• Against a Dark Background

  • By: Iain M. Banks
  • Narrated by: Peter Kenny
  • Length: 18 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Release date: 07-19-12
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Hachette Audio UK
  • 4.1 (48 ratings)

Regular price: $28.63

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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
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Critic Reviews

"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)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Jacobus on 08-12-12

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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1 of 1 people found this review helpful


By Rosemary on 12-11-12

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,

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Customer Reviews

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By Paul on 10-25-12

It's probably just me but...

I have listened to most of his books and thought they were all brilliant. He's a fantastic writer and I look forward to listening to his books. I listened to about 2 hours of this and realised I had no idea what was going on so I started again. I have just finished the first of the three parts and again I have no idea what is going on. Sometimes a book unravels so you are put in the picture and everything comes together in the end. That may well happen in this book but I have no idea what has happened so far as the book is very disjointed. It's well read but maybe it demands more of my attention than my usual books. I will go back to it but I've just removed it and downloaded The Hydrogen Sonata to see if I fair better with that one.

I may have to actually read this book as I'm having no luck listening to it.

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful


By Jeremy on 09-19-12

Dark & difficult

Although I love Iain banks and love all his culture books. this story floored me. from the start I found it very difficult to follow what was going on and only until half way did I really get to grips with what was happening. He is undoubtedly an excellent of science fiction writer but this book was pretty challenging. This is partly to do with listening to the book rather than reading it. Nevertheless the ending pretty unsatisfying. I will certainly re-read/listen to the book and hope the end improves ...

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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By Chris on 01-03-18

quite a good yarn<br />

not up to the standard of other banks books.

still worth listening to. it is rather hard to follow at times.

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