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Feersum Endjinn - F*cking with Clusters

About Feersum Endjinn

Previous Entry Feersum Endjinn Jan. 26th, 2026 @ 03:32 pm Next Entry
I finally finished Feersum Endjinn by Ian M Banks last night. I've been reading this on and off for a few weeks now because it was the first book by Banks I've come across that I really haven't enjoyed the physical act of reading. If any of you have read Me Talk Pretty One Day, imagine writing that is an unholy combination of his earliest efforts combined with l33t-speak. I understand the need to make a point, but even Banks can't pull off decent writing when restricted to the style of a 12 year old with an IM client.

I really liked the premise(s) of the book, however, and it should say something that I kept reading it regardless of the style. I need to see if there are other books in this particular corner of his universe, because there are lots of interesting open questions. I was disappointed that this book lacked the subtle subplot / moment of revelation his better books have. I think he relied too much on the broken English and in effect gave away too much of his hand early on.

Overall, probably worth reading thru, but I'd pick a better book, such as Use of Weapons, as an introduction to his writing.
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From:neonelephant
Date:January 27th, 2006 03:50 am (UTC)
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Have you read The Bridge? I was quite taken by some of the "inner monologue of barbarian" passages, so I have to wonder how different the "12-year-old with an IM client" bits you cite above are ...
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From:avani
Date:January 27th, 2006 05:17 am (UTC)
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No, I haven't read that. (mostly due to never having gotten my hands on a copy)

A random sample line:
"steps, 2; muss b only 3 2 a metir. O wel, I fink, tryin 2 encuridje myselfl I didn 1/2 eny uthir plans 4 2day"

Which doesn't seem bad on its own, but gets really tiresome after about 10 pages or so. (and a lot of it is worse. Paging through actually looking for stuff gives me gems like "lites reflectin off thi babil plants festoonin thi broad archd bak ov thi butris....")
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From:clairebaxter
Date:January 27th, 2006 06:11 pm (UTC)
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Actually, that does seem really bad on its own.
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From:tortoise
Date:January 27th, 2006 09:42 pm (UTC)
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I couldn't finish Feersum Endjinn. I gave up when I found myself physically cringing every time I reached a 1337-speak section.
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From:avani
Date:January 27th, 2006 10:31 pm (UTC)
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I wish I could say they get better...

I think Banks was getting a kick out of it too.

**SPOILER**

He is even enough of a bastard to feign killing off Bascule... its almost like you can hear him laugh

**END SPOILER**
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