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review 2014-02-15 14:51
Interesting collection
The State of the Art - Iain M. Banks

‘The State of the Art’ is an interesting collection of short stories, all of which differ greatly from each other. I enjoyed them all except ‘Scratch,’ which descended into the arrogant nonsensical writing Banks displayed in Excession.

 

I liked the Culture novella, which the collection takes its name from, mostly as it was from the perspective of Dizzy from The Use of Weapons. However this tale could have been shorter, and still have the same impact. ‘Piece’ is brilliant, ‘Road of Skulls’ clever, ‘Odd Attachment’ downright creepy, and ‘A Gift from the Culture’ a wonderful piece of storytelling.

 

This is a good collection, which has helped erase some of the distaste Excession left me with.

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text 2014-02-13 20:02
120 of 216
The State of the Art - Iain M. Banks

I know, I know, it's Sci-Fi. But I've read 12 non-science fiction novels before starting this, so it's okay.

 

Right?

 

Also, my copy was published in the early nineties, but looks like it belongs in the seventies. Cost £1.50 at an indie book shop.

 

My justification just keep getting weaker.

 

So anyway, so far it's shaping up to be far better than Excession, and exceptionally creepy at times. Good so far.

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review 2014-01-22 20:34
Disappointing
Excession - Iain M. Banks

There’s not much more I can say about this book. It’s a shame; The Player of Games is one of my favourite novels, and The Use of Weapon is a brilliant piece of intelligent writing. Excession however, is dull. The characters are flat and the plot doesn’t go anywhere. It’s also arrogant, which considering the rest of the series, was quite shocking. There are pages of nonsensical Mind communications that are a struggle to get through. They add very little to the plot, and appear simply to be Banks showing off what he can do.

 

As the Culture Series are standalone plots, I’d avoid this one. It’s not worth it.

 

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text 2013-07-06 13:04
Book Haul II

On a rainy day like this, all I want to do is curl up under a blanket and read with a cup of coffee in my hands. The sound of rain is very comforting for me and it soothes the soul. Also, my brain likes the trio: rain + a good book + a cup of coffee = eternal happiness.

 

 

I purchased Ian Banks' Espedair Street three days before he died of cancer and that made me even more emotional once it appeared in my mailbox. Race and Revolution is a non-fiction and I haven't read one of those for quite some time. Also, it was a bargain purchase, so yay! The book I am really excited about is If On a Winter's Night a Traveller by Italo Calvino - it sounds so good!

 

 

The Palace of Curiosities by Rosie Garland was an absolute impulsive purchase. It was in the 'new releases' section and I thought it looked good so I clicked put in my basket. From what I read, it sounds amazing, although it reminds me of The Night Circus a bit, hopefully it won't be the same kind of a story.

I am truly happy for having A Tale for the Time Being now. Plus, look at what edition I got! Woo.

 

 

Recently, I started getting a bit more into Neil Gaiman's work and I am loving it so far. I am currently reading Fragile Things and it is very enjoyable. I am a bit intimidated by American Gods, as I heard you really need to connect things in your brain, but I am excited to read it.

 

 

Happy Saturday, y'all. Make the best of it, meaning read as much as you can, drink lots of beverages (you need to stay hydrated, I heard) and don't forget to be kind.

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