I never heard of Iain Banks until he announced that he was
dying, and then died a couple of months later.
From what people said of him then, it sounded like I would be
interested in his books, so I borrowed Transition
from my public library. I
finished reading it last night while trying to get back to sleep
after being awakened by a mosquito.
It’s about a number of important but unpleasant subjects, like
torture and child abuse, so a fair amount of it is quite
unpleasant to read. However it’s paced so that you want to see
how it turns out before you realize how unpleasant how much of it
is going to be, so instead of saying, “I’ll stop reading this
now,” you say, “I’ll finish this fast and then I can read
There is a lot of very good writing in this book, and I don’t
think the fact that I didn’t like it much will discourage me from
trying more books by this author.
The book publishing business is more than usually confused
about this book.
- Mr. Banks published his literary fiction as Iain
Banks and his Science Fiction as Iain M. Banks, but this book was
published in the UK as Iain Banks, although in the US is was
published correctly as Iain M. Banks.
- A majority of the Iain M. Banks books take place in a universe
where the dominant society calls itself “The Culture”. Amazon has Transition incorrectly listed as a
“Culture” book, although it doesn’t in fact take place in that
I’m glad the publishers are
working so hard to not confuse us.