become more than we are as humans and as beings. Did I mention the writing? Banks is a true master, so much so that distinguishing this as genre fiction is a disservice. I highly recommend this book as the jumping off point to the Culture series as this novel is, in many ways, an introdiction to Banks grand society.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2013

    Deffinitely 5 Stars

    Just brilliant, absolutely brilliant

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2013

    First book I read by Mr. Banks. RIP. We will miss you!

    First book I read by Mr. Banks. RIP. We will miss you!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 20, 2012

    One of the best scifi books

    Very well written. The fact that the main character hates the Culture is like an Orbital sized curved ball. Ignore what others have said about it being a terrible book. Give it a chance.

    Not so much focused on the science part, more on the fiction side.
    I would definetly watch this if it was made into an actual tv series.

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  • Posted August 7, 2011

    One if the best space operas

    Just like an opera. Except no singing and lots of aliens and robots. A wonderful introduction to the Culture.

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  • Posted April 11, 2011

    good+!

    a very good book

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2009

    Banks is required reading for all sci fi fans

    His Culture novels in general are really excellent, and I think if you really consider yourself a serious fan of science fiction literature you need to read his stuff. Consider Phlebas is a great place to start.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 9, 2009

    Epic Sci Fi

    Consider Phlebas is one of my favorite books. It's one of the books I come back to again and again. It is very fast paced, thick with interesting ideas and odd perspectives. It does not pull punches or deliver a Hollywood storyline.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted April 12, 2011

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    Posted March 3, 2012

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    Posted June 15, 2010

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