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Publisher's Summary

Nominated for the Audiobook Download of the Year, 2008.

You heard it here first: The unabridged edition of Matter is only available as a download.

In a world renowned, even within a galaxy full of wonders, a crime occurs within a war. For one man it means a desperate flight and a search for the one, maybe two, people who could clear his name. For his brother it means a life lived under constant threat of treachery and murder. And for their sister, even without knowing the full truth, it means returning to a place she'd thought abandoned forever.

Only the sister is not what she once was. Djan Seriy Anaplian has changed almost beyond recognition to become an agent of the Culture's Special Circumstances section, charged with high-level interference in civilisations throughout the greater galaxy. Concealing her new identity, and her particular set of abilities, might be a dangerous strategy, however. In the world to which Anaplian returns, nothing is quite as it seems; and determining the appropriate level of interference in someone else's war is never a simple matter.

©2008 Iain M. Banks (P)2008 Hachette Audio

What listeners say about Matter

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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wow

Usually when a different narrator takes over mid-series, it's a bit disappointing. However, Toby Longworth did an absolutely incredible job. Truly one of my favorite culture books so far.

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Awful narration!

This recording is just awful. Especially compared to other Culture series novels read by Peter Kenny.
This reader is a bit monotonous at times, and the audio quality is so bad it really doesn't help Seriously, I could, and do, get better quality recordings in my house.

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One of his best

There is a perfect sort of misery to be found in the completion of a book you genuinely enjoyed, that could almost be said to have an almost mathematical precision to it. The end of this book certainly hit hard, and was a sort of living testament to how good I thought it was.
In all honesty, I have not always enjoyed stories that juxtapose backwards societies with fantastically advanced ones, but in this case he absolutely nailed it. If I have any minor gripe, it is that the end rushed upon me all too quickly, and I feel like there could have been a bit more story their to be told, but even this can be seen as a sort of backhanded compliment to just how enjoyable the read really was, and how well it built towards its climax.

I also enjoyed the narrator, and though I can imagine some will complain that it was not Peter Kenny, who has become the voice of Banks, the simple truth is Toby did a really fantastic job of bringing the various characters to life.

Banks will always be my favorite sci fi author, and I'm willing to admit there is more than likely a certain lack of objectivity in my opinion, as it was through his books that I truly fell in love with the genre. I have only one Culture Novel left to read, and it still breaks my heart to know there will never be any more. On the other hand, I am currently working on writing my own book, Gods of Helvetios, and if by chance I should ever manage to complete it, it will surely be richly inhabited by Iain's spirit, and I can think of no greater compliment to pay the man than that.

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Rather jarring end, but a great listen!


Story itself was awesome. Nothing better than a story about xenophilic space communists meddling in the affairs of other less "enlightened" cultures.
It was great to listen from the perspective of the Idiot Prince and his more-than-capable Servant and listening to their dialogues both with each and with other characters on their adventure. In the interest of avoiding writing a novel sized review, almost all the perspectives in the book were intriguing.
I'm not sure, but towards the end of the story it feels like a section was skipped, though being completely and utterly illiterate I haven't read the book so I wouldn't know for sure but it was rather jarring.

Narration was fantastic. However, there were times were the voices of each character sounded similar and it was hard to distinguish who was who.

I only wish there could be more Culture Novels as I'm running out of books to listen to.

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