Tuesday, September 23, 2003

The Bridge by Iain Banks

"A man lies in a coma after a near-fatal accident. His body broken, his memory vanished, he finds himself in the surreal world of the bridge - a world free of the usual constraints of time and space, a world where dream and fantasy, past and future fuse. Who is this man? Where is he? Is he more dead than alive? Or has he never been so alive before?"

The book is written is a style that makes it feel like a dream as the man tries to figure out what is going on and who he is. The Bridge is seemingly endless, spanning the massive ocean between the City and the Kingdom which none of the inhabitants have ever seen. Everything seems to be working against him making any progress. The fact that the inhabitants of the Bridge seem to have misplaced a library is a good example of this. Several threads of plot are mixed in, the real world, the Bridge and a next level of dreams that the man has while on the Bridge. One of these is of a brainless barbarian assaulting the underworld written in an almost unreadable dialect (Irvine Welsh fans please note, Banks was here first!) These aren't to taxing and pretty easy to work out but that doesn't change the fact that this is an awesome read. The whole book is nicely weird and leftfield and manages not to alienate the reader at any time. I reckon I'll be reading this again in a few years.

One other thing, I am more of an Iain M Banks fan and really enjoy his Sci-Fi work. This is a good start if you want to check out his 'regular' fiction.

Maffy Rating - Read it! Read it, NOW!

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