Use of Weapons by Iain M. Banks
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is a rather surprising novel. I mean, on the one hand, it is filled with glorious ultraviolence, satisfying all atavistic tendencies, but on the other hand, it's almost poetry, devoted to all the ideals that the Culture is known for. Peace, objectivism, minimalistic good, and respect.
Where does war really fit? Well, in the end, there's always a niche for everything, and, indeed, everyone.
So what was so damn surprising?
I can't, I won't, tell you.
*sigh* It's a long story, full of daring-do, future-feeling, peace-striving effort.
It's also a story told backward, a reflection of now told one scene in the past going further and further back, fleshing out and building the character of the One Who Uses Weapons, eventually ending the book where he began.
I'm sorry. This was and exhausting tale, thrilling and surprising.
I just have to sit down a moment.
(Thanks, Manny, for the beautiful notion.)
This book, like all that I've ever read by Iain M. Banks, is brilliant. By all rights, it shouldn't be. It's full of action, smart dialog, and overt messages. That should be enough for most tales. But no, he always goes that one extra step and pulls a twist. Bravo! A virtuoso performance! It's a real art.
This chair isn't really that comfortable, but I did have to sit. I think it'll go very nicely in my living room.
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