As with many science fiction books, the focus is on the science and not the character development. None of the people felt real. The story was competently told, but with so much scientific complexity, that at times I got lost in the details. I still kept listening, as I really wanted to know what would eventually happen, and the ending left me somewhat satisfied. Perhaps a hard core science fiction reader would have understood it all better.
Maybe it's just me, but I couldn't get through it. I'd never heard of this book before, but I've read and enjoyed a lot of classic sci-fi, so I bought it. I thought it was an average Star Trek episode painfully dragged out to 7 + mind-numbing hours. I finally quit after 4 1/2, so this book may have the greatest ending of all time, but I'll never know. As for the narrator, his voice alternates between a barely audible whisper and full-on yelling, so it's almost impossible to listen in the car.
I cannot agree at all with the other reviewers. "Solaris" may be considered to be a classic, but I don't think it should be described as science fiction, just because it was set on some other planet. For me, the theme was the difference between appearance and reality, and how the world is perceived by a disturbed mind. All along I expected an explanation to be forthcoming, like a mind-controlling alien influence, or something in the air, but it just fizzled out into nothing. It brought to mind the movie "Shutter Island".
However, the narration was the worst I have ever heard on an audio book. It turned a difficult-to-follow plot into an incomprehensible mish-mash. I couldn't understand anything the character Snout mumbled. The narrator swallowed many of his syllables, dropped his voice at inappropriate points, and was unable to articulate letters such as "R", almost as if he had a speech defect. Narrators should be aware that you don't lose the dramatic impact of a story if you e-nun-ciate clearly.
I have listened to books by Herburt, Hienlein and many others and one thing they all had in common they had a point. Whether it was just for the joy of writing or a political agenda or something else they had a point. My 3 year olds books are better then this. At least Lighting McQueen is a clear concept. A car that talks, that's cool.
Am I supposed to feel sorry for Kelvin that he has to deal with the things that haunt him. Granted this was written in another time and language so there might be something lost in translation. Real life is hard and has things that haunt us. Grow up and deal with it.
The character that dies before kelvin gets to the station was lucky, he got out of the book before I did.
Whats with the text book description of what sounds like a skin irritation.
This book might be a classic but it's not great and it's not even close to being in a class with the great Sci-Fi classics of all time.
This book is so bad that it makes me want to start writing. If this can get published my scribbles on napkins should be published. I have a great story about a boil that sings, I could get that published.
Awful, simply awful! The plot line was ponderous, some of the narrations void of any pretext that this isn’t how people, let alone scientists speak and the descriptions often times incomprehensible. Some of the dialog was far far from unbelievable, but I’m willing to concede that this may be the translation, but if not it was as if written by a 6th grade student for an English essay. I want to believe the Audible recommended it because it was some sort of new translation and the 50th anniversary and not because they believed it to be “one of the world’s greatest works of science fiction is available - just as author Stanislaw Lem intended it” I am very disappointed in Audible and will look at their recommendations with more of a jaded eye in the future. This is not a good book and certainly not a good audio book.
Hard to immerse into story. Technology outdated (of course written 1961) human condition/awareness story line syrupy and long in tooth. Good narration only reason I stuck with it.
What if we meet another intelligence and it is uncomprehensible, different in every way. What if love is impossible?
I am an avid lover of books and stories. Audible has provided a great outlet for me to read when otherwise I couldn't. I love dogs.
No, it just seemed off from the beginning.
No, i was expecting a classic and it wasnt'
he is a very good voice actor.
what do you get with an alien which the author defines as beyond human comprehension? A drawn out rambling of a story without any conclusions or even concrete hypothesis.
Nothing but positive thoughts on Lem's work. However, Juliani's performance goes a bit too far, for my taste. Character-voices are not just distinct, they're comical. The dry scientific tone of the narration (which I find suitable) gets traded for hysterical, breathy lady-imitations and a tittering British accent which are really just distracting.