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Thread: The New Consider Phlebas thread (contains spoilers)

  1. #31
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    Oh boy, I'm at the Eaters section. Banks certainly loved to include grotesqueries in his novels. Another of his grotesqueries, the Damage game, is soon up, though I must admit to finding it less revolting, err stomach churning, than the Eaters section. If CP were ever made into a movie this section would probably be axed or the Eaters would just be turned into weird cannibals (for a reason I've never understood, people seem to love zombie type material, though I find it horribly dull and vacuous).

    Kraiklyn is an appallingly bad leader. He may be a respectable "charge", lead from the front combat leader, but he is atrociously deficient tactically and has no conception of strategy at all. It's a wonder anyone follows him anywhere given the rate he gets his crew killed with his "easy in, easy out" schemes. You'd think one, or more, of his crew would eventually blow his head off, if just to try to save themselves before another dreadful scheme results in their death.

  2. #32
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    Things are all just coming apart for porr horza, he found the Iirans, our paranoid anti laser friend got bown up due to barrel crash. In light of this (and arbinger says as much to horza) He is almost as bad as karklyn in terms of getting people whacked, poor doralo, they don't seem to be very good mercineries, adopting the "spray fire pattern" approach rather than a more precie "find your target and kil it" thing.

    I have never understood why (apart from reasons of plot and dramatic tension) Horza didn't just kill Zoasol right off the bat. also, frankly I sould have drilled the second "dead" idiran so full of holes he could be used as a collender. Arbinger knows nothing of Idiran biology, horza would have known just where to shoot the Tri lgd thing to makee sure it stayed dead.

    Poor poor horza, balved definitely sounding like the voice of reason now. I am mjust at the part where the Idiran previously thought dead is recovering consciousness in a dim reminder of the sort of stream of thought writing we saw during Horza's pit of self doubt incident. Nicely done.
    Phaze
    on the "Mums birthday tomorrow but forgot to send a card, rang a friend to get him to pick one up and drop it in before 12" ID

  3. #33
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    OV, it might be said the damaged Mind on Schar's World takes center stage, since there is a short chapter, Interlude in Darkness, devoted to it. However the Mind is damaged, confused, and can't even remember its name, so it certainly can't be called an introduction to a real Mind.

    The Damage game contains a wonderful amount of Banks gift for invention and some splendid writing, but it actually has very little to do with the story. It might be considered as filler, but it's damn fine filler and fun to read.

    I want to mention the chapters called State of Play, of which there are three. The first introduces us to Fal 'Ngeestra, a Culture Referrer, one of just a few people in all the Culture whose intuitive grasp of situations and ideas puts her on a par with the abilities of Minds to suss things out. This chapter also brings us up to date on the situation on Schar's World. The second has some material about Horza and the Idirans. The third is the crux and the one to read (or listen to) several times. In eight pages it presents how the Idirans got to their present warlike stage, some material about Culture history and Minds, and a spectacular bit about an evolving Culture, its willingness to tamper with itself in order to keep refining things to obtain the most elegant patterns of the Culture's worldview, and also some history of the Changers that challenge Horza's views on almost everything. This material contains clues, harbingers, questions pertaining to Horza, the Culture, and the war, that really signify what the book is about and what it is attempting to say. It's unusual to find such a chapter in a book that seems a straight-forward action novel about the hero's (or antihero, if you will) journey. Banks will go on to ask greater questions, pose more important philosophical issues, and use his gift to paint far more complex imaginative inventions, but here it is laid out in the first book by an introspective Culture citizen the precepts that define the Culture. They'll be refined and buffed and worked on in all the subsequent Culture novels, but they really don't ever change.

  4. #34
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    I've missed a weeks listening due to being on Holiday, but back on it now Horza is just escaping the Eaters.

    I've probably missed something, but what were the primitive like people doing on that island on the O in the 1st place?

    I'll listen out carefully for the 3rd State of Play mentioned above when I'm there
    "Just have fun"

  5. #35
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    I've gone through State of Play 3, they are down in the tunnels fighting Idirans at the train now.

    There have been more mentions of the Mind & it's potential.

    Without any other knowledge the Culture are kind of made out to be the bad guys, especially in one section after they blow up the O.

    Easy in, easy out
    "Just have fun"

  6. #36
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    Picked up a copy (1st paperback edition) of this at a car-boot sale in England for a quid this summer. As soon as I have finished surface detail, I will re-read it. I have lent it to my eldest son. I'll have to see what he makes of it.

  7. #37
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    Great book, didn't have as much death in in as I (thought I) remembered though, now onto The Player of Games...
    "Just have fun"

  8. #38
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    Have to agree DB, while CP is a nice starting point to launch further Culture novels from, it's certainly not "deep" in the sense any other Culture novel is. It's really little more than the hero's (or antihero's) journey to his fate. Though I do call your attention to those chapters, and particularly the third of the three, I mention in my previous post. Though Banks' refined, expanded, and enhanced his ideas of what the Culture is, he never deviated from this original foundation. Which I find amazing given the depth he was able to give the Culture by the time on THS.

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