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Tim HuttonTim Hutton - 2013-04-25 16:53:28+0000 - Updated: 2013-04-25 16:53:28+0000
Originally shared by Dan PiponiI'm sad that there may never be another Culture novel but I've been making my way through all of the culture novels for the second time and I just finished Use of Weapons again.

I must have read this book when it was first released, around 1990. I was surprised to find that I didn't remember anything in it apart from the fact that at one point something happens on a beach (why did I remember that?) and one of the horrible facts we learn in the last few chapters. (Early Banks usually has horrible facts we learn in the last few chapters). So it was a lot like reading a brand new Culture novel.

It's a great book. But don't read it as one big setup leading to a final twist. It is that, of course. But there's a lot more enjoyment to be had along the way as Banks explores a variety of ideas and cultures alongside the Culture.

As usual it touches on themes that I think must be common to all of Banks' Culture novels: why do anything when there are aliens and machines that can do it better? how can anything have significance in an enormous material universe?

I look forward to rereading Look to Windward next. But not before a few other books first.Image
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