The Player of Games - Iain M. Banks The novel is surprisingly deep for a character to start out so shallow. A very different novel from the first Culture novel and a much more direct plot-line with just as much of a great touch when it comes to the ebb and flow of the story. Very amusing satire that is only given a light touch, thank goodness, and used primarily to raise the tension. All in all, great writing, even if I won't put the novel among my top 100, but definitely a good read.