Transition Paperback – Sep 15 2010
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** 'Baroque, digressive, kinetic, teeming with big ideas and grand theories, it's a novel to get lost in ... gripping THE TIMES ** 'One of Iain Banks's most imaginative and compelling novels yet SCOTSMAN ** 'Wildly imaginative ... A corker of a thriller, a classic good versus bad tale, and one which the author uses to tackle some seriously big moral and philosophical issues - but always in his typically light-handed and darkly humorous fashion ... A book that makes you think, one that makes you look at the world around you in a different light, and it's also a properly thrilling read. If only more contemporary fiction was like it Independent on Sunday ** 'Transition is Banks at his exuberant, flamboyant, head-spinning best Financial Times --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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The story is very fractured in terms of narrative. There are many points of view, and they all tend to leap forward and back in time, making for a somewhat disjointed reading experience. It's a good thing that these points of view are all interesting characters, and typical to Banks it all comes together in the end.
The science fiction concept behind the story is an interesting one, and some of the passages that get to the heart of it make for good reading.
The overall plot is straightforward. A shadowy organization called The Concern monitors activities in a large number of parallel Earths. Their operatives transition between worlds using a drug supplied by The Concern. After each transition, operatives remain "themselves," but take on the physical appearance--and some of the mental characteristics--of the host person they have taken control of. The Concern influences events in these parallel worlds through various means, including selective assassination of key players--or potential players--in world events. All of this is supposedly for the greater good. Some of the book's characters, such as the competent assassin Temudjin Oh, the renegade Mrs. Mulverhill, and the unnamed hospitalized Patient 8262, have their doubts. Each recoils from The Concern in a different way. As the story unfolds, we learn more about who each of them are and what they have learned about The Concern.
Fans of "Iain M. Banks" hard science fiction, such as Use of Weapons and The Algebraist, will not encounter the same high-tech, high-Culture environment in Transitions. It is more similar to his previous "Iain Banks" fiction.Read more ›
Player of Games, Matter and Algebraist many many times.
Transition just never got off the ground for me. Storyline and premise was worthy and I wanted it to be
developed, but I never felt that it came together. Scattered was how I felt when reading.
With an opus as great as his, I am certainly prepared to give him a bye on this novel.
He almost seems reluctant to continue and develop any of his recent books into
a series. I am a fan who enjoys the extending, expanding and developing of the brilliant worlds that
he creates. Ian, no need to re-invent the wheel with each new recent book :)