Review of 'Look to Windward'

Look to Windward by Iain M. Banks
From the Culture series

look-to-windward.jpg Another book set in the universe of Culture – A vast super-advanced race that appears to have disappeared. The action in this novel is set on a Culture orbital (a massive spinning ring where people live on the inner side – think Ringworld) where tensions are high between Ziller, a composer who is going to be conducting his latest work, and Quilan, a fellow Chelgrian who has been sent to convince him to return to his home planet but the question is: How sincere is this offer or is there some more sinister agenda?

I found this book quite hard to follow and largely devoid of action (sorry Banks!). I am a fan of Banks' previous works but Look to Windward does seem to be a bit tired and boring. The plodding story line only picks up in the climactic ending (which really is climatic) with the author preferring to concentrate on odd situations or the lives of the main characters. Granted, the ideas expressed are, as is normal with Banks, mind-expanding and quite believable (the floating concert hall is quite interesting, for example) I found this did not hold the story together as a whole…Maybe it is just me. Perhaps Banks is past the success of his previous Culture novels…I hope not. Let us hope the next returns to the glory of the previous.

Rating:

Review Date: 2008-12-08


Genre: Science Fiction

Publication Date: 2000


Other reviewed books by Iain M. Banks: