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Old 27th April 2009, 10:57 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Re: Time to Rank His Books

Having read the first three Culture books I understand why people have problem ranking them: they are all excellent but different. If I really have to rank the three, Consider Phlebas comes first - my 1st Culture shock, Use of Weapons then The Player of games follow. Not that I like these two any less, but you know. They are all like good wine (who said it?), rich, sophisticated and addictive. I feel a little break may be needed between each book in case getting a hangover. I have ordered the rest of the series except Fearsome Ending oops Feersum Endjinn and The State of the Art. Speaking of a new fan... It's odd the Culture books haven't received some major award but who cares.
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Old 26th May 2009, 06:50 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Re: Time to Rank His Books

i have not read all of them, but i am currently on my fourth( Excession) and i think it has been the best starting CUlture novel of the series so far. My fav. is still The Player of Games, but if Excession continues to be brilliant it will be a serious contender! If one was to find critiscism then, the way he presents the Affront is sort of analogous to the tri-pedal species (Idiran) in Consider Phlebas. I'm not complaining though, it's great !
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Old 26th May 2009, 07:38 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Re: Time to Rank His Books

I finally finished Matter a few weeks ago. I'll have to rank it up there with the other Culture novels. Very entertaining. Sort of a Tolkien-esque approach, i.e., a "There and Back Again" type saga.
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Old 14th July 2009, 12:13 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Re: Time to Rank His Books

Hmmm having enjoyed Consider i'm wondering what i should tackle next. There's a copy of Inversions available on Bookmooch but i read the synopsis on Fantastic Fiction and well,it doesnt sound that interesting! I like Space opera and also a good adventure,so 'Consider' fitted right in there!
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Old 14th July 2009, 10:59 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Re: Time to Rank His Books

@AE35Unit

I would advise reading them in chronological order. Although each book is not a direct sequel it is sort of neccessary to know what has happened previously.

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Just finished Excession and thoguht of it very highly. Looking forward to beginning Look to Windward. The Culture series has me enraptured!
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Old 14th July 2009, 07:16 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Re: Time to Rank His Books

Although it doesn't seem as popular as his other Culture novels, I really enjoyed Look to Windward. It was quite sad but beautiful.
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Old 16th July 2009, 02:46 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Re: Time to Rank His Books

Be warned, Excession can be hard going, or at least I found it so. I would love to read it again and keep a list of the ship names handy so I knew who was doing what.

I'd actually advise The Player of Games as your next read AE. Or, knowing your penchant for action SF, maybe Use of Weapons.
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Old 16th July 2009, 10:55 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Re: Time to Rank His Books

I actually found Excession to be easier going than Considor Phlebas. The story twists around more and all the threads seem to lead to the same place, but it was an easier read. Of course, that might have been because I'm a geek and this had entertaining email-like sections.
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Old 16th July 2009, 02:31 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Re: Time to Rank His Books

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I actually found Excession to be easier going than Consider Phlebas. •••it was an easier read. Of course, that might have been because I'm a geek and this had entertaining email-like sections.
Email like sections?
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Old 16th July 2009, 03:24 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Re: Time to Rank His Books

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Be warned, Excession can be hard going, or at least I found it so. I would love to read it again and keep a list of the ship names handy so I knew who was doing what.

I'd actually advise The Player of Games as your next read AE. Or, knowing your penchant for action SF, maybe Use of Weapons.
Quite by accident, Excession was my first Banks novel. It got me hooked and I've read everything else now. As far as hard reading is concerned, I've learned that, if my head is spinning after the first few pages: Just keep reading. It all will start to fall together. Reading some of Banks' work is almost an act of faith.

However, I must agree that The Player of Games is a good intro to the Culture and, after all, being forearmed with a little knowledge about the workings of Banks' quirky universe can help you through the rough spots. But don't get me wrong; it's all tremendously worthwhile.
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Old 27th October 2009, 03:01 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Re: Time to Rank His Books

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Originally Posted by clovis-man View Post
Quite by accident, Excession was my first Banks novel. It got me hooked and I've read everything else now. As far as hard reading is concerned, I've learned that, if my head is spinning after the first few pages: Just keep reading. It all will start to fall together. Reading some of Banks' work is almost an act of faith.
Yes, I have a lot of faith in Banks (capital B, definitely). I finally cracked open Excession - rather religiously. 100 pages on, I'm totally under Banks' spell. The book deserves careful reading for its density and richness. Brilliant writing. Love the drones and the ships!
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Old 28th October 2009, 01:25 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Re: Time to Rank His Books

Lately, every time I finish a book I pick up Excession and think it's time for a re-read. And then find something else to read. It's time to stop procrastinating me thinks.
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Old 11th November 2009, 07:47 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Re: Time to Rank His Books

I read Look to Windward and thought it was decent, yet still did not rate it as highly as otheres in the series. Just moved on to Alastair R|eynolds (Rodders i know your a fan) and read Revelation Space and currently on the sequel Absolution Gap. Reynolds is a great writer and recommend his books to anyone.
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Old 11th November 2009, 09:05 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Re: Time to Rank His Books

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Just moved on to Alastair Reynolds (Rodders i know your a fan) and read Revelation Space and currently on the sequel Absolution Gap.
Hope you read Redemption Ark in between...
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Old 23rd November 2009, 02:24 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Re: Time to Rank His Books

I must rank Excession high on the top along side of the first 3 Culture books. What a book, what a magnificent ending! It took me three weeks to finish not only because I have very little time to squeeze each day - very painful to be torn apart from the book, there are just so much going on on every page and I didn't want to miss a word in case I'd lose the track on who's in which conspiracy - the conspiracy conspiracy or the counter-conspiracy conspiracy... You just have to love Banks' machines, the humans (except the forever sulking Dajeil) and other species are also very interesting. The writing is superb, thoughtful. There are usual moral, political points and his wry humour. An outstanding book.

As other Culture books, it has a side effect on me - afterwards any book I picked up just doesn't feel right, like, after a nice rich piece of chocolate everything else doesn't taste that right, you have to wait until the aftertaste of the chocolate to disappear.
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