Consider Phlebas

(Culture #1)

Paperback, 471 pages

English language

Published April 17, 2005 by Orbit.

ISBN:
9781857231380

View on OpenLibrary

View on Inventaire

3 stars (36 reviews)

Consider Phlebas, first published in 1987, is a space opera novel by Scottish writer Iain M. Banks. It is the first in a series of novels about an interstellar post-scarcity society called the Culture. The novel revolves around the Idiran–Culture War, and Banks plays on that theme by presenting various microcosms of that conflict. Its protagonist Bora Horza Gobuchul is an enemy of the Culture. Consider Phlebas is Banks's first published science fiction novel and takes its title from a line in T. S. Eliot's poem The Waste Land. A subsequent Culture novel, Look to Windward (2000), whose title comes from the previous line of the same poem, can be considered a loose follow-up.

5 editions

Arrogance

4 stars

This is a book about arrogance. The arrogance of going up against a culture (indeed, THE Culture) that can do anything, of going up against the certainty of faith, of going it alone, of reliance on technology or the rejection of it. I spent a while thinking about what this book is "about" after its unusual conclusion. I think it's ultimately about how very important it is to work together, to be together. A culture that destroys individualism so thoroughly that each person is ultimately disconnected from every other is as bad as a religious community that rejects common ground with other communities, which is itself as bad as a man who is driven only to accomplish his own ends. Every bad thing that happens to an individual is either the result of working alone--even with the best intentions--or of an uncaring, random universe inflicting itself on people left unprotected. …

It's a space opera. What do you want?

4 stars

I definitely enjoyed this more than (Surface Detail)[https://book.dansmonorage.blue/book/18939]. If nothing else, it is notably shorter, which suggests an instance of "established authors need editing too".

Banks does love to shock, and loves to write "cinematically", which occasionally a bit tiresome.

While I think describing the Culture series as "Literary Science Fiction" is a bit of stretch, there are some interesting big picture ideas, and some of the characters have some depth, or at least some interior life. The choice of having a "bad guy" protagonist already elevates it beyond a lot of more pulpy SF.

Review of 'Consider Phlebas' on 'GoodReads'

2 stars

I don't know why I was under the impression that this was a super important part of the sci fi cannon. It had some interesting imagery in it, but it was pretty silly action movie sequences for the large part. I am curious how the culture grows in the other books though, there were enough of these written that some in them must have stuck.

Review of 'Consider Phlebas' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

After Iain M Banks died I thought I should read some of his novels. I have a distant memory of finding one of his books in the library when I was a kid. It was a sweet little treasure - one of those books you pick from the shelf, idly read the first page, get intrigued, and look around for a place to squat down and read a bit more.

When my legs got tired and achy I would shift a bit to one side or the other. Maybe I had to pee a little bit, but I just held it until I looked up after finishing the whole book and realized I was in incredible pain. My bladder was bursting, legs were locked and asleep. I limped out of the library and was surprised it was dusk, my parents asked where I'd been.

This wasn't that book, but it …

Review of 'Consider Phlebas' on Goodreads

4 stars

It started off with a lot of promise. There was the potential for some discussions on the nature of consciousness and being. Sadly, it was potential wasted as the climax became your typical scifi action scene. The fiction Banks has created is intriguing and rich, but he hasn't really explored it. If your looking for some excellent hard-scifi, space opera that explores social conflicts and the future of man, read Alastair Reynolds

avatar for loppear

rated it

3 stars
avatar for lucasrizoli

rated it

2 stars
avatar for lamnatos

rated it

3 stars
avatar for jimfingal
jim

rated it

4 stars
avatar for wilw

rated it

5 stars
avatar for gappleto97

rated it

4 stars
avatar for Lasu

rated it

3 stars
avatar for ckochx

rated it

4 stars
avatar for james

rated it

5 stars
avatar for secretGeek

rated it

5 stars
avatar for Lasu

rated it

3 stars
avatar for evanstucker

rated it

2 stars
avatar for agd
agd

rated it

3 stars
avatar for agd
agd

rated it

3 stars
avatar for cubeofwood

rated it

3 stars
avatar for samullen

rated it

3 stars
avatar for asmundg

rated it

3 stars
avatar for moopet

rated it

1 star
avatar for squaregoldfish

rated it

2 stars
avatar for AnthonyPerrett

rated it

5 stars
avatar for tmladek

rated it

4 stars
avatar for maese_richar

rated it

4 stars
avatar for qnm
qnm

rated it

4 stars
avatar for masyukun

rated it

3 stars
avatar for Yogthos

rated it

4 stars
avatar for mikec

rated it

4 stars
avatar for Trentie

rated it

3 stars
avatar for betolima

rated it

3 stars

Subjects

  • Science Fiction

Lists