I downloaded Consider Phlebas before I was in Cairo last month, and have been reading this on and off on my iPhone. If I gave Against a Dark Background 3 out of 5, I would have to give Consider Phlebas 2 out of 5. Why so low? Although this book gets quite good reviews on Amazon (an average of 4 stars based on 123 customer reviews), perhaps I’m getting a little tired of Banks. That’s not to say that his stuff isn’t good, but I found this first Culture novel a little drawn out. The final part of the book felt overly long and tedious. I can see why others might love this book, but I guess this particular Banks novel just wasn’t for me.
Just finished reading Iain M. Banks’ Against a Dark Background, having started this a couple of weeks ago in Egypt, and reading on and off. Not a Culture novel, and not amazing either. It kept me engaged, but I was disappointed due to high expectations. I would give this 3 stars. It felt like a bit of a whodunit towards the end. Against a Dark Background fell far short of my favourite Iain M. Banks’ novel to date, Inversions (5 stars).