Auto boutiques-francophones Simple and secure cloud storage giftguide Kitchen Kindle Music Deals Store SGG Tools
The Player of Games and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25.
Only 8 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.
The Player of Games has been added to your Cart
+ CDN$ 6.49 shipping
Used: Good | Details
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: This book is in good or better condition. It has no tears to the pages and no pages will be missing from the book. The spine of the book is still in great condition and the front cover is generally unmarked. It has signs of previous use but overall is in really nice, tight condition. Shipping is normally same day from our warehouse. We offer a money back guarantee if you are not satisfied.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

The Player of Games Paperback – Aug 10 1989

6 customer reviews

See all 17 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
"Please retry"
CDN$ 14.99
CDN$ 7.88 CDN$ 0.01

Cyber Monday Deals Week in Books

Frequently Bought Together

  • The Player of Games
  • +
  • Use of Weapons
  • +
  • Consider Phlebas
Total price: CDN$ 44.21
Buy the selected items together

No Kindle device required. Download one of the Free Kindle apps to start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, and computer.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your e-mail address or mobile phone number.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Orbit (Aug. 10 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1857231465
  • ISBN-13: 978-1857231465
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.3 x 19.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 222 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #24,641 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  •  Would you like to update product info, give feedback on images, or tell us about a lower price?

Product Description

From Library Journal

The Culture's greatest game player travels to the Empire of Azad to participate in a complex competition that could settle the fates of two civilizations. Theauthor of Consider Phlebas vividlyportrays an empire ruled by arcane conventions and sophisticated brutality in an ambitious novel of gamesmanship and intrigue. Supple prose and subtle manipulations of plot produce a thought-provoking story which is highly recommended.-- JC
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Few of us have been exposed to a talent so manifest and of such extraordinary breadth―THE NEW YORK REVIEW OF SCIENCE FICTION

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

In The Player of Games, Iain M. Banks presents a distant future that could almost be called the end of history. Humanity has filled the galaxy, and thanks to ultra-high technology everyone has everything they want, no one gets sick, and no one dies. It's―Brooks Peck, AMAZON.CO.UK

Banks is an incredibly talented writer. All his books are lively and entertaining. They are laced with a wry humour, fascinating characters and inspired plots. THE PLAYER OF GAMES, I am pleased to say is no exception... Go on, treat yourself, you won't be disappointed.―STARBURST

See all Product Description

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Paperback
The Player of Games is the second of Iain M Banks' Culture novels, and has nothing to do with the previous book, Consider Phlebas.

Jernau Gurgeh, a game theorist and the Culture's best game-player, is recruited by the Culture's Contact division to travel to the far-off Empire of Azad in the Small Magellanic Cloud. The entire political system of the Empire is based around a complicated board game, also called Azad: ranks in the military and government, for instance, are won by advancing in Azad tournaments, with the title of Emperor going to the ultimate victor. Gurgeh, of course, is invited to join an upcoming tournament as an honoured guest, rather than compete for any prize.

After arriving on the Azad homeworld after a few years of travel and study of the game, Gurgeh surprises his hosts with his unique, alien style of play and his steady advancement through the tournament ladder. This makes up most of the novel, with some detours into the Empire's growing unease of Gurgeh's success and the hidden brutality the it uses to suppress its population.

On a larger scale, it seems that The Player of Games is Banks' attempt to introduce the Culture and its philosophies (beyond what we saw in Consider Phlebas) by contrasting them against those of the Empire. While the Empire is violently repressive, militaristic, and strongly divided by class (to the point of supporting slavery), the Culture is a post-scarcity society with little crime and no formal laws, equality for numerous sentient species and AIs, and a much more peaceful foreign policy. Of course, we don't see much of the Culture directly—utopia doesn't make for interesting plot—but Gurgeh's reactions to the increasingly horrific Empire give an excellent view into the mind of a Culture individual.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The style is loose and initially the story is a little confusing because the author assumes the reader is familiar with the contexts (although such context actually does not exist). However, as the story progresses the details and seemingly unconnected pastiches come together. Through the mid-game and on into the endgame and conclusion the story becomes increasingly compelling. An increasingly addictive page-turner.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm trying to read the Iain M Banks canon in chronological order (publication date). I really liked The Player of Games. His portrayal of the alien Empire of Azad was fascinating, and the story was pretty gripping. I love the way he writes.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
Report abuse