The Algebraist

  • by Iain M. Banks
  • Narrated by Anton Lesser
  • 7 hrs and 42 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

It is 4034 AD. Humanity has made it to the stars. Fassin Taak, a Slow Seer at the Court of the Nasqueron Dwellers, will be fortunate if he makes it to the end of the year. The Nasqueron Dwellers inhabit a gas giant on the outskirts of the galaxy, in a system awaiting its wormhole connection to the rest of civilisation. In the meantime, they are dismissed as decadents living in a state of highly developed barbarism, hoarding data without order, hunting their own young, and fighting pointless formal wars.Seconded to a military-religious order he's barely heard of, part of the baroque hierarchy of the Mercatoria, the latest galactic hegemony, Fassin Taak has to travel again amongst the Dwellers. He is in search of a secret hidden for half a billion years. But with each day that passes, a war draws closer, a war that threatens to overwhelm everything and everyone he's ever known.As complex, turbulent, flamboyant, and spectacular as the gas giant on which it is set, the new science fiction novel from Iain M. Banks is space opera on a truly epic scale.


What the Critics Say

"Once again Banks is having enormous fun with space opera, and his exuberant enjoyment is infectious. Highly readable stuff." (


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Customer Reviews

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A quick browse on the Internet will quickly tell you that “The Algebraist” is a well regarded science fiction novel, indeed the reviews are sparkling with comments like “Far from formulaic”, “absorbing cast of characters and multitudinous subplots”, “space opera at its baroque best”, “bold, daring and epic”, “another magnificent work from Iain M Banks”, and I got a real sense of this in the opening passages. The plot centers on the search for a long lost formula that explains the process for faster than light travel. However, I could not get past the narrator, and the problem was the pacing. Simply, it was poorly read and at times indecipherable and so, for the first time ever, I abandoned an audio download. However, please listen to the sample and decide for yourself, for the science fiction genre is home to its fair share of bad books, and it sounds like this one is has real promise.
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- Andrew

Not a good book to abridge

The original is a long book so this abridged version does not work very well. I liked the setting and would like to read the full version but it just felt like you were leaping from point to point in this version to get the key plot covered.
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- Andrew

Book Details

  • Release Date: 02-09-2006
  • Publisher: Hachette Audio UK