Saturday, 11 September 2010

PG Wodehouse and Iain M Banks: reminiscent of chalk and cheese...

After the let down that was the Audrey Niffenegger, I felt the need for some light relief. 

Two extracts from the next book that I will be trying to work into every day conversation:

"I wonder why they call this porridge", he observed with mild interest.  "It would be far more manly and straightforward of them to give it its real name."

As an energetic Socialist, I do my best to see the good that is in him, but it's hard. Comrade Bristow's the most striking argument against the equality of man I've ever come across

Not PG Wodehouse's finest, Psmith in the City, but you still can't really go wrong. 

Excession, by Iain M Banks, had some equally amusing moments,  but significantly more sentences like this:

The attack on its photonic nucleus came at the same moment, manifesting itself as a perceived distubance in the space-time fabric, warping the internal structure of the drone's light-energised mind from outside normal space.

I have absolutely no idea what any of that means. 

This was also true of much of the rest of the book, which I only read because there wasn't anything else and B likes them.  The weird thing is that despite the fact that I actually have no idea what was happening or who most of the characters were, I rather enjoyed it.

The jury's out on whether I'll read another one though.


  1. Have you read the previous 4 Culture novels? The whole lot are on my to read list, I can only imagine the reason I've never gotten round to it is that I keep confusing Iain M Banks with another Scottish SF writer who's name escapes me right now - McSomething, possibly a Keith... I've half read at least two of his books, keep picking them up in the wrong order and getting half way before I realise not only am I reading the wrong book but IMB didn't even write it. My head is mince.

    Have a lovely trip :)

  2. I haven't yet, and B did keep telling me that this wasn't the right one to start with, but in a Magnus Magnussonish way I'd started so I was damn well going to finish... Apparently they're both better and more accessible, so I might try again later. I've always been a bit anti Iain M in his other incarnation having been exposed to the Wasp Factory and the Cement Garden at too young an age, but having read The Steep Approach to Garbadale and really enjoyed it, I'm feeling a bit more benevolent towards him...

    No idea who your Keith is though, sorry!


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