Surface Detail (Anglais) Relié – 7 octobre 2010
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Description du produit
Présentation de l'éditeur
It begins in the realm of the Real, where matter still matters.
Lededje Y'breq is one of the Intagliated, her marked body bearing witness to a family shame, her life belonging to a man whose lust for power is without limit. Prepared to risk everything for her freedom, her release, when it comes, is at a price, and to put things right she will need the help of the Culture.
It begins in the realm of the Real. It begins with a murder.
And it will not end until the Culture has gone to war with death itself.--Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Broché .
Biographie de l'auteur
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Comme d'habitude, son écriture mêle et entrecroise un certain nombre de fils. Non pas centré autour de SC, le coeur de ce roman est dans la bataille entre Paradis et Enfer, c'est-à-dire entre les univers virtuels post-mortem pour les consciences, soit paradisiaques, soit infernaux. De là s'ensuivent un certain nombre de conflits moraux et de manipulations.
L'héroïne dont l'histoire sert de trame au récit est particulièrement attachante et Banks peuple son roman de personnages secondaires souvent savoureux, toujours réussis.
Banks reste dans des formules qu'il a déjà explorées mais qu'on retrouve avec plaisir et auxquelles il sait conserver de l'attrait. Le roman n'a pas la profondeur morale qu'ont pu avoir d'autres de ses récits, mais le rythme est enlevé, l'écriture toujours aussi agréable. Les personnages tiennent plus l'intrigue qu'elle ne tient toute seule, mais Surface Detail est un plaisir de SF à ne pas bouder.
Une recommandation toutefois : il vaut mieux avoir lu Use of Weapons avant Surface Detail.
Perhaps it is because I’ve discovered Alastair Reynolds in the extended interregnum between ‘Matter’ and this novel, I really struggled to get into this book. Instead of Bank’s usually slick, multithreaded narrative it felt contrived and disjointed; even when the threads began to come together it still lacked pace and cohesion. There were thankfully still flashes of the old Bank genius but these moments of wit and style seemed reserved for the ship Minds rather than the seemingly secondary biological characters.
I would like to have enjoyed this book more, having waited for it for so long, but unfortunately I was disappointed. It was hard going and is definitely the weakest of the Culture novels; still an OK read but no un-putdownable page turner.
Une réflexion sur la vie quand la technologie aura quelques milliers d'années d'évolution
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It should probably come with a "contains scenes of extreme violence" warning, but that's pretty much par for the course with Banks.
Surface Detail is not easy reading but it's fast paced, exciting, suspenseful, darkly funny in spots, vicious, torturous, and contains several surprises. Basically there is a war going on between those who think a moral obligation falls upon its citizens to create a Hell to punish evil doers, fighting against those who believe that the Hells created by people are cruel and immoral, and should be abolished. Banks doesn't hold back, he usually doesn't, so you get a free tour of HELL, but be forewarned, it ain't pretty.
I will read this again soon, right now I am re-reading the other Culture books I have around the house (remind me to order the ones I gave away 10-15 years ago, I want them back!). The word "Genius" possibly gets overused but Banks is a true genius for his complex plots, unique style of writing, depth of characters, creation of powerful alien technology, and for pleasant and unpleasant surprises. I haven't always liked his non-SF books (some are slow, easy going affairs - maybe it's Banks fault for writing to the other extreme so well), his non-Culture SF novels are fine though, more than fine, excellent (The Algebraist, Against a Dark Background are not to be missed). I enjoy The Culture novels best of all the types he writes, with their in-your-face Drones, Minds, Ships with names like Xenophobe and I Blame The Parents. I have pre-ordered The Hydrogen Sonata and can't wait!
For starters, the plot is convoluted and loaded with dead ends, some narrative threads unceremoniously dropped and their characters yanked in another direction fast enough to give them whiplash. There are too many characters that don't live up to their full potential. They are marvelously vivid, but many of them exist for no other purpose than exposition on the various details of the Culture and other galactic and virtual and extra-dimensional denizens. Banks does a wonderful job of bringing the galaxy to life, but then he doesn't do much of anything with some of his intricate creations.
Despite the flaws, Surface Detail is BIG enough in scope and ambition to absorb those flaws and in some sense make them work. It's an overstuffed book. If it works for a couch, why not for a book? Yes, the main story sometimes gets buried under the fluffy cushions of the narrative. There is so much there there, and the secondary plots are so well developed that it is easy to get lost. The book sometimes seems to lose sight of its protagonist, which is unfortunate, because she's a remarkable character. So if it sounds like I am being angry with this book for being so good, well, I guess that's part of it.
In some sense it's just all too much and it could use more focus. On the other hand, each different direction the disconnected characters take is so thorough, it's like a bunch of concurrent novellas jammed into the crevices of a fully realized novel. I loved the setting, and indeed, the main story, because I had never encountered this writer's demesne before. Those more familiar with the Culture may be more burdened by the book's flaws, but for me, it was mostly just icing on the icing.
The plot itself was the big disappointment. The stakes couldn't be higher, but none of the characters' actions seem to make a difference in the scheme of things. It feels more like observing a gradual change in social norms than reading a story. The plot twists felt forced, and many of the plotlines didn't seem to go anywhere.
I'd read it, but I think you have to enjoy each chapter for what it is, and for the ideas that it contains, rather than expecting it to build up to something greater.