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Against a Dark Background

Written by: Iain M. Banks
Narrated by: Peter Kenny
Length: 18 hrs and 19 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (8 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Sharrow was once the leader of a personality-attuned combat team in one of the sporadic little commercial wars in the civilisation based around the planet Golter. Now she is hunted by the Huhsz, a religious cult which believes that she is the last obstacle before the faith's apotheosis. Her only hope of escape is to find the last of the apocalyptically powerful Lazy Guns before the Huhsz find her. Her journey through the exotic Golterian system is a destructive and savage odyssey into her past, and that of her family and of the system itself.

©1993 Iain M. Banks (P)2012 Hachette Digital

What the critics say

"Imaginatively brilliant." ( Daily Mail)
"Banks ain't kidding. He warned you up front that this is a dark novel." (Norman Spinrad)
"Few of us have been exposed to a talent so manifest and of such extraordinary breadth." ( The New York Review of Science Fiction)
"There is now no British SF wirter to whose work I look forward to with greater keenness." ( The Times)

What members say

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Masterful

Iain M. Banks is the master of Space Opera. If you have not experienced his writing skill, this could be your place to start. Then move on to the pure Culture novels (this one is a tangential offshoot). The narrator lends the story the correct pace and nuance. Great performance.

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  • Jacobus
  • 2012-08-12

The 'A-Team' set between planets and stars

I really like Iain M. Banks' Culture Novels. So maybe I am a bit prejudiced towards 'Against a Dark Background.' It is Sci-Fi, but not set in the Culture universe. To a certain extent I also felt if I missed out on his Philosophical Sci-Fi.

The story revolves around a woman known as Sharrow who is on the run from a religious fanatic group called the Huhsz since her birth. She herself has turned out a dodgy figure who must free her half sister from a maximum jail. To do so, she assembles a team of old buddies and they intend to 'kick but'! The only problem is that their attempts plays of 'against a dark background.'

Peter Kenny's reading is synonymous with Iain M. Banks' novels and he does a superb job of reading the book. His voice is a vehicle that sets the tone for Banks' apocalyptic backgrounds.

Definitely a "YES" for a Banks fan, but I do think there are better books written by Banks. Maybe you could use your credit on 'Player of Games,' 'Surface Detail' or 'Matter.' All these books engage the mind and is very enjoyable.

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  • Rosemary
  • 2012-12-11

Slow and boring

I usually like Ian Banks, his stories take a bit of getting into, but in the end they usually turn out ok. this book had the usual slow start and didn't get slightly interesting till the third part. However this soon fizzled out to a complete anti-climax.
Not recommended,

1 person found this helpful