Homer's Travels: Book: Iain M. Banks' "Inversions"

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Book: Iain M. Banks' "Inversions"

Some of you, upon reading that I was considering not reading any books this year, cringed in horror or at least told me that it was not a smart thing to do.  I have to be honest and say that it felt like one of my more ... idiotic ... ideas.  I was glad when the book I'd requested from the library finally came in.  It only took about six weeks to arrive and it turns out that there was a good reason.  The library had not gotten it via inter-library loan.  They'd bought a new copy instead.  I was the first to read it.  The book was Iain M. Bank's "Inversions".

I've read four other books by Banks, all of them in his post-singularity Culture universe.  While "Inversions" is not officially a Culture book, it is widely believed to be the story of two Culture agents from the intelligence/contact organization known as "Special Circumstances".

The story takes place on a planet with a medieval society where two advisors, one a body guard to a governing general, the other a doctor to a king, influence their respective charges, slowly nudging them away from their feudal society towards governments more hospitable to the people and, presumably, eventually, the Culture.  The two separate but concurrent stories are told from the point of view of locals, not those of the presumed agents.  This gives you a more interesting perspective.  What do the locals think of these subtle manipulations?  Would they even understand what change was taking place?  Would they welcome or shun it?

I liked the intertwining storylines and the how the characters are handled.  It kept my attention which resulted in me finishing the book in eight days.

"Inversions" is a good Culture book which I would recommend.

I have requested two more books from the Library.  I am second in line for one and the other will have to come by inter-library loan or purchased.  Hopefully one will arrive before I run out of magazines to read.


  1. Books are nice to read when you feel like it. I have a nice book waiting for me to read once I'm feeling bookish again. :)

    This sounds interesting! I may put it on my reading queue :)

  2. Autumn: Funny how I really felt like reading once I'd decided not to read for a year.

    If you like science fiction, Banks' stuff can be interesting.