Surface Detail by Iain M. Banks

Surface Detail

By Iain M. Banks

  • Release Date: 2010-10-07
  • Genre: Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Score: 4.5
From 364 Ratings
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It begins in the realm of the Real, where matter still matters.

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. Prepared to risk everything for her freedom, her release, when it comes, is at a price, and to put things right she will need the help of the Culture.

It begins in the realm of the Real. It begins with a murder.

And it will not end until the Culture has gone to war with death itself.


  • Banks at his best

    By Slipsnake
    Another thoroughly engaging culture novel from Mr Banks. His imagination knows no bounds. The concepts are epic, as always.
  • Excellent

    By ANstne
    Amazing, disturbing, mind blowing, moving, just what you'd expect from one of Banks' Culture novels. Not quite as good as some of his best stuff (see 'Look to windward' 'Excession', for culture novels, 'The Algebraist' for general SF) but simply brilliant nonetheless. Not for the faint-hearted though!
  • Great book, would recommend!

    By paultuk
    If you like sci-fi, you'll love this book. My first Iain Banks book, but I'm sure it won't be the last.
  • Surface detail

    By foApple
    I know of no other author who can mix galaxy-spanning, mind- boggling ideas with such horror, humour and profound humanity. Just brilliant.
  • Did not disappoint, and that's saying something!

    By DomBass
    God, I love Banks' Sci Fi stuff. This may be the best yet.
  • Quantum uncertainty.

    By byelovzorov
    Ok. The deal is: I love Ian Banks have done since the Wasp Factory. Tight, intelligent and thought provoking. Also often nightmare inducing. As for Iain m banks it has been N on off affair. The ideas are mind blowing and the scale an scope of many of the works are equally impressive. After about 5 years off I readMatter in a couple of evenings on holiday this year an was hugely impressed and immersed. Back home I bought Surface Detail and well ... Is it me? Is it work? I just can't quite seem to care about the characters (and this after about 200 pages). I am hoping against hope to be proved wrong but zo far at least this is a pale shadow of Consider Phlebas or Matter. Banks had a period off sci fi, worried he had run out of ideas. That concern is misplaced. The ideas are all there. But where are the characters?
  • Great Culture novel

    By Dapple17
    The first few chapters are such contrasting works of style and imagination you might wonder if you'd accidentally bought Banks' collected short stories. Definately worth persevering; this story is typically dark, witty and complex but very satisfying. Ditto comments about irritating typos.
  • Disjointed

    By Angus Campbell
    Found it a bit heavy going ,overly descriptive of stuff that was getting in the way of the plot, which chopped and changed all the time making it laborious to read ,paint a picture by all means but pages and pages of stuff about nothing ! Gave up in the end never finished it
  • Not bad at all..

    Very enjoyable read, not his best culture novel, but gripping and clever nonetheless. Recommended...!
  • Gave up ...

    By Landshark2007
    Disjointed, totally unable to grasp what was trying to be said. Made it to chapter three then was presented with stomach-churning rubbish that sent the book to the cyberbin. If this is indicative of other books from Mr Banks, I shall not be bothering.