Reader reviews and comments on Look To Windward, plus links to write your own review.

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Look To Windward

By Iain M. Banks

Look To Windward
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • Hardcover: Aug 2001,
    384 pages.
    Paperback: Nov 2002,
    496 pages.

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Reviews

Page 1 of 1
There are currently 2 reader reviews for Look To Windward
Order Reviews by:

Write your own review!

DotCommie (06/15/05)

Better than Phlebas?
I found this one of Bank's most satisfying works. Intelligent, high-flung science mixed with very believable characters, and shot through with the kind of grim melencholy I only previosly found in Consider Phlebas. Despite this it's a tale of atonement, and this renders it far more convincing than if Bank's had sought to reedeem his characters. My only complaint is that while he paints physically convincing sentient aliens (chelgrians) thier mentalities and failings are all to human. Not really a negetaive aspect just frustration from me that his wonderfully drawn alien psyches had little show in this book save as plot devices. Still despite this I believe Banks still sets the standard for space opera.
Peter Price (11/11/02)

This is Iain Banks back to his best. If you thought his last few books (Song of Stone, The Business, Inversions) indicated a waning of inspiration, then reading this book should provide grounds for optimism. We revisit the Culture once more. The pleasing thing about this is that the writing is as fresh as ever, despite the familiar setting that Banks has depicted so many times before.

Chelgrian Ziller is a composer living apart from his people on the Masaq' Orbital. He is famous and highly regarded throughout the Culture, a fact that rankles the higher castes of Chel, his estranged homeworld. Quilan, an emissary is despatched to the Orbital, charged with persuading Ziller to return to his own world. But it is made clear that the Chelgrians have concocted this mission to cover a more sinister purpose. Even the emissary himself is unaware of the plot; to evade the potential mindreading abilities of the Culture his memories of the purpose have been erased, and are allowed only to gradually leak back into his mind.

We see the story from different viewpoints through the eyes of different species. Plausible cases for the guilt of the Culture are given, reasons for the dark machinations of the Chelgrians, motivations for Quilan's willingness to be manipulated by his masters and to do their terrible bidding.

This time the Culture and its Minds are portrayed as more organic, fallible, less perfect of judgment than before. No longer are the Minds seen as perfect moral judges, as immortal as gods. Some of them have begun to doubt that the Culture is the best environment for the humans and AIs it contains; to some of them it seems increasingly that there no impetus for advancement because all its subjects are satiated with every desire. Hints about the Culture's future are given near the climax of the book, and it is clear that even the Culture must change with time.
  • Page
  • 1
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  
Sign up, win books!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket
    Mrs. Hemingway
    by Naomi Wood
    Naomi Wood's latest novel, Mrs. Hemingway, is a fictionalized biography covering in turn writer...
  • Book Jacket
    The Stranger on the Train
    by Abbie Taylor
    The opening chapter of Abbie Taylor's debut novel, The Stranger on the Train, took me right back to ...
  • Book Jacket
    Night Film
    by Marisha Pessl
    One of the central tenets of Hinduism states that the world as we know it is just an illusion –...

First Impressions

Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!

Books that
expand your
horizons.

Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only

Find out more.

Book Discussions
Book Jacket

The City
by Dean Koontz

Published Jul. 2014

Join the discussion!

  1.  88Tomlinson Hill:
    Chris Tomlinson

All Discussions

Win this book!
Win The Angel of Losses

The Angel of Losses

"Family saga, mystery, and myth intersect in Feldman's debut novel." - Booklist

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

E C H A Silver L

and be entered to win..

Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.

Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.