Inversions (2020)

Inversions On a backwards world with six moons an alert spy reports on the doings of one Dr Vosill who has mysteriously become the personal physician to the king despite being a foreigner and even unthinkabl
  • Title: Inversions
  • Author: Iain M. Banks
  • ISBN: 9780743411967
  • Page: 456
  • Format: Paperback
  • On a backwards world with six moons, an alert spy reports on the doings of one Dr Vosill, who has mysteriously become the personal physician to the king, despite being a foreigner and, even unthinkably, a woman Vosill has enemies than she first realizes But then she also has remedies to hand than those who wish her ill can ever guess.Elsewhere, in anotherOn a backwards world with six moons, an alert spy reports on the doings of one Dr Vosill, who has mysteriously become the personal physician to the king, despite being a foreigner and, even unthinkably, a woman Vosill has enemies than she first realizes But then she also has remedies to hand than those who wish her ill can ever guess.Elsewhere, in another palace across the mountains, a man named DeWar serves as chief bodyguard to the Protector General of Tassasen, a profession he describes as the business of assassinating assassins DeWar, too, has his enemies, but his foes strike swiftly, and his means of combating them are direct.None trust the doctor, while the bodyguard trusts no one, but what is the hidden commonality linking their disparate histories Spiraling around a central core of mystery, deceit, love, and betrayal, Inversions is a dazzling work of science fiction from a versatile and imaginative author writing at the height of his remarkable powers.About the Author Iain M Banks, one of the United Kingdom s bestselling authors of science fiction, has written such highly regarded novels as Excession, Feersum Endjinn, Use of Weapons, The State of the Art, and Against a Dark Background As Iain Banks, he also writes mainstream novels, including The Wasp Factory and A Song of Stone He lives in Scotland.
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    One Reply to “Inversions”

    1. I must preface my review with my surprise I just took a look at the responses to this book from my friends and the star ratings are only fair to middling It makes me wonder if my love for this book is, perhaps, a little misguided Either that or I am a discerning reader than everyone else Yeah that s probably it So here s my review Iain M Banks books are packed with big, way out there moments Grandmas explode, people wake up in rooms full of shit, ships run intentionally aground, hermaphrodites [...]

    2. After finishing this, Inversions is now tied with The Player of Games as my favorite in the Culture series.It s definitely the most subtle of the Culture novels so far so subtle in fact, that I fear a lot of readers aren t grasping the scope of what it is about I would suggest only reading this one after having read a few other culture novels prior and in close succession it is very, very subtle but absolutely brilliant.Told from the perspective of two very different characters, one a personal a [...]

    3. Rather than focus on a grand scale space opera, I think Banks wanted to dump us into a backwater gravity well and let us have a sense of what it would be like to tour as a doctor, perhaps Culture trained, among the crude creatures of a Medieval period.Mind you, I didn t quite pick up any definitive proof of actual Culture interference, mind you, because our PoV is actually from the apprentice to the good doctor who hailed from foreign parts, but I think the guess is a very good one, anyway So wh [...]

    4. Spoilers Banks Culture series so far has been, what I will refer to as, hard sci fi Gargantuan megaships which house billions of people, immensely advanced Artificial Intelligences independently managing entire worlds, tiny drones with the ability to kill several people in a matter of seconds, Orbitals 3million kilometres in diameter, ships capable of travelling at hundreds of thousands of times the speed of light, tiny weapons with enormous destructive capabilities which can shrink down to a fa [...]

    5. Resulta ir nico que el libro con el que m s he disfrutado de los le dos por ahora de La Cultura, no contenga elementos de ciencia ficci n, salvo en cierta parte del libro del que no se puede hablar para no descubrir el misterio a futuros lectores Ha sido refrescante encontrarse con el mejor Banks tras la peque a decepci n que supuso Excesi n , el anterior libro de La Cultura Inversiones es una novela m s literaria, alejada de toda la parafernalia y pirotecnia propia de la space opera, de esos es [...]

    6. I have to say, first off, that every single review I saw of this book online even ones as short as a single line gives away something you are not supposed to know until the very end, if you figure it out at all These details that they spoil are not exactly essential to the plot, but one was spoiled for me and I think the novel lost some of its tautness as a result and the one that was not spoiled I was very glad wasn t spoiled because it was a minor mystery I spent the first half of the novel pi [...]

    7. I loved this so much It s my last virgin read of A Culture book except for the short story collection, and I m glad it was the last because I found it be the best kind of fairy tale It actually has no direct mention of the Culture and takes place on your typical medieval fantasy world where women are secondary citizens There are 2 separate stories taking place in different parts of the world, each one told in alternating chapters, but the narrator of one section tells us on the prologue they are [...]

    8. My favorite book by Iain M Banks, who is one of my absolute favorite authors It s in his Culture series of novels, but that s only shown by a couple of minor details It s fully a stand alone novel sci fi with a fantasy feel to it I stayed up late late late last night finishing this it was a GREAT book I was really impressed by the way all the little clues fit together without giving it all away too soon

    9. In this volume of Culture s series, the author gives a hint on historical fiction genre Nice touch.4 Consider Phlebas Culture, 1 4 The Player of Games Culture, 2 4 Use of Weapons Culture, 3 4 The State of the Art Culture, 4 4 Excession Culture, 5 4 Inversions Culture, 6 TR Look to Windward Culture, 7 TR Matter Culture, 8 TR Surface Detail Culture 9 TR The Hydrogen Sonata Culture 10

    10. This is my favourite Culture novelobably because it has the least amount of the Culture in it The smarmy robots, superintelligent AI Minds, and laissez faire posthumans are all cool and everything, but after you ve hung out with them for a few volumes they get kinda same y Also, they never pick up the tab at bars Something about money being barbaric I think.With Inversions we get, um, an inversion I guess, of what Banks seems to normally do with his Culture stories Huh Neat how that worked out, [...]

    11. I had major problems feeling connected to the last Culture novel I read, It felt like the author was holding things too close to his chest Banks didn t seem to want to let us into his world very far, and so kept the door only open a crack I am pleased to say that I felt no such sense of being on the outside in Inversions This was much welcoming, a generous exploration of a world on the edge of being subtly interfered with.Note The rest of this review has been withheld due to the changes in pol [...]

    12. Inversions although being a culture book is quite different from its predecessors because the book is setup in a medieval background, and throughout the book the culture lurks in the shadow The story progresses through pov of two protagonist namely the doctor Vosell and the bodyguard Dewar But the twist is that we are never given their direct pov but instead the narrator is Oelph who acts as an assistant to the doctor The book keeps building to an exciting end, but the although the twist in the [...]

    13. My love for the fiction of Iain M Banks continues unabated While this is counted among the Culture books, it s a most unusual one In fact, a reader unfamiliar with the Culture could very well enjoy this as a standard fantasy novel, albeit an unusually witty and well written fantasy novel That said, I think having read at least one Culture books is a prerequisite for fully enjoying Inversions I almost wish I had been able to read this book without knowing about the Culture connections, since disc [...]

    14. It is remarkable that this novel is counted as sf and as part of Banks Culture books It is also a bit of a giveaway The setting of the book corresponds to the late medieval, albeit with the human characters on a planet in a binary system with no sense of an earthly background The one great exception to the period is the mysterious doctor, a woman who holds quite modern ideas of medicine and is capable of certain mysterious feats which suggest her Culture origin Other than this, however, the book [...]

    15. Jau pag jis gandr z gads, kop iepriek j s Kult ras s rijas gr matas izlas anas Nol mu ats kt las t s riju un erties kl t gr matai, kura p c b t bas bija pamat manai nelas anai Kaut kur uzzin ju, ka gr mata ir vis nesaist t k no vis m s rijas gr mat m, jo Kult ras civiliz cij taj tiek piemin ta tikai gar mejot.Noma plan t , kuru apsp d se i m ne i, spiegs raksta zi ojumu savam saimniekam par k du dakteri Vosill, vi a d vain k rt ir k uvusi par viet j kara a rstu un uzticam bas personu Vi ai ir da [...]

    16. I ve been going through Banks The Culture series and, despite their wide acclaim, found myself strangely unmoved However awesome and amazing it would be to live in a post scarcity world with Minds and drones and 400 years of life, such a setting also highlights the shallow pettiness that results from being essentially carefree from inception to death This may be meaningful in a philosophical sense, but doesn t make for engaging reading, at least not for me.I ve found that my enjoyment of this se [...]

    17. Inversions is about perspective And individuality And oppression And injustice And interference And romantic love And familial love And political systems And political games And jealousy And betrayal And revenge And fear of the unknown And faith in the unknown And embracing the unknowable.Inversions is about so many worthy ideas, so many ideas that deserve serious consideration, and the book tackles each idea in ways that are both insightful and enjoyable for the reader Yet this is also its down [...]

    18. Not one of Banks typical sci fi offerings Inversions has much in common with Matter one of the later entries to the Culture series in that it focuses almost entirely upon a medieval society housed upon an alien world Unlike Matter, that is where this book s sci fi aspect stops short.While this book sits apart from Banks world of Minds, drones and drug glands, it s laced with hints that its protagonists do belong to that realm We re teased with mysteries like how no Drezeni has heard of Dr Vossil [...]

    19. Luke and I talk about how much we enjoyed the book on the SFBRP 224 It feels very much like a medieval criminal story with culture background so pretty much the perfect mix for me If you haven t read any of the culture series books yet, you might enjoy this book, but you will miss all references to the overall series which I think would be a pity because this is what the book is all about.

    20. Before picking this up, i started and dropped like 4 ish books and this is the one that actually stuck It s now ranked highly on my list of the Culture series books i ve read so far for the clever manner in which the story was structured in relation to the general series verse To fully appreciate the subtle nuances and hidden gems in it, i think it s better to have read at least some other Culture books, not because of any interlinked story but to appreciate the quiet hints dropped in it Definit [...]

    21. N jak mi to sci fi ani fantasy moc nejde a nejede, ale geni ln p eklad Viktora Jani e mi to ten usnadnil Kv li p ekladu t i hv zdi ky, obsah jen dv.

    22. Inversions is the Culture book that trips you up if it didn t say A Culture Novel on the front cover, you could be forgiven for spending most of it thinking it was one of Iain M Banks s stand alone genre outings.Two foreigners have risen to prominence in neighbouring countries on a low tech or low fantasy, if you prefer world One is a trusted bodyguard, the other a doctor in spite of local misogyny Each has plenty to teach those who will listen to them, and each has a mission which may not be th [...]

    23. El relato de dos historias entrecruzadas, la de la doctora Vosill y el guardaespaldas DeWar en un mundo que guarda cierta relaci n con la saga de La Cultura El enfoque de Banks es m s sentimental que en otras ocasiones y el marco de la narraci n, un mundo tardo medieval en el que est n a punto de desarrollarse reformas sociales y econ micas tras la catastr fica ca da de un imperio Un relato sobre la lealtad, el enga o y lo relativo de los puntos de vista que se pueden tener sobre la val a de los [...]

    24. Finished this a while ago and I guess I m still figuring out what I have to say about it But I ll never know what I have to say before I write it down so here we are, in the reader response school quagmire It took me three or four years of many false starts to read this book I think it was my expectations jarring me out of the book rather than the quality of the writing Certain writers write the same story over and over, others try to baffle the reader by doing something you don t anticipate Ban [...]

    25. This sixth book set in the universe of the Culture is very different from it s predecessors Whilst they are all hard sci fi, this barely has any sci fi elements at all It s only towards the end of the book that the Culture is even alluded to and never explicitly The book is set on an unknown planet which is ostensibly similar to medieval Earth with various kingdoms and no technology There are two narratives in alternate chapters the first is told from the perspective of Oelph, apprentice to the [...]

    26. Disappointed Two things annoy me about it 1 It keeps switching between two story lines in a way that makes it feel like a cheaply produced property sales programme on the TV 2 It has nothing to do with the culture series in the most part, is mostly based on one planet and is suited to people interested in the medieval than to space opera I ve read other reviews online and they rave above this book, so I m going to take it as a blip and continue to Culture book 7.

    27. I normally enjoy Banks novels but I had a hard time getting into this one I suspect it was starting to get good by the time I put it down but I was at least half way by then I didn t feel particularly interested in the characters, wasn t drawn into the setting, and didn t discern any plot thread to follow.Oh well.

    28. This is a reread for me, the first time since the book came out in 1998 I was trying to place the book in sequence it came out after A Song Of Stone and before The Business The previous science fiction novel was Excession and the next was Look To Windward Of those, A Song Of Stone was his worst book, and The Business was fun but certainly not his strongest, though I heard him read the prologue in Fred Hanna s Bookshop when I worked there and it was one of the funniest readings I ever heard Anywa [...]

    29. This book has a few fantastic standout moments, and is mostly a departure for Banks Culture series, despite a few similarities in the setting to Matter, which is set on a similar kind of male dominated, medieval planet It s subdued and mostly a failure as a novel without the strengths of, say, The Golem and the Jinni, which was such an effective merge of slice of life and fantasy , with very few interesting characters and a picturesque but mostly mostly hollow setting, identical to medieval eart [...]

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