The man known as Cheradenine Zakalwe was one of Special Circumstances' foremost agents, changing the destiny of planets to suit the Culture through intrigue, dirty tricks or military action.
The woman known as Diziet Sma had plucked him from obscurity and pushed him towards his present eminence, but despite all their dealings she did not know him as well as she thought.
The drone known as Skaffen-Amtiskaw knew both of these people. It had once saved the woman's life by massacring her attackers in a particularly bloody manner. It believed the man to be a burnt-out case. But not even its machine intelligence could see the horrors in his past.
Probably one of the best Culture novels, and again very well served by Peter Kenny's excellent narration. I am assuming he has classical training as part of his background - every character is well distinguished and the more dramatic portions are very well acted, rather than simply narrated.
I've read the book several times so jumped at the chance to hear an audio version of it. What a fantastic medium. Peter Kenny brings this book to life in a way I've never got when reading. He really gives the characters greater depth and his range of voices is amazing! I highly recommend Surface Detail for culture fans, his portrayal of Demeisen is superb! Would like to hear him read Excession!
A Dark & Wonderful Masterpiece
This superb addition to the "culture" series sees Banks traversing some very dark territory indeed. It's brilliant & compelling. I was utterly captivated throughout. A terrific addition to his audiobook catalogue. Please add the complete set soon!