Consider Phlebas (Unabridged)
by Iain M. Banks & Iain Banks
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The war raged across the galaxy. Billions had died, billions more were doomed. Moons, planets, the very stars themselves, faced destruction - cold-blooded, brutal, and worse, random. The Idirans fought for their Faith; the Culture for its moral right to exist. Principles were at stake. There could be no surrender. Within the cosmic conflict, an individual crusade. Deep within a fabled labyrinth on a barren world, a Planet of the Dead proscribed to mortals, lay a fugitive Mind. Both the Culture and the Idirans sought it. It was the fate of Horza, the Changer, and his motley crew of unpredictable mercenaries, human and machine, actually to find it, and with it their own destruction.
Fast paced, brutal and tragic
For the first book in a series that features a pacifist, utopian society, “Consider Phlebas” is one very splattery sci-fi novel.
It’s a war story told from an anti-Utopian P.O.V. which offers plenty of opportunity for graphic carnage. But Banks was not an author of simple blunt-force military schlock, his characters suffer the profoundly negative effects of war and find themselves unsure in the end of who the monsters really are.
It’s really a very well-written book, fast-paced, a real page-turner and full of imagery to delight and horrify the minds eye.
The narrator is one of the best, one of those who I think actually makes an audiobook superior to its print version.
I’d highly recommend it, bearing in mind that it’s pretty graphically violent, as an excellent, full-throttle space opera.