Thursday, December 1, 2011
Use of Weapons by Iain Banks
An interesting story that smacks the reader upside the head with its conclusion. I love it when a book does that.
From Goodreads: The man known as Cheradenine Zakalwe was one of Special Circumstances' foremost agents, changing the destiny of planets to suit the Culture through intrigue, dirty tricks and military action. The woman known as Diziet Sma had plucked him from obscurity and pushed him towards his present eminence, but despite all their dealings she did not know him as well as she thought. The drone known as Skaffen-Amtiskaw knew both of these people. It had once saved the woman's life by massacring her attackers in a particularly bloody manner. It believed the man to be a lost cause. But not even its machine could see the horrors in his past.
Ferociously intelligent, both witty and horrific, USE OF WEAPONS is a masterpiece of science fiction.
My main complaint with the book is the flashbacks. I'm not a fan of flashbacks and find they pull me out of the enjoyment of the main story line more often than not. Even with Bank's, I get annoyed to be reading in the present and the past and my inclination (nay, knee jerk reaction) is to skip the historical trips down memory lane.
But I know better with the Culture books. Don't do it! The payoff is so worth it.
The favorite part of any Banks book? The ship names. They delight me every time. I used to keep track but have since lost those posty-notes. Just awesome.
I'd love to say more, but I can't. Go read it and find out why.
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