I loved this book. I surely didn't think I would like it, which is why I have been sitting on it for over a year. I read Consider Phlebas a while ago and like it enough to consider doing more...but when the main character ... I lost interest. I suppose I took his point of view about The Culture, and I wasn't interested enough for Player of Games to rise to the top of the read stack.
But somehow it did recently, and I am delighted for the discovery of my error.
I highly recommend it.