Kate Telman is a senior executive officer in The Business, a powerful and massively discreet transglobal organisation whose origins predate the Christian Church. Financially transparent, internally democratic it wants to buy its own state in order to acquire a seat at the United Nations.
Kate's job is to keep abreast of current technological developments and her global reach encompasses Silicon Valley to the remote Himalayas. In the course of her journey Kate must peel away layers of emotional insulation and the assumptions of a lifetime. She must learn to keep the world at arm's length. To take control, she has to do The Business.
©1999 Iain Banks (P)2013 Hachette Audio
"Imagination, wit and complexity are Banks' hallmarks and The Business is no exception" (Sunday Express)
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"Interesting and fun"
Witty, sardonic, clever and interesting,all in all the usual high standard Banksian fare. Well worth the listen.
"Yet another good read"
Another collection of great ideas beautifully woven together by a master word smith.
I love Banks sci,fi work and although this is definitely not sci fi, it is a lovely read with all his imagination and his wonderfully sense of humour.
Oh Mr Banks the literary world is missing one of its brightest stars, it was far too early for you to leave us.
A typical Iain Banks novel. As with several others it involves a large gathering at a big house, although this appears nearer the beginning.
On reservation is that during discussions between an American woman and a Scottsh women, the accents blend into one another
inane rubbish, no redeeming qualities whatsoever, awful characterisation, childish plot and conclusion left so open presumably for another book sale.
"Good, interesting, but not a page-turner."
I'm a fan of Iain Banks's novels since The Wasp Factory, and am well used to the range of subjects and storylines that he created. I must confess that I'm a bit bemused by this one. It's more of a mood piece than many of the others; nothing weird, no great twists. It creates its' own world, with characters coming and going, countries being visited, and business practices being discussed. You don't need to understand the latter, I'm glad to say. The lead is a woman who has her outlook on life, which doesn't really change, well not until the very end when suddenly it does. Maybe it was just me and everyone else would have seen it coming. It felt tacked on, but others may feel differently.
Harriet Kershaw did a good job of the narration, although my wife said she didn't like her voice. Kershaw managed to show a good range of accents, and her male voices (unlike some other female attempts at them) were good and didn't resort to almost comical tones. She didn't need to inject real pace at any point of the storyline, but always conveyed a suitable mood.
I'm not sure who to recommend this book to. It's not a clearly male novel, with it's woman lead and non-stereotypical business types, but it's definitely not a chick-lit book either (yes, I know women read all sorts of other books as well, my wife is one of them). I think maybe Banks was exploring a range of things with this novel; I'd be intrigued to read any comments he has made about it. Have a listen if it touches your interests, but don't expect a page-turner in any respect.
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