The Culture - a human/machine symbiotic society - has thrown up many great Game Players, and one of the greatest is Gurgeh. Jernau Morat Gurgeh. The Player of Games. Master of every board, computer and strategy. Bored with success, Gurgeh travels to the Empire of Azad, cruel and incredibly wealthy, to try their fabulous game...a game so complex, so like life itself, that the winner becomes emperor. Mocked, blackmailed, almost murdered, Gurgeh accepts the game, and with it the challenge of his life - and very possibly his death.
Praise for Iain M. Banks:
"Poetic, humorous, baffling, terrifying, sexy -- the books of Iain M. Banks are all these things and more" -- NME
"An exquisitely riotous tour de force of the imagination which writes its own rules simply for the pleasure of breaking them." -- Time Out
Customer ReviewsSee All
Great Introduction to "The Culture" and Iain M. Banks
I confess that I've been reading sci-fi for more than 40 years now, and have had plenty of disappointments. Banks' work has yet to be. "Player of Games" is a great way to be introduced to his "Culture" universe.
The action is straightforward, the story is thoughtful and thought provoking. His characters and prose leave me wanting more. He's got a wicked sense of humor, and a wonderful imagination, wonderfully realized in this and his other books.
Take a trip to the far future, and enjoy the ride!
Terrific and engaging
Terrific and engaging, I didn't love consider phlebas, but player of games hooked me I to the culture series?
I recommend it.
100 Words or Less
Banks creates a challenge: a world without problems and characters without worry, and then asks us to care.
Halfway through this novel, I didn’t care. So what if the Gamer might lose some prestige (in a society where there’s little if any). So what if he may not win a high profile political/societal contest. It’s a bit like arguing over a D&D dice roll.
Yet … in the end, Banks does a decent job. His story still lacks any real emotional pull, but it’s well written, expertly thought out, and enjoyable. Though that sets the bar low, it’s enough.