• Consider Phlebas

  • Culture Series, Book 1
  • By: Iain M. Banks
  • Narrated by: Peter Kenny
  • Series: Culture, Book 1
  • Length: 16 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 11-05-10
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Hachette Audio UK
  • 4 out of 5 stars 4.0 (309 ratings)

Regular price: $21.31

Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free.
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price.
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love.
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel.
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month.
Select or Add a new payment method

Buy Now with 1 Credit

By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Buy Now for $21.31

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

The first Culture novel, now available as an unabridged audio download.
The war raged across the galaxy. Billions had died, billions more were doomed. Moons, planets, the very stars themselves, faced destruction - cold-blooded, brutal, and worse, random. The Idirans fought for their Faith; the Culture for its moral right to exist. Principles were at stake. There could be no surrender.
Within the cosmic conflict, an individual crusade. Deep within a fabled labyrinth on a barren world, a Planet of the Dead proscribed to mortals, lay a fugitive Mind. Both the Culture and the Idirans sought it. It was the fate of Horza, the Changer, and his motley crew of unpredictable mercenaries, human and machine, actually to find it, and with it their own destruction.
Consider Phlebas is a space opera of stunning power and awesome imagination.
©1987 Iain M. Banks (P)2010 Hachette Digital
Show More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Jacobus on 12-24-10

Peter Kenny makes the book worthwhile

I enjoyed Iain M. Banks' book because of an excellent narrator. I am not sure that the story itself is so great... although it falls probably in the genre of tragedy.

This is the first book in Banks' Culture series and is a must to read or listen to should you be interested into being initiated into his universe where man and machine have become equals in the sphere of existence. Set against the background of the Culture (humans and machines) and Iderian war, Horsa, the main character, must find his own way through the maze of loyalties. Horsa chooses against artificial life, just to... well read or listen the book to find out.

Read More Hide me

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Peter on 11-21-10

Routes of The Culture

A good listen. All the technological depth and character development you could want in a sci-fi novel. If you like "Ring World" or "The Mote In God's Eye", you'll probably like this more.
Only four stars out of five because it mainly lacks the humour of his later books. "Matter" (by the same author) was just brilliant!

Though this is Iain M Banks' first sci-fi novel, it is a 2010 audio production.
Once again, Peter Kenny excels as narrator.

Read More Hide me

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

See all Reviews

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By scotty on 04-09-12

A Truly Great Sci-Fi Novel

Consider Phlebas (CP) is without doubt a conceptually stunning piece. The breadth and depth of the concepts and constructs is breath-taking. There are throw-away ideas in CP that would be an entire book for another author.

OK, CP is a linear tale lacking some of the structural fun and games of the later novels and character names can be a bit of a challenge, remembering who's who, but all credit to the narrator for helping out with strong vocal work. Seriously, have you ever tried to narrate even a chapter of a book? Creating, remembering and switching voice personas is extremely challenging, so a quick round of applause for Mr Kenny.

Banks' style is engaging and the action or fight scenes are incredible but without doubt the single most captivating aspect of the book is The Culture and the Minds that enable it. All of the incredible robotic menace of the Matrix or Terminator genres is tossed on its head by the super-artificial intelligences that provide for the needs of every citizen... Because the AI's seem to want to keep people around and happy. Is it symbiosis? No, what do organics add to the AI's? Interest and entertainment certainly but it does seem to be an almost 'master-pet' or 'farm' relationship except there seems to be no negativity.

I digress. Stunning concepts. Intelligent prose. Challenging ideas. Gripping action.

What more do you want?

Seriously, I'd give it 5 stars but I know what's coming later in the series and if you think this one is good, the later novels will knock your socks off!


Read More Hide me

28 of 28 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Peter on 03-01-11


This is the first of the Culture novels and the second one I have read after 'Matter'. This book introduces a fascinating universe and I can see why Banks has kept it alive through the series of books he has set in it. the story is pretty easy to follow once you have adapted to the names, characters, technology and politics and it is fast-paced enough not to become bogged down like other space operas I have read. The story is linear and self-contained with a good ending. Well narrated and recommended to those that like the genre - it is a good example of its type.

Read More Hide me

14 of 14 people found this review helpful

See all Reviews

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Colin Speller on 04-09-18

good if somewhat longer than necessary

enjoyed the story but struggled to finish. i thought the postscript did not do justice to the story

Read More Hide me
4 out of 5 stars
By Lesley on 12-29-17

Disappointing ending

I loved the journey and the characters, the places and people/situations encountered it was entertaining and interesting. Peter Kenny os fantastic particularly at pronouncing those fantastic futuristic names and very realistic character voices. Unfortunately I was disappointed with the way it all ended, but loved the journey. Thanks Iain.

Read More Hide me
See all Reviews
© Copyright 1997 - 2018 Audible, Inc