Consider Phlebas (Culture Series #1) [NOOK Book]

Overview

"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. ...
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Consider Phlebas (Culture Series #1)

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Overview

"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.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
In the midst of a war between two galactic empires, a shapechanging agent of the Iridans undertakes a clandestine mission to a forbidden planet in search of an intelligent, fugitive machine whose actions could alter the course of the conflict. Banks ( Walking on Glass ) demonstrates a talent for suspense in a new wave sf novel that should appeal to fans of space adventure. For large sf collections. JC
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780316095839
  • Publisher: Orbit
  • Publication date: 12/1/2009
  • Series: Culture Series , #1
  • Sold by: Hachette Digital, Inc.
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 38,902
  • File size: 872 KB

Meet the Author

Iain Banks came to controversial public notice with the publication of his first novel, The Wasp Factory, in 1984. Consider Phlebas, his first science fiction novel, was published under the name Iain M. Banks in 1987. He is now widely acclaimed as one of the most powerful, innovative and exciting writers of his generation.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 443 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(88)

4 Star

(124)

3 Star

(116)

2 Star

(57)

1 Star

(58)

Your Rating:

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 445 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 12, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    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 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.

    9 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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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.

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  • Posted May 25, 2011

    Was a little let down to say the least!

    I hate reading books where everyone dies: The author put too much detail into something that was an overall let down. I would not read this book if you get attached to characters. Literally everyone dies, or something really sad happens to them at the end. I wanted to throw my NOOK.

    The author also over did it will the names of the characters. I like to be able to pronounce things that I am reading and the author seemed to make you want to struggle to just get through a page. I was very disappointed overall

    6 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 1, 2011

    did the author just get tired at the end????????

    First 90% was a good book. End sucked in a meaningless, no point to it, complete let down, way. Like another reviewer said, I wanted to throw my nook across the room. It was not artistic, it was like he just got tired of writing. I will never ever read another book by this author.

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 18, 2011

    Don't get suckered with good reviews

    This is a stupid, gross book. Nothing humorous or coherent in first 100 pages and after the second scene of torture by excrement I deleted it. This author is now on my permanent "don't read" list.

    4 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • 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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  • Posted July 2, 2011

    Does not deserve even 1 star

    Wish I could give this bood a negative star! Such a waste of time. The end was truly terrible.

    3 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 12, 2011

    Don't waste your time!

    Somewhat interesting at the beginning and middle...However book tends to drag on and on and on....then the worst part is one of the lamest endings I've ever read. Made me feel like I just wasted all my time reading this book for that dumb ending. Summary of book could be in one line..."Dude can morph to look like other people, people die sporatically throughout the book...everyone dies at the end. The End. Wish I would have never started reading it, because it started out fairly well. Extremely disappointing ending.

    3 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 11, 2011

    Not my kinda thing...

    Another book that i had to force myself to read and didnt get very far into. Glad it was only .99.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 8, 2011

    Wordy and Long Winded

    Decent story for a vignette but 430 pages when it would be best suited to 100.

    I bought this for 99 cents having never heard of the author. I would not consider myself an avid SF reader, but certainly an avid reader. The author spends considerable energy setting stages that don't ever get used. I don't know if he planned or executed further novels in his Culture series which use any of the information, but if you read this plan on spending significant time reading pages of information to set a scene where a two line conversation occurs - then its off to set another scene.

    Interesting ending but it falls flat and there is no hook to engage the reader in further investigation of the story arc.

    Who's Phlebas? Still not sure...

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 21, 2012

    I’m usually a great fan of Iain M. Banks, so I was thrille

    I’m usually a great fan of Iain M. Banks, so I was thrilled to see Consider Phlebas for sale for only a buck. And indeed, the first chapter was thrilling, exactly what I have come to expect from Banks. The problem occurred after the initial rush when the book began to drag on, drag some more, and then just kept dragging. Even the final action-packed chapters were a bore, lasting far too long, and really, by that point, I hardly cared about the outcome. It was only by sheer will that I was able to finish the book.

    According to Banks, this was a rewrite of a novel he’d done early in his career. I’m sure he gave it a good polish, but the excess baggage shows. Frankly, it moves at a snail’s pace, including the action sequences. However, the biggest flaw was the underdevelopment of the protagonist Horza. Almost superhero-like in his abilities, it was impossible to find any empathy for his cause. His struggle was as meaningless as the war between the Culture and the Idiran empires. There was a lot of blustering philosophical talk, and it came off as a battle of ideas, rather than divergent cultures. So instead of a story with heroes, antagonists, struggles, etc…the book was more of a metaphysical debate. And that’s my greatest pet peeve about sci-fi, philosophy trumping the narrative.

    All in all, it’s obvious that Consider Phlebas was one of Banks’ earlier works. From the lethargic pace, underdeveloped characters, and overuse of philosophy, the book never quite hits the mark. I’m just thankful Banks was able to overcome these flaws in his later works and become the author I adore today. So, unless you’re a hardcore fan, I suggest skipping this one.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 8, 2012

    Interesting read.

    The vast majority of the book flows rather well, and the characters get you fairly involved in the story.

    The ending was fairly depressing, but entirely possible given the circumstances within the novel I suppose...

    2 out of 2 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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  • Posted May 6, 2011

    Pass

    I got this after seeing it on Nooks Author Spotlight. The blurb was hilariously over the top. Theres some great sf here but it gets drowned in dragged out scenes, top heavy plotting and a non-ending thats just aweful. Great backdrop of societies but really poorly implemented. If your a fan of the series you'll go for it, if not, save time and money by passing this one.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 21, 2011

    Disapointing ending...just leaves you cold.

    Like another reviewer wrote, it was like the author got tired of writing and just quit. It held my interest until then. I won't read any more in the series.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 16, 2010

    Must read for every true SiFi fan!

    I picked this book up off of a library free rack in my home town in the summer of 1995, and once I got started reading it could not be put down. This is a great book that will draw you in and give a glimse of a world you will not forget. Fifteen years since I first picked it up, this book has a home on one of the many bookshelves in my library.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 18, 2013

    Enjoyed them mostly

    From my experience reading five of his books and checking Goodreads and other Internet sources, it seems likely that all of Iain Bank's writing has distinct elements of torture and cruelty in it. So I'm not sure I need to buy any more of his books. His ideas on The Culture in the latest (Hydrogen Sonata) don't seem any more evolved than what I just read in the first Culture novel (Consider Phlebas). He has lots of interesting ideas but I may have seen all the good ones already.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 29, 2012

    Really disappointing!

    This was my first Iain Banks book, and I have to say I was disappointed. I haven't read much Space Opera of this sort, but I just could never get hooked on this glacially paced novel, with hard to like or even dislike characters. I am unlikely to read further in this series.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2012

    Dont bother

    Sorry but when i read the ending i was sorry i ever started reading it. I will not read another book by this author a total waste of time.


    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2012

    It could tell the same story in less than 200 pages

    It poses a couple of interesting questions but at times this looks more like an action novel than a sci-fi novel. Unnecesarily long descriptions of battles and fights that add litlle to the plot or to the few interestinf ideas posed.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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