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Publisher's Summary

There is a world that hangs suspended between triumph and catastrophe, between the dismantling of the Wall and the fall of the Twin Towers, frozen in the shadow of suicide terrorism and global financial collapse. Such a world requires a firm hand and a guiding light. But does it need the Concern: an all-powerful organization with a malevolent presiding genius, pervasive influence and numberless invisible operatives in possession of extraordinary powers? Among those operatives are Temudjin Oh, of mysterious Mongolian origins, an un-killable assassin who journeys between the peaks of Nepal, a version of Victorian London, and the dark palaces of Venice under snow; Adrian Cubbish, a restlessly greedy City trader; and a nameless, faceless state-sponsored torturer known only as the Philosopher, who moves between time zones with sinister ease.
Then there are those who question the Concern: the bandit queen Mrs. Mulverhill, roaming the worlds recruiting rebels to her side; and Patient 8262, under sedation and feigning madness in a forgotten hospital ward, in hiding from a dirty past.
There is a world that needs help - but whether it needs the Concern is a different matter.
©2009 Iain M. Banks (P)2009 Hachette
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Kurt on 10-29-09

Finally an Iain M. Banks book on audible...

I've been a long time fan of Iain M. Banks, especially his sci fi -- the Culture books in particular. I search his name in Audible every month. I wish there were audio versions of all these books -- Player of Games, Consider Phlebas, Use of Weapons, Excession, etc. ...

Banks' ideas and characters are inspired. His plots are improved with a second reading (listening), when you recognize details and have insights into the secrets of his fascinating characters.

Transition weaves the stories of six people through time and alternate dimensions. Among them a despotic bureaucrat and her moralistically superior outlaw rival, a narcissistic stock broker, a torturer, and the transitioner -- a sympathetic assassin who can "flit" his consciousness into another body in another dimension. Banks explores this cool concept in depth.

The narrator is fantastic. I'm going to look for other books read by him.

There are scenes in this book, like most of Banks' books, that are very harsh. The torturer's story, for example, is hard to listen to at times. This is definitely not a book for kids.

Highly recommended. If you enjoy books like Snow Crash, William Gibson, etc., then you'll probably like it a lot.

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31 of 31 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Guillermo on 07-01-10

Brilliant Science Fiction

I'm so grateful to Iain M. Banks for writing yet another complex, moving, intelligent and well told story and for Peter Kenny for doing such a wonderful job narrating it. Transition is a book worthy of the this same science fiction author who wrong "Look to Windward" and the "Algebraist".

Please be aware that Iain M. Banks tends to write very richly crafted villains as well as heroes, so if you're squeamish he's not for you. I'm not squeamish, of course, and love his style.

Finally, part of what makes Transition so rich is that it ties itself obliquely yet solidly to problems we face in our world, and he lets us make judgements for ourselves without telling us what to think. This is a great book.

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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