A world that hangs suspended between triumph and catastrophe, between the dismantling of the Wall and the fall of the Twin Towers, frozen in the shadow of suicide terrorism and global financial collapse, such a world requires a firm hand and a guiding light. But does it need the Concern: an all-powerful organisation with a malevolent presiding genius, pervasive influence and numberless invisible operatives in possession of extraordinary powers?On the Concern's books are Temudjin Oh, an un-killable assassin who journeys between the peaks of Nepal, a version of Victorian London and the dark palaces of Venice; and a nameless, faceless torturer known only as the Philosopher. And then there's the renegade Mrs Mulverhill, who recruits rebels to her side; and Patient 8262, hiding out from a dirty past in a forgotten hospital ward. As these vivid, strange and sensuous worlds circle and collide, the implications of turning traitor to the Concern become horribly apparent, and an unstable universe is set on a dizzying course.More
"Banks� tales is both tightly woven and grand in scale... The writing is pacey and, for a writer whose science fiction work has never been filmed, is extremely cinematic. But it�s in the force and breadth of its ideas that Transition is really extraordinary... Transition is a clever novel: an exhilarating (listen)that leaves a timebomb of philosophical engagement ticking in the readers mind."(Naomi Alderman, The Prospect)"Peopled with deadly assassins who flit between worlds, and mysterious members of a powerful organisation known as the Concern, the latest book from Iain Banks would seem better suited to the extended moniker used for his more sci-fi-orientated novels, Iain M Banks. So why is it labelled under the same name that produced (The Crow Road) and (The Steep Approach To Garbadale)? Probably because, beneath the novel's more outlandish exterior, Banks grapples with plenty of realistic concerns. Torture, foreign policy and power abuse are all woven into the story, while the consequences of such actions are considered maturely by the characters as they make their way towards a stirring conclusion. Fans of Banks's more conventional work might be initially put off, but they shouldn't be; it's an engrossing, futuristic fable with plenty to say about the here and now." (The Metro)
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Iain Banks on incredible form.