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Tekijä: Iain M. Banks

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1,954688,426 (3.59)59
Sharing nothing in common except links to an organization committed to protecting the world from itself, an assembly of dubious characters including a torturer, a reluctant assassin, and an amnesiac patient confront challenges beyond their imagining.
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englanti (67)  ranska (1)  Kaikki kielet (68)
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 68) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
Generally great! First 350 pages were mind-bending, well written, with fascinating characters and ideas. Last 50 pages kind of fell into B-movie plotlines. I'd still give it four stars though. ( )
  roguelike | Feb 4, 2024 |
What was that? Okay, so it had an ending, but definitely not a climax.

Plus, Banksy just can't help himself and toss out leftist buzzwords and shit. Try writing better stories and less political fiction. ( )
  cwebb | Dec 7, 2023 |
This was a disappointing book for me. It read as one of the lesser Culture novels, with just a few interesting ideas, but mostly being a supposedly fun romp with nothing of note. There's a lot of time spent on characters that do nothing by the story's end, except acting exactly as they did before.

It's no wonder it took me a long time to decide to finish this book, since there wasn't much to grab me. The whole multiverse thing has been overplayed by now in too many media, and while there could have been an interesting twist on it (revealed near the end, but Banks doesn't do anything with it).

It feels as a misfire, or something that, with some work, could have been expanded into a serious contemporary sci-fi thing, but Banks couldn't bother or didn't know exactly where he was aiming with it.

( )
  marsgeverson | Jan 12, 2023 |
I guess this was a work in progress but he ran out of time. I could have done without all the copulating but the basic idea of the multiverse was tackled really well. So thanks for a last book.
Ah - I later realise this wasn't his last book, so theoretically he could have done some editing......

Tried re-reading but didn't hold my attention so only got a few chapters in. ( )
  Ma_Washigeri | Jan 23, 2021 |
What is up with all the books that can't keep to a straight timeline? Eventually it's nice to be surprised, but this is one of many books I've read recently that jumps around randomly in time.

So this book, imagine a world where some people can move then consciousness between humans and it being full of internal fighting. That is the back story to this book and in jumps through time we're presented with a story mostly narrated by one of the main characters.

The book feels disconnected with many stories that don't quite come to their conclusion. This is probably intentional to leave a bit for the reader as well but I was not up for it so I cannot give this book a good grade or recommend it. ( )
  bratell | Dec 25, 2020 |
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 68) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
In the end, for better or worse, this is a novel held together by its author’s moral vision. Transition may boast a postmodern plethora of worlds, but it offers a single old-fashioned world-view which all this random rattling about paradoxically reveals... This is a thriller with a conscience, decent and timely, even if, amid all the blood and thunder, it sounds what can seem an incongruously still small voice.
 
Despite being published without the M in the author’s name - except in the US - this Iain Banks novel features parallel worlds, and flitting between them, and has as a plot point the existence or not of alien intelligences somewhere out there. As such it can scarcely be described as mainstream. But then early Iain “no M” Banks offerings (Walking On Glass, The Bridge, Canal Dreams) were suffused with SFness and/or sensibility (The Wasp Factory.)

Transition does, though, signal its literariness from the outset – its strapline is “based on a false story” and the first words of its prologue are, “Apparently I am what is known as an unreliable narrator.” There is, too, a high degree of characterisation throughout even though, with the aid of a drug known as septus, most of its main characters can flit from one body to another. In typical Banksian fashion there is a shadowy organisation - here known as l’Expédience, or the Concern (which last is a pun) based on a world unusually known as Calbefraques rather than Earth - in charge of the use and distribution of septus and of recruitment to and training for the transition process.

I did notice that while at one point it is said that there has to be a recipient body for transitioning to take place - the one left behind has only rudimentary function as a husk - later transitions to uninhabited worlds do take place without added explanation.

The narrative is divided between various viewpoint personalities, Patient 8262, who is in hiding in a hospital in a country where the local language is not his own, The Transitionary, who may be an earlier incarnation of Patient 8262, Adrian, a former drug dealer turned hedge fund manager, Madame d’Ortolan, foremost member of the Concern’s ruling council, The Philosopher, a legal torturer, and occasional others. The Transitionary’s is a first person present tense narrative, others are past tense, sometimes first, sometimes third person. The most intriguing character is the rather prosaically named Mrs Mulverhill – who is not married, merely likes the name.

In the sort of inversion beloved of SF authors one of the parallel worlds has a set of Christian fanatics pitted against the state and indulging in suicide bombings and the like. The scenario gives Banks the opportunity to riff on how proportionate a response society ought to have to terrorism and on the (in)efficacy of torture. One of his characters also skewers “the invisible hand.”

Devotees of Iain M Banks will probably find this a treat. Followers of his M-less namesake ought also to find enough in it to satisfy them.
lisäsi jackdeighton | muokkaaA Son of The Rock, Jack Deighton
 

» Lisää muita tekijöitä

Tekijän nimiRooliTekijän tyyppiKoskeeko teosta?Tila
Banks, Iain M.ensisijainen tekijäkaikki painoksetvahvistettu
Kenny, PeterKertojamuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu

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For Alastair and Emily, and in memory of Bec
With thanks to Adèle, Mic, Richard, Les, Gary and Zoe
Ensimmäiset sanat
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Apparently I am what is known as an Unreliable Narrator, though of course if you believe everything you're told you deserve whatever you get. (Prologue)
I think I have been very clever in doing what I have done, in landing myself where I am.
This is how it ends: he comes into my room. (Epilogue)
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But of course she was not a racist. To the contrary, as she could point out, in appropriate company (that would be to say, highly limited and avowedly discreet company), had she not tasted of what she thought of as the Dark Pleasures, with blacks, on more than one occasion? The epitome of such enjoyment was, for her, to be taken anally by such a Nubian brute. Privately, she thought of this act as "going to Sèvres-Babylone," as this was the deepest, darkest, and most excitingly, enticingly dangerous Métro station that she knew of.
Paris has changed once more. There is a canal through the breadth of the Ile St Louis, the street is full of gaily dressed hussars on clopping, head-tossing horses being politely applauded by a few passers-by who have stopped to watch and everything smells of steam. I look up, hoping for airships. I always like it when there are airships, but I can't see any.
And don't forget Goldman's Law: nobody knows anything. Nobody knows what will work. That's why they make so many remakes and Part Twos; what looks like lack of imagination is really down to too much, as execs visualise all the things that could go wrong with a brand new, untested idea. Going with something containing elements that definitely worked in the past removes some of the terrifying uncertainty.
We live in an infinity of infinities, and we reshape our lives with every passing thought and each unconscious action, threading an ever-changing course through the myriad possibilities of existence.
Libertarianism. A simple-minded right-wing ideology ideally suited to those unable or unwilling to see past their own sociopathic self-regard.
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(Napsauta nähdäksesi. Varoitus: voi sisältää juonipaljastuksia)
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Sharing nothing in common except links to an organization committed to protecting the world from itself, an assembly of dubious characters including a torturer, a reluctant assassin, and an amnesiac patient confront challenges beyond their imagining.

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