The Player of Games by Iain M. Banks

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Predictable, certainly, and less imaginative than Phlebas, but technically much more solid: honorably crafted work, often engrossing despite some sluggish patches.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

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.

Praise for Iain M. Banks:

"Poetic, humorous, baffling, terrifying, sexy -- the books of Iain M. Banks are all these things and more" -- NME

"An exquisitely riotous tour de force of the imagination which writes its own rules simply for the pleasure of breaking them." -- Time Out
 

About Iain M. Banks

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Iain Banks came to controversial public notice with the publication of his first novel, The Wasp Factory, in 1984. Consider Phlebas, his first science fiction novel, was published under the name Iain M. Banks in 1987. He is now widely acclaimed as one of the most powerful, innovative and exciting writers of his generation.
 
Published November 13, 2009 by Orbit. 417 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Literature & Fiction, Action & Adventure. Fiction
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Critic reviews for The Player of Games
All: 2 | Positive: 2 | Negative: 0

Kirkus

Above average
Reviewed by Kirkus Reviews on Sep 17 2011

Predictable, certainly, and less imaginative than Phlebas, but technically much more solid: honorably crafted work, often engrossing despite some sluggish patches.

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Helium

Above average
Reviewed by MadScience on Apr 24 2008

This for me is Iain M Banks at his best. He uses the two phases of the book, first the perfect' world of The Culture and the second in the passionate, brutal world of the Azad empire to contrast the aspect and paradoxes of human nature.

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Reader Rating for The Player of Games
85%

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