Here are the 2 book choices for August. And remember, you don't have to read both books!
Enjoy, and see you on the 20th of August!
Note: If these books are difficult to find in bookshops, try online (e.g.: Amazon.co.uk, kennys.ie)
Also, you can check out the current book list online via the 'Files' section from 'More' on the menubar.
1. The Player of Games - Iain M. Banks
2. A Tale of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
1. The Player of Games - Iain M. Banks (Seamus, Mar'13)
Bored with success, Gurgeh travels to the Empire of Azad, cruel and incredibly wealthy, to try their fabulous game ... a game so complex, so like life itself, that the winner becomes emperor. Mocked, blackmailed, almost murdered, Gurgeh accepts the game, and with it the challenge of his life - and very possibly his death.
In The Player of Games, Iain M. Banks presents a distant future that could almost be called the end of history. Humanity has filled the galaxy, and thanks to ultra-high technology everyone has everything they want, no one gets sick, and no one dies. It's a playground society of sports, stellar cruises, parties, and festivals. Jernau Gurgeh, a famed master game player, is looking for something more and finds it when he's invited to a game tournament at a small alien empire. Abruptly Banks veers into different territory. The Empire of Azad is exotic, sensual and vibrant. It has space battle cruisers, a glowing court-- all the stuff of good old science fiction--which appears old-fashioned in contrast to Gurgeh's home. At first it's a relief, but further exploration reveals the empire to be depraved and terrifically unjust. Its defects are gross exaggerations of our own, yet they indict us all the same. Clearly Banks is interested in the idea of a future where everyone can be mature and happy. Yet it's interesting to note that in order to give us this compelling adventure story, he has to return to a more traditional setting. Thoughtful science fiction readers will appreciate the cultural comparisons, and fans of big ideas and action will also be rewarded.
2. A Tale of Two Cities - Charles Dickens (Alex, Jan'13)
Described by Dickens as 'the best story I have written', A Tale of Two Cities interweaves thrilling historical drama with heartbreaking personal tragedy. It vividly depicts a revolutionary Paris running red with blood, and a London where the poor starve. In the midst of the chaos two men - an exiled French aristocrat and a dissolute English lawyer - are both redeemed and condemned by their love for the same woman, as the shadow of La Guillotine draws closer...
(The first book for September has also been chosen: Of Human Bondage - W. Somerset Maugham)