• The Player of Games

  • Culture Series, Book 2
  • By: Iain M. Banks
  • Narrated by: Peter Kenny
  • Series: Culture, Book 2
  • Length: 11 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Release date: 12-02-10
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Hachette Audio UK
  • 4.6 (236 ratings)

Regular price: $28.63

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Publisher's Summary

The Culture - a human/machine symbiotic society - has thrown up many great Game Players, and one of the greatest is Gurgeh: Jernau Morat Gurgeh, The Player of Games, master of every board, computer, and strategy.
Bored with success, Gurgeh travels to the Empire of Azad, cruel and incredibly wealthy, to try their fabulous game... a game so complex, so like life itself, that the winner becomes emperor. Mocked, blackmailed, almost murdered, Gurgeh accepts the game, and with it the challenge of his life - and very possibly his death.
©1988 Iain M. Banks (P)2010 Hachette Digital
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Jacobus on 01-03-11

A Worthwhile listen

I thoroughly enjoyed, Peter Kenny's rendition of Iain M. Banks' "The Player of Games." Kenny's interpretation, especially his unbelievable mimicking of different drone-like voices, brought the book to life.

"Consider Phlebas," the first Culture novel where man and machine lives in a symbiotic relationship, is in my view, only an introduction to the background aspects necessary to understand this book.

The main character, Gergey, an over comfortable citizen of the Culture, is given a chance to get his cage rattled by playing the game of his life! But like the mysterious narrator tells you in the beginning, it is a story about a battle that was not a battle and a game that turned out not to be a game.

While going with Gergey on this "rollercoaster ride," experiencing how he comes to life, experience emotions he has never felt before, something at the back of the listener's mind keeps on gnawing at you, "Who is this mysterious narrator?" The book plays its own game with you, the question is, will you win or it.

This book comes highly recommended.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

By Anonymous User on 04-28-17

excellent story with an unexpected twist

i was kept in the dark for the whole time not knowing what to expect in the end but indeed wasnt disappointed with the ending. the start of the story is a bit slow but once the motion starts rolling I began to engross into it.

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By Mark on 12-08-10

Civilisation and the Culture

This is a stunning book, that I had not read, since it first came out when I was a kid. But it was good enough to stick with me over the many intervening years. This reading is fantastic. Great interpretations of the characters. Hope the accents don't upset anybody. Highly,highly recommended. If we are lucky Mr.Kenny will be reading the rest of the series too.( He also did a great job with -Consider Phlebas) ps please hurry with the others, I can't wait until -Excession is given this treatment

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12 of 12 people found this review helpful

By Marc on 11-14-11

Probably now my favourite novel

Without giving anything away, this is a masterful demonstration of how wonderful science-fiction can be to illustrate real-world issues, as well as providing insights on such issues and how we could deal with them better. But beside that, this novel is funny, thrilling, exciting and there are very few authors who can match Banks' imaginative power. This is a rich and consistent world, detailed and nuanced. In my view, the ideal starter book to Banks' culture universe novels, i.e. don't worry if you haven't read any of his other books.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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By Chris O'Neill on 01-22-16

A great Culture Novel elegantly read

This is in my opinion the best Culture Novel, and its grim metaphor of the alien Azadian Empire for modern society. Gurgey is a gaming savant with limited emotional range - but finds a true test of his abilities in this book. Well read with great voice characterisation.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

By Jacob Tannenbaum on 11-12-17


great reading by Mr Kelly, the subtle information added by accents and inflection really add to the journey.

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