Use of Weapons Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Use of Weapons

The main character is a superb military general from a planet somewhat like Earth. He flees a major conflict on his planet and becomes a warrior for hire. He is soon recruited by "The Culture" a utopian society of technologically advanced humans. The Culture wish to interfere in more primitive cultures and recruit him to influence the outcome of wars. He is troubled by horrific but unclear memories of his home planet that eventually reveal a more sinister side to his personality.
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The review of this Book prepared by Ian Peter Avery

Along with her intelligent drone assistant, Skaffen-Amtiskaw, the Culture's Special Circumstances representative, Diziet Sma, sets out to procure, yet again, the services of Cheradenine Zakalwe for a mission. The drone simply regards Zakalwe as a lost cause. But neither it nor Sma, despite their intelligence and foreknowledge, are really aware of whom they are dealing with.
The review of this Book prepared by Charles Smyth

Chapter Analysis of Use of Weapons

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book Descript. of chases or violence 20%planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 10%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 30%Descript. of society, phenomena (tech), places 40% Tone of book    -   depressing/sad FANTASY or SCIENCE FICTION?    -   science fiction story War or Invasion    -   Yes Major kinds of combat:    -   guns Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book

Main Character

Identity:    -   Male Profession/status:    -   spy    -   warrior/knight Age:    -   20's-30's


Terrain    -   Desert    -   Water    -   Mountains    -   Forests    -   Planet surface, need spacesuit    -   Space, need spacesuit    -   Domed/Underground City Earth setting:    -   20th century Spaceship setting:    -   futuristic human warship    -   alien spaceship    -   futuristic human freighter/transport    -   really, really giant spaceship/station    -   one or two man fighter/scoutship A substantial portion of this book takes place on a non-Earth planetary body:    -   humans in a primitive/fantasy society    -   very controlled society Takes place on Earth?    -   Yes Planet outside solar system?    -   Yes Takes place in spaceship?    -   Yes Not Earth, in Solar System?    -   Yes

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   very explicit references to deaths and torture scientific jargon? (SF only)    -   some scientific explanation    -   a significant amount of technical jargon Sex in book?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   descript of kissing    -   orgies    -   actual description of sex    -   description of breasts    -   descript. of private male anat. How much dialogue?    -   mostly dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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Iain M. Banks Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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