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Download Surface Detail Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Surface Detail Audiobook, by Iain Banks Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (6,128 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Iain Banks, Iain M. Banks Narrator: Peter Kenny Publisher: Hachette Book Group Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Culture Series Release Date: October 2010 ISBN: 9781607887812
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It begins in the realm of the real, where matter still matters. It begins with a murder—and it will not end until the Culture has gone to war with death itself.

Lededje Y’breq is one of the Intagliated, her marked body bearing witness to a family shame, her life belonging to a man whose lust for power is without limit. She is prepared to risk everything for her freedom, but her release, when it comes, is at a price. To put things right she will need the help of the Culture.

Benevolent, enlightened, and almost infinitely resourceful though it may be, the Culture can only do so much for any individual. With the assistance of one of its most powerful—and arguably deranged—warships, Lededje finds herself heading into a combat zone not even sure which side the Culture is really on. A brutal, far-reaching war is already raging within the digital realms that store the souls of the dead, and it’s about to erupt into reality.

It started in the realm of the real, and that is where it will end. It will touch countless lives and affect entire civilizations, but at the center of it all is a young woman whose need for revenge masks another motive altogether.

Surface Detail is a breathtaking achievement from a writer whose body of work is without parallel in the modern history of science fiction.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Banks’ labyrinthine and devious ninth Culture space opera novel adeptly shifts perspective between vast concepts and individual passions.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “[His] Culture novels have showcased his prodigious talent for world building, featuring extravagant vistas of super advanced technological civilizations and their virtual-reality playgrounds…Banks never lets up in a dizzying array of characters, mind-bending ideas, and dazzling action.”

    Booklist

  • Winner of the 2011 Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dave | 2/20/2014

    " Another, excellent Culture book. The breadth of his universe is phenomenal. The book has so many characters / plot lines that in the beginning it is a bit tough to follow, but after a bit they all start to converge and slam together for a very satisfying finale. Probably not the best book to start with in Culture stories, but a good read all around. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Fred | 2/13/2014

    " Lots of story lines to keep track of in this book, but I found it to be very interesting and enjoyable. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jack | 2/12/2014

    " Each of Banks' Culture novels cements my already-high opinion of the man and what he writes. His handling of even minor characters is deft and clear. The plot lines interweave neatly, sometimes lightly touching and sometimes tying in directly. I've resigned myself to the fact that Banks does not really try to create aliens - every intelligent being is easily understandable in terms of motivations and reactions and even cultural constructs to us 21st century Westerners, which is as impossible as any bit of technological handwaving. As long as I can dismiss that concern, the rest of the story carries along nicely. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dan | 2/9/2014

    " the best Culture novel I've read so far. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kevin | 2/1/2014

    " Too many characters to follow at some points. Fast switching between them makes it confusing and disorienting. Nicely wrapped up and well put together at the end (if you like that sort of thing). Worth a read IF you like Iain Banks. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Josh | 1/16/2014

    " Some interesting takes on death and virtual reality, enjoyed it for the most part. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Michael Groff | 1/13/2014

    " Excellent Book. Great very complicated plot, interesting characters, great ending. Classic Iain Banks. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Gordon | 1/1/2014

    " Surface Detail has too much detail! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jby | 12/23/2013

    " A solid culture novel with fresh ideas. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marcin | 12/20/2013

    " My all-time favourite Banks book is Consider Phlebas, and I gave up hope long ago that he would put something similar. Surface Detail proves me wrong. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cameron | 12/10/2013

    " Like nearly every Banks book I've read, two thirds of the disparate plot threads perfectly came together, while the remaining third twisted in the wind and vanished. Still, like all Banks's books, stunning ideas, great world building and engaging characters. Good stuff. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Judy | 6/26/2013

    " Lacking some of the moral ambiguity and stylistic panache of earlier Culture novels, especially with regards to dialogue, but a welcome return to everyone's favorite liberal-anarcho-techno-interventionist society. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Martin | 11/15/2012

    " Brilliant stuff. Takes a while to really get moving, but as ever this is just Banks creating a number of different story arcs which get satisfyingly woven together as the book progresses. Some truly funny moments too as we get a glimpse into the Psyche of one of the Culture's more gung-ho ships. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Drf | 8/24/2012

    " Was very disappointed... Tossed the book about half way through... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chris Shaffer | 6/28/2012

    " Not up to his previous standards, but nice to revisit the Culture. I recommend Consider Phlebas or Player of Games for those who haven't read Culture novels yet. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sebastian | 4/25/2012

    " While the book looses some momentum somewhere in the middle, Banks' amazing aptitude of actually thinking things through (in this case: hell) can leave you speechless at times. A determined reader/editor could have made this book brilliant, as it is it is "only" amazing. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 William Fuentes | 11/1/2011

    " I really enjoyed this. There were some tough parts to get through but the payoff was excellent. The more pages with Ship Minds, Drones, and Avatars the more pages I enjoy. The last third of this novel were so good that I am diving right into the Hydrogen Sonata. Bring on more Culture! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joe Rowan | 8/17/2011

    " Brilliantly imaginative and utterly bonkers. Makes me want to go back and work my way through all the other Culture novels I haven't read. It's over 600 pages and has about 6 different subplots, but it never drags and all comes together very satisfyingly in the end. Hugely enjoyable. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Andrew | 5/16/2011

    " Excellent as always. Over 500 pages and I never wanted it to end. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Darin | 5/12/2011

    " I really enjoyed this one. It seem slike a return to form for Ian Banks and the Culture Series. I was tempted to give it 5 stars but I've know better books so I'll leave it at 4. Bravo for a great author at the top of his game. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lemongrass | 5/11/2011

    " A roughly average Culture novel. Which is to say, excellent. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 James | 4/11/2011

    " Sort of a mid-tier Culture book. Need to go back and read some of the top-tier ones. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jenn | 4/6/2011

    " Banks' worlds are always lush, and Surface Detail is no different. While not as delicately stitched as some of his earlier works, it is a rip-roaring ride of a space opera. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joseph | 4/5/2011

    " I had never encountered Space Opera before. It's wonderful... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 LapsedPacifist | 4/4/2011

    " Best Banks novel yet...even better than Use of Weapons, my previous favorite. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Peter | 4/2/2011

    " As usual a wild imagination, but needs editing "

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About the Author
Author Iain Banks

Iain Banks (1954–2013) was a Scottish author considered one of the most innovative and exciting writers of his generation. He wrote mainstream fiction under the name Iain Banks and science fiction as Iain M. Banks. His books have been adapted for theater, radio, and television. The asteroid (5099) Iainbanks was named after him in 2013.

About the Narrator

Peter Kenny is a talented and experienced actor, voice-over artist, singer, musician, and designer, with over twenty-five years of experience working in theater, film, television, and audio. In recent years he has achieved great critical acclaim for multicharacter recordings of audiobooks by authors such as Iain Banks, Christopher Priest, and Edmund St Aubyn.