Count Sessine is about to die for the very last time.... Chief Scientist Gadfium is about to receive the mysterious message she has been waiting for from the Plain of Sliding Stones.... And Bascule the Teller, in search of an ant, is about to enter the chaos of the crypt.... And everything is about to change.... For this is the time of the encroachment and, although the dimming sun still shines on the vast, towering walls of Serehfa Fastness, the end is close at hand.
The King knows it, his closest advisers know it, yet still they prosecute the war against the clan Engineers with increasing savagery. The crypt knows it too; so an emissary has been sent, an emissary who holds the key to all their futures.
©1994 Iain M. Banks (P)2012 Hachette Digital
"Another truly impressive piece of work from the pen of a master storyteller" (Starburst)
"Dazzlingly original" (Daily Mail)
"Banks is a phenomenon: the widly successful, fearlessly creative author of brilliant and disturbing non-genre novels, he's equally at home writing pure science fiction of a peculiarly gnarly energy and elegance" (William Gibson)
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"Brought the novel to life for me"
Honestly, Feersum Endjinn was never my favourite Banks book, but Peter Kenny's excellent narration brought it to life for me in a way reading it didn't, all those years ago. Kenny's intonation and characterisation are perfectly suited to Banks' intricate plots and diverse characters, and this was thoroughly enjoyable.
I'd recommend Feersum Endjinn to any Banks fan out there. It's not perhaps the easiest one to start with, if you're new to his science-fiction. Instead, head for 'Consider Phlebas', Banks' first science-fiction novel and, happily, also narrated by Peter Kenny.
Just the best-value SF audiobooks I've come across!
"Didn't get it"
I've loved every Iain M Banks book that I've listened to so far but just cannot get into this at all. I'm half way through, have no idea what the story is about or where it's going and I don't think I want to waste another 5 hours finding out. Peter Kenny superb as always though.
"Interesting story, great narration"
Very interesting and enjoyable story, a bit confusing at first but still fun to try to work out what's going on, though I would have preferred some things to have been explained earlier. Brilliant characters and fantastic ideas, with several characters' stories running alongside each other. The book has a well thought out and described world, giving it a sweeping sci-fi epic feel which I really liked. Very good book!
Narration is great. All the characters have distinct voices, and Bascule's section is particularly good. In the actual book, his sections are written phonetically, which can make them a struggle to follow:
"Woak up. Got dresd. Had brekfast. Spoke wif Ergates thi ant who sed itz juss been wurk wurk wurk 4 u lately master Bascule, Y dont u ½ a holiday?"
Listening to the audiobook avoids this problem, and I much preferred it, as it didn't break the flow of the story. However, if you want the true experience of reading his sections as they were written, then you'll need to get the book. Personally, I'd recommend the audio instead.
I first read Feersum Endjinn many years ago when it first came out. At the time I heard the book in my head in Scottish accents. Also - I found the book quite confusing with Bascule the Teller's dyslexia making it slightly heavy going.
So the audiobook was with an English accent - which threw me - but it was very well read and I thouroughly enjoyed the telling! Well done Kenny! So a decent book made great by good telling. Scottish accents could have been more fun though - but that would have been icing on the cake!
"Enjoyable if still muddled"
Peter Kenny does as brilliant a job as any but in this book I think the lines between the virtual and real worlds become too easily blurred and I was left trying to understand if the extraordinary characters were alive in 'base reality' or just the crypt. Still worth the price and contains more than enough of his usual themes to be worth having.
"Opens up one of Banks' best standalone novels"
Feersum Endjinn is the Iain M Banks novel that the majority find most difficult to follow owing to Bascule's unique phonetic voice. Once they get the hang of it the book is typically well plotted and characterised and usually well regarded. This Audible version opens it up considerably with Peter Kenny's narration making the Bascule sections easier to absorb whilst still managing to keep a sense of his voice (although many readers myself included thought that Bascule might sound sort of Glaswegian. Peter Kenny does him more Cockney..) This allows the story to unfold in typical Banks fashion. Give this a go, then read the book, it's worth it.
"Another masterpiece by the master"
Don't be put off by the reviews about the phonetic speech, doesn't apply to an audible book!
Put me off for a while but no problem when listening.
"I miss Iain."
This is the first Peter Kenny narrated story I have listened to and he did a brilliant job bringing all of the voices to life, in particular Bascule. I have read the book previously, and the phonetic spelling of the Bascule character was quite challenging.
This isn't a Culture story, but it does share some of the traits of those stories. In fact it is a shame that Iain never expanded on the themes he started here.
Does anyone have a theory as to what the Encroachment actually was?
"Failed to make me care"
The first few paragraphs were interestingly written depicting a sentient being entering the world fully formed, then the story reverted to a traditional tale in which little happens to people of little consequence. There are some interesting ideas and concepts but they felt under explored and under developed. All in all, I was left with a feeling of disappointment each time the story progressed.
The story was well written and has a decent pace to it. I think that the excellent reviews led me to expect that as a minimum. The concepts of virtual reality and digitally storing personalities are science fiction staples and so I couldn't get as excited about them as when I first read about them. The world itself seemed sparsely clothed outside of the immediate story line and unengaging.
The narrator managed the pace and unusual style well.
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