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Feersum Endjinn Hardcover – June, 1994
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Top Customer Reviews
Stars are disappearing because the Encroachment--a cloud of space dust thick enough to block starlight--is slowly enveloping the solar system. Earth has lost some of its technical maturity due to complacency in the ruling bureaucracy and the departure of former generations. However, there is a computer hive-mind that exists that may have the answers to the coming crisis, if only someone knew how to access it and if the rulers would allow them to do so. As the stars flicker out, and the time to do something--anything--decreases, the characters engage in a political struggle to determine how the crisis will be met.
I was initially disappointed that this wasn't a "Culture" novel, having grown to love the philosophical fun of those books, but quickly discovered that there was much to love here as well. Feersum Endjinn has that joy of discovery that is the realm of good science fiction, wherein everything is new and different, where nothing is quite as it seems, yet everything is also very familiar. And Banks, that fine purveyor of the trick ending, decides to go for obfusication rather than chicanery, and the result is quite pleasing. Iain Banks continues his winning streak, every recent book a grand slam home run.
Thank you. This book was awesome.
The story is in ten chapters, each of which is broken down into four points of view -- a confused foreigner, the chief scientist, a count in the military, and a young kid with spelling issues. (Other viewpoints come along from time to time--for example, the king.) The story evolves through these four completely separate personae: the Earth is being approached by the Encroachment, which is this bizarre cloud that threatens to block out the sun; the people in power are doing little, it seems, to stop it. The four main characters must figure out who they are and what they're doing; only then do they have a hope of figuring out what's going on and stopping the end of the world.
At least, that's the basic story. I don't want to go into any more detail because I don't want to give things away. :) It's an amazing book, and I give it my highest recommendation.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
As people have mentioned before - it takes getting used to reading the book. But you catch on quite fast. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Artim
There are several repeating narrative styles. One of them is unreadable. It was an interesting idea, maybe, but it didn't work. You'll know which one. Read morePublished 4 months ago by CiscoD
If this reeview is difikult 4 u to reed then u shud perhaps not buy this buk, bcaus sevrul chapters are riten this way. I luved it but ur milege may very.Published 17 months ago by Blahsblah2001
I did really enjoy this book. It is imaginative, well written, and has well developed and believable characters.Published 17 months ago by Daniel Hilding
Only thing I didn't like was I couldn't get a Kindle edition and I paid too much for the softcover copy.Published 18 months ago by Amazon Customer
As usual, this man has blown me away with the far-seeing scope of his imagination. I've read the reviews maligning the unusual dialogue of Bascule and, although I can understand... Read morePublished 24 months ago by Home in Carolina