Look to Windward question (Spoilers)

Discussion in 'Iain M Banks' started by Bick, Dec 29, 2013.

  1. Bick

    Bick A Member of the Forum

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    I've just read Look to Windward, and I have a question.
    WARNING - spoiler:

    What was the point of the storyline regarding the monkey man in the airsphere? It seems to me that the Mind was warned about the plot against the hub by the double agent in the assassins head. So the monkey man had no affect on the plot at all. And what did happen to him for him to nearly die in space? I didn't get that at all. Any cogent explanations gratefully received.
    Thanks.
     
  2. Grunkins

    Grunkins Couch Commander

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    Damn, it's been too long for me to give a good explanation. I'm not sure I ever could have.

    I thought he was essential in warning the mind of the plot, or maybe tangentially important - did the dirigible thingy change its course at all because of something he did? Can't remember.

    Oh, on the dive after his stylus the first time we see him (one of my favorite lines in that book is the bird , after getting the monkeyman's hat, says, "here's your hat." ...lol something about that i love), he sees the damaged dirigible thingy much lower (or toward the center i guess) of the atmosphere bubble...that was important right? Then he had to go down to it.

    I don't know, I'm rambling.

    Love that book though.
     
  3. Ursa major

    Ursa major Bearly Believable Staff Member

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    It filled a lot of pages, which, I think, was the main purppose of the sub-plot. In fact, my chief impression** of the book -- and this is the reason why it's not a book I liked, really -- was that most of it had nothing to do with the apparent main plot, but was mostly a lot of sightseeing (literally, in some cases).


    ** - I read it some years ago and haven't, for obvious reasons, gone back to it, so I'm relying entirely on vague memories here.
     
  4. Bick

    Bick A Member of the Forum

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    Thanks guys. Yes, I liked some of the goings on in the airsphere Grunkins and I liked Banks' imagination of that ecosystem but I tend to see it much as you did Ursa. I think on balance it's the weakest of the Culture books I've read for the reasons you provided. It almost reads like a short story stitch-up.
     
  5. Gramm838

    Gramm838 Well-Known Member

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    I have a feeling that in some cases IMB was having a gentle poke at the more serious end of the SF reader spectrum, which is why some of his books, if analysed too much, don't always seem to make sense.

    To my mind the best example of this is The Algebraist, which is a completely circular story that ends up back where it started.

    However, he's still the best SF author of recent times.
     
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