That’s a great explanation - feels absolutely right.
God I love that book. Going to have to re-read it soon.
That’s a great explanation - feels absolutely right.
They are pretty marmite. Very verbose and detailed. But with enough story to drag you along. I always read on holiday so I can devote time to them.
Ahh good to know, might wait til Gravitys Rainbow has been conquered then hah.
Don’t get me wrong. They aren’t especially difficult…but probably won’t be for everyone. Let me know what you think if you do read them.
After having read that it feels like I missed so much! Looking forward to reading it again one day.
I’m doing a re-read of all of them at the moment. My favourite series of all time. I have tentative ambitions to do a podcast discussing each on in depth - messaged a few DiSers I know are fans a while back then got severely waylaid in my re-read plans due to life getting in the way.
Anyway, I’m 60% through Consider Phlebas right now and it’s been really interesting coming back to it now I know all about The Culture and their subsequent escapades. I’d also forgotten how spectacularly violent it is. Horza goes through some really awful stuff!
Thought I’d left my copy at my ex-GF’s but found it here on a bookshelf hiding behind a picture of my niece! Well pleased
Yes! The one thing about the series is that it’s so deep that they are really excellent books to reread over and over, because you always tend to miss something. My personal favourites so far have been Surface Detail, Player of Games, Use of Weapons and currently I’m reading Hydrogen Sonata which is also really good. Actually, I think it feels like every damn Culture novel is always good read
I have mostly read books for uni so:
The Mirror of the Sea
In Pursuit of Spring
Selected Essays - Virginia Woolf
The Road to Wigan Pier
The Living Mountain
The Unofficial Countryside
The Star Factory
The Isle of Dogs (not on the reading unit as it’s about dogging but I thought it had some relevance in other ways)
Listening to The Loney but keep falling asleep and can’t remember what’s going on. Also, don’t like the narrator much.
Book I started but didn’t finish
Read loads of kids books this year though, many times.
They’re all wonderful. The Excession just wins for me because the dialogue between the ship minds is so wonderful. I love how petty these unfathomably ‘intelligent’ entities are and all the conspiracies.
I’ve been making my way through these in order over the past 18 months or so on and off. Always loved his Iain Banks stuff but only recently started reading his straight sci-fi/Culture stuff.
The Excession is definitely my favourite so far. The minds are brilliant creations. Most recently read the Algebraist, which I know isn’t the culture but I thoroughly enjoyed anyway.
Surprisingly so, in a way. I remember thinking it’d be a lot tougher than it is before I read it: as well as being sprawlingly Pynchonian, it’s also written deliberately in the style of an 18th Century (ish) novel. I think a lot of what makes it so readable though is this humanity, and the sense of wonder and humour that propels a lot of it.
I think I’m finding it easier second time round now that I’m not occasionally checking back to confirm that it really did casually mention one of the characters being able to fly.
millions of great seeming ebooks for $1 in the OR sale
I would say all of these things about The Sot Weed Factor by John Barth and I think that mght be his best.
M&D is now at the top of my To Read list (once I clear some space on the shelf…)
I think I remember The Sot Weed Factor cropping up in the essay I read about historiographic metafiction for my undergraduate dissertation, so that’s been on my own consideration list for some time.
argh thanks a lot, dork, I spent £10 on 14 great books I’m too stupid to understand
mid-way through Elif Batuman - The Idiot—top drawer campus-based inner turmoil teenage melodrama with added philosophy of language. Really very engaging, even though I think it might be way less meaningful than it seems. You spend the entire novel inside the protagonist’s head, though—besides some little excursions into a Russian textbook’s story subplot—so I guess whether you’ll like it hinges on whether or not you (think) like her.
Tried to read Iron Council by Mievile. It isn’t good. As most people suggest. A couple of hundred pages in. Has to stop for the time being and read A Violent Life by Pasolini which was good. Heavy going. About fascist youth and seems very personal. Want to look into more of his writing as only know him as a director.
May go back to Iron Council just as so far into the trilogy I feel I should complete but may stick to some Clark Ashton Smith and Machen shorts in the meantime.
I’m reading Black Like Me at the moment. It’s by this white sociologist guy in the 1950s who took some weird skin darkening pills to effectively turn him ‘black’. He then goes and lives first in New Orleans and then goes deep into Mississippi, seemingly passing as an authentic black man to everyone he meets, and writes about how his experience differs to that of his life as a white man.
Even though you know all this racism goes on, reading his response to it and seeing how people react when he forgets himself and sits in an area for whites or just assumes he can act the same way is all very interesting
I never made it through Iron Council. I keep meaning to try again at some point to see if it was as boring as I remember it being.