I enjoyed this book a lot. I would not put it up there with my all-time favorite sci-fi (Rendezvous With Rama, The Mote in God's Eye, others), but it gives them a run for their money.
For some reason, I was initially turned off by the idea of a "living planet" because it smacked too much of the "Gaia" concept, which I associate with a lot of bad, preachy-teachy sci-fi and fantasy. I'd assumed it had an environmentalist message (i.e. Solaris as a stand-in for earth - take care of the earth, it's a living thing, etc., etc.) and written it off.
Then for some reason (I suppose it was this "definitive edition" and the fact that the clip Audible provided caught my interest), I took a chance and downloaded this, and am very happy I did. I was totally wrong in my assumptions about this story. I enjoyed it a lot, and recommend it.
Is this book for you if you want intrigue and chase scenes in every chapter? Absolutely not. But if you have the patience for an unfolding story that ends in more questions than easy answers, you can't do much better. Some of the jargon is showing its age, but once you get past the anachronisms (tape recorders on a space station in the future), this is a fantastic story.
This book deserves its reputation as a first rate science fiction classic: at the same time it creates indelible rich images of another world and the sensation of remoteness that the reader or hearer will long remember, it transmits the limits of human understanding with the paint brush of ambiguity.
I thoroughly enjoyed both the story and its truly talented rendering by the narrator.
Thanks to Audible for commissioning this translation by Bill Johnston. With crisp clear language, it reads like a contemporary novel. The first half is downright frightening with ghosts aboard a 3 man space station. The Narrator, Alessandro Juliani, has a way with voices. Very expressive and spooky.
The alien lifeform is completely unique. I didn't see it coming. I loved this book. I don't know how I missed this sci-fi classic before, but I'm glad to have waited for this new and powerful edition.
This is the first full Audible Sci-Fi novel I have had the pleasure of listening to. If they are all produced as well as Solaris was, then I will be an Audible addict. Spending so much time in my work van, this is ideal.
The story itself is intriguing and draw me in very quickly. I was supposed to have this on the iPhone for a holiday by the pool (great idea not having to take my reading glasses to the pool) in October. Didn't make it.
The descriptions in the novel brought alive by the narration and talent of Alessandro Juliani where as rich as if imagined when reading the novel itself (which I have not done in this instance). While the story does bog down in places, it soon lifts again when he comes out of his musings over science or historical archives.
I have now downloaded a few more novels that I hope I can hold off listening too till October. But probably won't be able to.
I highly recommend this for fans of Sci-Fi. Great work Audible. Thank you.
This story rivals Avatar in imaginative quality. I have spent much time enthralled by fantastic word pictures of the planet. Well written and well narrated.
I like science fiction. I'm a fan the cold equations and sliced clockwise only on Tuesday worlds. I like stories that use science fiction as a backdrop for a view into the human condition. This is one of those books. The science is there, as well as the humanity. This is about the struggles Kris Kelvin and how he deals with his skeletons in his closet. Both chilling and serene, this book was a fantastic listen.
Definitely one of the best science fiction novels ever written. Wonderfully read — full of feeling, clear and precise diction and the characters given genuine personality by the narrator. This is the first-rate performance-reading that this outstanding book deserves.
If you are not a science fiction fan, please do not be put off by this book's labeling. More than perhaps any book in the sci-fi category, Solaris is a novel which deserves to be read outside of its genre. At the heart of it is a story of love and remorse. The science fiction and the Solaris of the title are only vehicles for Lem to investigate our humanity in the face of the inexplicable universe.