book reviews by Althea

The Player of Games – Iain Banks *****

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(Culture, #2)

Gurgeh is the top player of games on his home orbital. He avidly seeks out new games, determined to master them all. He’s good. He’s brilliant. He’s also arrogant, annoying, and just a little bit bored – and vulnerable to manipulation.
When agents of The Culture suggest that he travel to a planet where an overwhelmingly complex game controls the social hierarchy, the bait has been dangled…

My book club opted to read this book last month in light of Banks’ recent very bad news. Not all the readers loved it as much as I did, but I really, really love just about everything about this book (and everything about most of Banks’ writing, but this is really one of his best.) Stimulating ideas, sharp insights, quirky and charming (if not always likeable) characters, complex plot elements and layered motivations, set in an infinitely interesting setting…

I just have a few of Banks’ books left to read, and I’m going to have to try to read them as slowly as possible…


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