18 March, 2021

(Audiobook) Review - The Player of Games (Culture #2) by Iain M. Banks

For my first foray into Iain M. Banks' world of the Culture, The Player of Games pretty well blew me away. I'm still thinking about it weeks after finishing. I've realized I need to know more about the Culture though, so much more.

As I'm last to the party with Banks (it seems to me), I'm sure you already know, but if you don't,  Gurgeh is a professional game player. The best of the best. Better than Ninja (any gen z'ers around?). He's conscripted (I won't get into details) to play the ultimate game on an alien world and it's about to get real.

This game has it all, different levels, different amounts of players, it's so ineffable, we don't really get a description of it, but that just adds to the enigma that is Azad (also the name of the empire). 

It's such a brilliant telling of some relatively typical tropes, but it felt so fresh...even though it was first published in 1988.

I can't wait to get into more of Banks's Culture series and probably anything else he has to offer. I didn't know if starting book 2 of the series was the right choice having never read anything else, but this recommendation worked at least for me.

Narration: This was my first experience with Peter Kenny (to my knowledge) and I thought he did a wonderful job. I barely noticed his involvement, which is the best kind of narrator. Great voices, good simpering machine voices, and flowed quite well.

4.5 out of 5 stars (highly recommended)


Anonymous said...

Will give this a try! i fired it in my wish list ages ago as i heard some friends going on about it but thought it could be a heavy read..

Bryce L. said...

It was definitely not as heavy as I thought it would be. Banks has a reputation for being pretty heavy hard scifi, but this was very approachable imo. Enjoy!