In Transition

15 09 2010
Transition (novel)

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Transition by Iain Banks

Imagine a world that is one of infinite parallel worlds, that hangs suspended between triumph and catastrophe, the dismantling of the Wall and the fall of the Twin Towers, in the shadow of suicide terrorism and global financial collapse. Presiding over this world is the Concern, an all-powerful organisation whose operatives possess extraordinary powers. There is Temudjin Oh, an unkillable assassin who journeys between the high passes of Nepal, a version of Victorian London and a wintry Venice; Adrian Cubbish, restlessly greedy City trader; and the Philosopher, a state-sponsored torturer who moves between the time zones with sinister ease. Transition is a high-definition, hyper-real apocalyptic fable for terrible times.

Transition hardback review at Amazon also includes interesting discussion about the fact that the book was released as an Iain M Banks one in the US but without the M in the UK. Whilst it does have an element of science fiction about it, the novel has more in common with the author’s earlier fiction. The multiple character perspectives are reminiscent (I think, but it’s been a long time) of Walking on Glass from some years ago.

Unfortunately, this does mean the reader has to work pretty hard to keep on top of the different plot lines (ok, not exactly infinite parallel plots but still a few) and feels like a bit of an ordeal at times – ultimately worth it though.

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