Monday, 4 February 2013

the steep approach to garbadale; the algebraist

In January I finished The Steep Approach To Garbadale by Iain Banks, which I'd borrowed from the library and renewed - it wasn't a slow read, but I didn't read it over Christmas. It was okay, but not as good as others - entertaining extended family network, of a kind he's done before, but too many of the plot machinations seemed either too implausible or too predictable. An entertaining and easy read, but insubstantial and unpersuasive.

I'd read from the library just previously The Algebraist, the book which preceded it, in his SF/non-SF alternation. He's one of the writers I read in order, and I hadn't read any for a while because this one had passed out of the library and I never spotted it cheaply in a charity shop. I ordered it in the library in the end, which I don't mind doing from time to time, just as I don't mind paying fines from time to time, since I look as it as a way to subsidise the library service, which I can well afford. The Algebraist similarly was okay, not top-notch. Packed with ideas, though, some things thrown away in a paragraph that other people would build a whole book on. Though of course it's much easier to throw it away in a para that turn it into a book.