Throwback Thursday – The Player of Games by Iain M. Banks

August 1, 2019

Throwback Thursday is a weekly feature to highlight books from the past. It can honestly be anything as long as its not a book that is a current release. Maybe its a book that I read and reviewed and just want to highlight, maybe its a book I read before I started reviewing or maybe its a book that has a sequel coming out soon or maybe its a backlist book from my TBR that I just want to revisit and decide if I will make the time to read. Pretty much, anything goes. 

This week’s choice is The Player of Games by Iain M. Banks. This book is one that I read as as a Backlist Burndown book, and I was very pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. I keep meaning to read more by Banks, and one of these days I will make the time.

I found the concept of social standing being directly related to skill and success of playing games intriguing (and kind of fun). They also punish people for crimes by shunning them socially, supposedly this is motive enough to keep people in line (I have my doubts that it could actually work in real life).

But regardless, I enjoyed the way this book made me think, I enjoyed the somewhat questionable main character, and I enjoyed the main challenge/game. If you haven’t read this one, you can read my full review and check out more details about the book:

The Player of Games (Culture, #2) by Iain M. Banks
Also by this author: The Player of Games

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The Culture – a human/machine symbiotic society – has thrown up many great Game Players, and one of the greatest is Gurgeh. Jernau Morat Gurgeh. The Player of Games. Master of every board, computer and strategy. Bored with success, Gurgeh travels to the Empire of Azad, cruel and incredibly wealthy, to try their fabulous game…a game so complex, so like life itself, that the winner becomes emperor. Mocked, blackmailed, almost murdered, Gurgeh accepts the game, and with it the challenge of his life – and very possibly his death.

Praise for Iain M. Banks:

“Poetic, humorous, baffling, terrifying, sexy — the books of Iain M. Banks are all these things and more” — NME

“An exquisitely riotous tour de force of the imagination which writes its own rules simply for the pleasure of breaking them.” — Time Out

One Comment

  • Melliane August 1, 2019 at 12:51 pm

    I hope you’ll have a good time again with book 2