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Consider Phlebas (Culture #1) de Iain M.…
S'està carregant…

Consider Phlebas (Culture #1) (1987 original; edició 2008)

de Iain M. Banks (Autor)

Sèrie: The Culture (1)

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaConverses / Mencions
7,0222111,045 (3.72)1 / 360
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. Consider Phlebas - a space opera of stunning power and awesome imagination.… (més)
Membre:randys_bookbuzz
Títol:Consider Phlebas (Culture #1)
Autors:Iain M. Banks (Autor)
Informació:Orbit (2008), 544 pages
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
Valoració:
Etiquetes:science fiction, culture series, large paperback

Informació de l'obra

Consider Phlebas de Iain M. Banks (1987)

  1. 70
    Chasm City de Alastair Reynolds (voodoochilli)
    voodoochilli: As good as the Revelation space series, so if you want more check out Banks Culture novels.
  2. 60
    Las estrellas mi destino de Alfred Bester (EatSleepChuck)
  3. 40
    Revelation Space de Alastair Reynolds (nik.o)
  4. 20
    The Waste Land and Other Poems de T. S. Eliot (sturlington)
    sturlington: To understand the title allusion.
  5. 10
    The Wizards and the Warriors de Hugh Cook (themulhern)
    themulhern: A grim quest where the outcome hinges on the precise timing and nature of events. Much complication and a deal of ambiguity.
  6. 10
    Piece of Cake de Derek Robinson (themulhern)
    themulhern: A war, questions why the war is being fought, and horrible messes resulting from poor or incomplete information.
  7. 00
    Railhead de Philip Reeve (themulhern)
    themulhern: Profoundly sentient transportation in both.
  8. 11
    Hyperion de Dan Simmons (LamontCranston)
  9. 11
    Rocannon's World de Ursula K. Le Guin (themulhern)
    themulhern: Two vast wars fought between vastly different opponents. A small event in that war, and a protagonist who loses much in his struggle. Nothing else about these novels is terribly similar, but the contrasts are so interesting.
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Anglès (203)  Italià (2)  Francès (2)  Finès (2)  Romanès (1)  Castellà (1)  Totes les llengües (211)
Es mostren 1-5 de 211 (següent | mostra-les totes)
I gave up on this one fairly quickly. I was very on the fence about trying the Culture series. I abhor the idea of AIs being treated as people, and being allowed to make decisions over the lives of humans. But I was willing to be convinced it might not be so bad. Not only was I not convinced, I wasn't even aware that the main character was supposed to be unlikeable until someone pointed it out to me.

So, the story is all told from the perspective of an agent of the alien Idirans, an enemy at war with the Culture. This character, Horza, goes on at length about how sinister the Culture is, with their super-powerful AIs having "enslaved" humanity. Yet the Idirans that he serve are genocidal religious zealots. Having an unlikable protagonist might have worked, if Banks had firmly established that, no, really, the Culture are the good guys. I don't know to what extent he tried, but I didn't get the impression that I was supposed to sympathize with the Culture at all.

With an unlikable protagonist and no clear reason to like the Culture that he fought against, I found it impossible to get invested in the story. There was no one I wanted to root for.

The setting does some interesting stuff with transhumanism, but other than that, it seems like pretty generic space opera stuff. It's not a setting I would even want to get to know more of. ( )
1 vota perrywatson | Jan 6, 2022 |
Wow what a book, I thought that I was getting a simple space opera, and walked away with a tragedy, I'll be thinking about this book for a while. ( )
  kevn57 | Dec 8, 2021 |
Consider Phlebas is the first book in the ten-book Culture series by Iain M. Banks. It’s space opera, but kind of (definitely?) on the dark side, with lots of shades of gray. The general premise is that there are two large races at war, and most of the galaxy is affected by it in some way. One race is the Idirans, a non-human race with religion-driven motives. The other is the Culture, a human race with sentient machines. The main character, Horza, is a “Changer” which means he looks human but can alter his appearance to look like other people. He’s doing missions for the Idirans, and gets into one mess after another. He starts off in quite a literal mess as he’s about to drown in excrement.

My interest waned as the book went on. I enjoyed the first half pretty well, but parts of the second half were a slog. It’s a very action-packed story, but I think I started suffering from action fatigue after a while. Horza isn’t the most likeable character and he made some bad decisions. I could sympathize with him at times, but he was a jerk. I never bought into his theory that led to him siding with the Idirans over the Culture, but both sides had their issues. I like that there were shades of gray, but I never got very invested in the story or the characters and so I didn’t appreciate the ambiguity as much as I would have if I had cared more.

The ending was not satisfying to me at all. I had been thinking 3.5 stars up to that point, but the end drove it down to a flat 3 stars. Pretty much everybody, including Horza, is dead. His girlfriend with their unborn baby is dead. The only major character still alive at the end is Balveda, the Culture agent, and we’re told she has herself put in suspended animation, then kills herself after she’s revived. We’re given ridiculously high numbers of casualties for the war, and told what happens to nearly every surviving character who showed up in the story. It all just seemed pointless, although I guess maybe that was an intentional statement about war. Also, I’m not sure if I missed something near the end, or if this part just didn’t make any sense, but I never understood why the almost-dead Idiran dragged himself to the train in great agony to get it moving. He couldn’t have intended to crash it into the train that Horza’s team was on, because he had no way of knowing they would be there. And he couldn’t have known the Mind was on it, because the Idirans thought they had already destroyed the Mind (which was actually a holographic projection) when Horza’s group encountered them. I guess he could have been delirious, remembering some previously-discussed plan that would no longer have been relevant if he’d had all his marbles, and it was all just a big coincidence that his actions were so catastrophic.

If the second book wasn’t on the SF&F group shelf I’m reading my way through on Goodreads, I would probably stop here. I would probably stop here anyway if I thought reading the second book would be torture. But despite my complaints, it was still a pretty readable book and it did have its moments. I’m also curious to see where the author takes the series after this book, and the next book is shorter. So I’ll continue on to the second book, but I think it’s unlikely I’ll read the entire ten-book series unless I really love the second one.

I don’t normally give warnings, but this book is pretty violent, and there are a couple really disgusting parts. I wouldn’t recommend this to anybody who prefers to avoid violence and gore. And excrement. ( )
  YouKneeK | Nov 22, 2021 |
50 pages in - i'm still reading, not blowing me away though.

finished - power skimmed about half the book. For me, this story never rose above the the spot between "hard suck" and "meh". Just consistently uninteresting.

There wasn't very much of the story devoted to the Mind, or a Mind in general. Kept looking for that until the end. Did not materialize.

This is my second time with this book. Last time I think i bailed at about page 300. Perhaps I'll check out The Player of Games at some point. ( )
  stevenpkent | Nov 8, 2021 |
I thought that the first half of this book was very good and got into the book. Then the whole scene with the cannibals threw me off and I don't think Mr. Banks recovered as it went downhill from there and it ended up as a chore for me to read. ( )
  jean-duteau | Oct 31, 2021 |
Es mostren 1-5 de 211 (següent | mostra-les totes)
The choice of name was definitely not an attempt to gain literary credentials or he would have ditched the ‘camp aliens and laser blasters.’ He has acknowledged the similarities to the poem in that the main character in Consider Phlebas is drowning and later undergoes a ’sea-change’ – this being a motif running through The Waste Land – but that is far as it goes.
But there are a number of parallels between the two works, whether deliberate or not on Iain’s part. To prove my point I will take a brief look at Consider Phlebas and then at The Waste Land, followed by examples of how the latter informs the former.
afegit per elenchus | editaJohn Black blog, John Black (Oct 4, 2012)
 

» Afegeix-hi altres autors (9 possibles)

Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Banks, Iain M.autor primaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Collon, HélèneTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Hopkinson, RichardAutor de la cobertaautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Hundertmarck, RosemarieTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Kenny, PeterNarradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Keynäs, VilleTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Salwowski, MarkAutor de la cobertaautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Youll,PaulAutor de la cobertaautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
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"Idolatry is worse than carnage."

The Koran, 2:190
Gentile or Jew
O you who turn the wheel and look to windward,
Consider Phlebas, who was once handsome and tall as you.

T. S. Eliot,
'The Waste Land', IV
Persecution is worse than carnage.
The Koran, 2: 191
Dedicatòria
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to the memory of Bill Hunt
Primeres paraules
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The ship didn't even have a name.
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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. Consider Phlebas - a space opera of stunning power and awesome imagination.

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