I’m very late to the sci-fi master series Culture by Iain M Banks. In fact, I’ve just completed Hatchette Audio UK’s 2010 version of Consider Phelabas.
The unabridged audiobook is over 16 hours long and narrated by Peter Kenny.
Iain M Banks’ Consider Phlebas is a gripping science fiction novel set in a complex, imaginative universe. It follows the story of Bora Horza Gobuchul, a shape-shifting mercenary hired to retrieve a stolen artificial body for a mysterious employer. As Horza undertakes his mission, the novel reveals a world filled with warring factions, strange and wondrous creatures, and various characters whose fates intertwine throughout the story.
The book’s plot is intricate and often unpredictable, drawing readers in with its complex web of characters, settings, and situations. The characters are vivid and memorable, and the novel’s themes of identity and morality are explored in depth. Banks’ writing is vivid and often poetic, bringing to life the book’s various settings and events.
In addition to its thrilling plot, Consider Phlebas is also full of interesting commentary on the nature of war, morality, and the human condition. The Idiran Empire’s willingness to use force to get its way is contrasted with the Culture’s more subtle approach, while both sides consider their cause to be just. Banks explores the consequences of war on both sides and how the conflict shapes the characters.
Without question, an audiobook’s narrator plays a significant role in the enjoyment of the story.
Peter Kenny nails Consider Phlebas bringing the web of characters to life and, at times, lulling me into forgetting there’s only one voice talent in the book. Despite the range of voices, no character feels jarred or unnatural.
Consider Phlebas a thought-provoking, entertaining, and must-read for science fiction fans. The novel’s intricate plot and intriguing characters keep readers or, as in my case, listeners engaged, and its themes add an extra layer of depth to the story. Banks’ writing is also a delight, making Consider Phlebas a book sure to please.
I’m absolutely going to be exploring the Culture series further.
- Audiobook: Audible.
- Consider Phlebas: Amazon | Waterstones.
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