Surface Detail : Culture

  • by Iain M. Banks
  • Narrated by Peter Kenny
  • Series: Culture
  • 20 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The dazzling new Culture novel from a modern master of science fiction - a tour de force of brilliant storytelling, world-building and imagination.
It begins in the realm of the Real, where matter still matters. It begins with a murder. And it will not end until the Culture has gone to war with death itself.
Lededje Y'breq is one of the Intagliated, her marked body bearing witness to a family shame, her life belonging to a man whose lust for power is without limit. Prepared to risk everything for her freedom, her release, when it comes, is at a price, and to put things right she will need the help of the Culture.
Benevolent, enlightened and almost infinitely resourceful though it may be, the Culture can only do so much for any individual. With the assistance of one of its most powerful - and arguably deranged - warships, Lededje finds herself heading into a combat zone not even sure which side the Culture is really on. A war - brutal, far-reaching - is already raging within the digital realms that store the souls of the dead, and it's about to erupt into reality.
It started in the realm of the Real and that is where it will end. It will touch countless lives and affect entire civilizations, but at the centre of it all is a young woman whose need for revenge masks another motive altogether.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

The finest Culture novel yet!

Over many years I've keenly tracks Banks' development in his wild and wonderful Culture universe. I couldn't put this one down - a work of sheer SciFi genius! Detailed yet expansive, bizarre yet familiar. Philosophy, war, religion, technology, physics, dream. More please Iain! Also masterfully narrated by Peter Kenny across a galaxy of different characters.
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- J Hurwitz

Dissenting voice

Looks like I'm the only one who doesn't think this is the best of the Culture novels so far. Don't get me wrong, I still thoroughly enjoyed this book, but found it rather slower in pace -- a little heavy on its feet perhaps. There seemed to be far more humour in this one, and that's not a bad thing. Also, one of my favourite minor characters of all time appears: the ship's avatar for the Falling outside Normal Moral Constraints, and Banks's florid imagination is, as usual, stunning. I actually found the reader to be far too fast (maybe I'm just a slow processor) -- I had to check that my iPhone wasn't set to 2x speed. But he does the characters brilliantly.
All in all, I thought both Matter and The Algebraist more compelling, but I appear to be in the minority.
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- Martin

Book Details

  • Release Date: 07-10-2010
  • Publisher: Hachette Audio UK