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Transition Hardcover – September 23, 2009
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Top Customer Reviews
It is based on the premise that a virtually infinite number of parallel dimensions do indeed exist. The inhabitants of one of them have discovered that by ingesting a drug called Septus, they can transport their consciousness into the bodies of unsuspecting people in other dimensions & thus meddle with the socio-political development of other Earths. They have therefore formed The Concern - an organisation designed to strictly control the use of 'transitioning' & ensure it is used to benefit other worlds. But since The Concern's High Council plays its cards suffocatingly close to its chest, can they actually be trusted? Or could some of its members have adgendas of their own? And who decides what constitutes the greater good anyway? These are questions one of The Concern's assassins has to find answers to when he becomes a piece in a deadly game between his employers & an enigmatic renegade.
I have found that many of Banks' novels (such as The Business) consist of a story which can be summed up in 100 pages, fleshed out with 300 or so pages of florid descriptions & background details. Transition, however, never meanders far from the main plot. It's an expertly-crafted, entertaining & thought-provoking read, which remains gripping throughout. In my view, it's one of his best.
In short, the transition from prologue to epilogue was a thoroughly enjoyable one.
Good sci-fi executed with the flair I've come to expect from I. M. Banks.
Not a Culture book though, looking forward to more of them.
P.S. The reviewer immediately below me, Harriet K., is a fake, a stooge for a publishing house, see the comments associated with her review. Apparently she reviews about 8 books a day on average with 5 stars every time. Amazon you should do something about this sort of blatant marketing rubbish.
If you're prepared to journey with this cast of unreliable narrators and stick with the journey through the (at times quite slow-paced) initial machinations, it builds to a very satisfying and thought-provoking read - one of Mr. Bank's best, in my opinion.
Yes, Mr. Banks, I faithfully read the book from cover to cover, and I got the message. I truly hope this isn't a sign of things to come with your future novels. I read fiction to enjoy a writer's style, plotting skills, excitement, intrigue, clever twists, etc. I prefer the non-fiction shelf for ideology.
My only problem, or complaint, is that it just isn't that well thought out. It's made clear early on (and in several other reviews) that this is fundamentally a Many Worlds idea. Unlike, say, the 1950s Sci Fi efforts of multiple dimensions and alternate earths, this narrative uses an interpretation of modern physics writ large by Brian Greene. For a particle in some quantum state, it may end up in state A or state B - completely at random. Many Worlds is an interpretation of quantum mechanics that says that both of these outcomes are valid and, in fact, occur - there are infinities of universes constantly splitting and spiraling off from each other in countless number, from every little event, even, say, the decay of a radioactive element deep within the crust of the Earth (or some other planet, even). Most people tend to misunderstand this idea and instead ascribe the splitting of universes to individual, conscious choices they make - not really thinking about all the infinities that precede that choice (or if indeed there is such a thing as choice!) or, even taking the idea at its face, thinking about all the choices being made all the time by all the people, animals, insects ... anyway, its an enormous landscape of infinities.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
a little different than i was expecting, since it was listed as one of the Culture novels, which I'm working my way through. Read morePublished 3 months ago by gok
I was hoping for a culture novel, as the Kindle title says "(Culture)"... I don't think this is a culture novel. Good fiction. Not Culture.Published 5 months ago by steven katien
Sci-fi or not, difficult to say. Anyway an enjoyable book even if a little bit difficult to understand. I really liked it.Published 7 months ago by Torbjörn Dahl
First of all, ignore Amazon, this isn't one of the ten Culture novels. I have no idea why Amazon labels it as one. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Matthew Skau
Great read, but I wonder why (the Kindle version at least) has "Culture" in the title? It had nothing to do with Iain M Banks' Culture novels. Read morePublished 11 months ago by C. Gauss
I am a big fan on Banks. Other than his mildly annoying tendency to kill off major characters I enjoy his books tremendously - especially the culture novels. Read morePublished 11 months ago by A. Chisholm
Some really great scifi ideas buried in an impenetrable story with characters I just couldn't care about. It's 400 pages long, and the first Act is 300 of them. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Kristian Thoroughgood