Banks is an excellent writer. The plot of his 1988 book Player of Games is superb. WAY ahead of its time.
It’s on some lists of the best Science Fiction all time.
So why am I having trouble recommending this book?
None of the characters are likeable. Jernau Morat Gurgeh — the Player of Games — is a jerk. Everyone else worse.
His drone sidekick, Flere-Imsaho, should have been the character readers can identify with. He’s not.
This book is too long, I feel. Some have called it sluggish.
I will read more Banks, however. He is a canny wordsmith.
Banks died of cancer in 2013 age-59.