Wednesday, 22 January 2014
Links for Use of Weapons by Iain M Banks
(Rather late on this one, but in the spirit of helping other people who may be reading this book...)
Use of Weapons is part of Banks' The Culture series, a collection of largely unrelated books set in an alternative universe.
There's a good guide to the series on Wikipedia here
The Science Fiction Book Review Podcast also has an episode dedicated to the series.
& a specific episode on 'Use of Weapons'
Wikipedia on Use of Weapons
A 5 Star Review
"I've read enough of Iain Banks' other work to be able to say that Use of Weapons is almost certainly his masterpiece, which is really saying something compared to the high quality of his other novels. In this book everything just works. The characters are sublimely handled, with Banks immersing you in their lives to the point where you stop thinking of them as characters and instead accept them as people. The structure of the story is inventive without over-relishing its own cleverness."
& A 3 Star Review
"Ultimately, Banks uses this inventive structure to create a poignant and shocking climax to the book. However, to me this comes at the expense of an involving story. Essentially, I don't feel that the plot of the forward-time strand is consistently strong enough to generate interest in and sympathy with the protagonist - towards the end of the book, I was only really interested in the resolution of the backwards-in-time strand."