Iain M. Banks

A slow, analog alternative to the internet

Moderators: SecondTalon, Moderators General, Prelates

User avatar
EdgarJPublius
Official Propagandi.... Nifty Poster Guy
Posts: 3568
Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2007 4:56 am UTC
Location: where the wind takes me

Re: Iain M. Banks

Postby EdgarJPublius » Mon Dec 29, 2014 4:45 am UTC

So far, I've read "Consider Phlebas" and "Use of Weapons" and not really 'gotten it' or whatever. I tried to get into "Player of Games" and after the first part, I just thought that Gurgeh was an asshole with the kinds of problems that arise of being an asshole, and having read the other two books, I can't imagine anything happens that I would find enjoyable or otherwise worth having read.

On the one hand, people keep recommending the Culture verse to me in the context of stuff I rather enjoyed, and the idea of the Culture at least sounds interesting to me. So I wonder if I should give it another try. I hear "Excession" mentioned as the other entry point than those I've already read.

On the other hand, Ian M. Banks is batting 0-for-3 with me so far, and I'm reminded of a rant Ben 'Yahtzee' Croshaw wrote a while back about how sometimes it's easier to believe that a work just isn't to my taste than that the creator had some sort of epiphany part-way through and radically changed their style to something I'd enjoy more.
Roosevelt wrote:
I wrote:Does Space Teddy Roosevelt wrestle Space Bears and fight the Space Spanish-American War with his band of Space-volunteers the Space Rough Riders?

Yes.

-still unaware of the origin and meaning of his own user-title

User avatar
PAstrychef
for all intimate metaphysical encounters
Posts: 2795
Joined: Sun Dec 21, 2008 6:24 pm UTC

Re: Iain M. Banks

Postby PAstrychef » Mon Dec 29, 2014 5:02 am UTC

If you don't like the work, you don't like the work. It's not like we're going to ru out of good books to read any time soon.
It's funny when it seems like you ought to like a particular author or artist, and you just don't. You feel kind of guilty, and like maybe you've only just missed the point and if you try again in will work.....alas, like those magic pictures popular a few years ago, if your eyes focus strangely you can never get the intended effect.
You tried it, now go read something else that you may like more.
Don’t become a well-rounded person. Well rounded people are smooth and dull. Become a thoroughly spiky person. Grow spikes from every angle. Stick in their throats like a puffer fish.

Tyndmyr
Posts: 10203
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2012 8:38 pm UTC

Re: Iain M. Banks

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon Dec 29, 2014 1:12 pm UTC

EdgarJPublius wrote:So far, I've read "Consider Phlebas" and "Use of Weapons" and not really 'gotten it' or whatever. I tried to get into "Player of Games" and after the first part, I just thought that Gurgeh was an asshole with the kinds of problems that arise of being an asshole, and having read the other two books, I can't imagine anything happens that I would find enjoyable or otherwise worth having read.


Some of the people involved are legitimately jerks, yes. Almost all are at least flawed, but some are outright terrible people.

Banks, really, is A+ at worldbuilding, but not quite as awesome at the writing of the story. Much of his books are devoted to expanding and explaining the nature of the world rather than necessarily advancing the plot, and some of the plots really aren't that novel or necessarily interesting. If you like world building, as I do, they're a fantastic read, but I can see how someone else would greatly dislike them if they had other preferences.

I still need to read Excession, but the plot there seems likely stronger than in some other works...but I would expect that certain author tendencies will still exist, yeah.

User avatar
no-genius
Seemed like a good idea at the time
Posts: 4219
Joined: Wed May 17, 2006 6:32 pm UTC
Location: UK
Contact:

Re: Iain M. Banks

Postby no-genius » Thu Jan 01, 2015 7:02 pm UTC

Did you read the appendices in Consider Phlebas? I found the summary of the Idiran war more enjoyable than the actual book.

I've read everything Iain M Banks up to Hydrogen Sonata. I think it improves a lot at around the point where the ships have avatars. Weirdly, Feersum Enjinn is one of my favourites, but some of the narration is so awkward to read (Bcos its awl speld fonetikly, or from the perspective of someone with no contest to describe anything, something of an inconvenience when you're trying to world-build - luckily, she's a quick learner), that there's almost no way that you'd like it.
I don't sing, I just shout. All. On. One. Note.
Official ironmen you are free, champions officially

The Mighty Thesaurus wrote:Why? It does nothing to address dance music's core problem: the fact that it sucks.

User avatar
PAstrychef
for all intimate metaphysical encounters
Posts: 2795
Joined: Sun Dec 21, 2008 6:24 pm UTC

Re: Iain M. Banks

Postby PAstrychef » Thu Jan 01, 2015 7:45 pm UTC

It's not only spelled phonetically, it's in a Glasgewian accent. I had to visit Scotland before I coukd get through it with any ease. A great excuse to travel, though!
Don’t become a well-rounded person. Well rounded people are smooth and dull. Become a thoroughly spiky person. Grow spikes from every angle. Stick in their throats like a puffer fish.


Return to “Books”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google Feedfetcher and 4 guests