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.
The performance was amazing despite a few changes in the audio that made it seem like the narrator had changed.
the philosophical musings
2001: A Space Odyssey
The final reflections of the main character
Can't believe it was published in 1961!
Be warned, this is not an action movie
I'm no expert on life in the universe, but Lem's depiction of extraterrestrial life sounded plausible. So, if a friend were interested in this subject, I'd recommend the book. If he or she wanted an entertaining read, I wouldn't.
I wish the depiction of Solaris was suggested rather than painstakingly detailed. It was hard to follow all the scientific discourses. It felt like these meandering, jargon-filled passages comprised at least half the book.
He was by far the best thing about this. Were it not for his performance, I wouldn't have finished the book.
I'm not sure if inspired is the right word, but it did prompt me to do some internet research so I could fully understand what Lem was trying to say here.
I honestly wanted to like this book. I'm a huge PKD fan. Lem, I believe, said PKD is the best American novelist. So I'm automatically inclined to like Lem's work. PKD may not have the science correct, but he knows how to tell a story. His stories sail along, never finding any doldrums. This wasn't the case for me with Solaris.
This story has all of the necessary pieces to become an excellent listen: great, and original storyline, a hand full of solid characters with a good protagonist, but the execution and delivery of it all never truly adds up to anything special.
The author goes into incredible detail about particular topics that have very little to do with the outcome or the progression of the story. It's all a tremendous waste of words for such a short story to begin with.
I kept "hanging in there" to see if this formula would develop into something worth listening to, but it never happened. Even in the last hour when I truly was just hanging on by a thread of hope for the story to turn into something, the author truly disappoints the listener by leaving the story open ended.
The narrator did all that he could with this one, and I truly can't blame him for anything other than giving it his best.
Please, save your credit and listen to something more fulfilling, anything other than this.
I personally enjoyed the action parts of story.
However a large chunk of this book is a very detailed and a very long explination of the alien being. It's extremely thorough and well written and board me to sleep two minutes in. But that is my own taste and not a fault of the book.
In this audio book the voice actor did a terrific job, especially in playing the part of Snout.
Very well read by the narrator and well written. Great story with a little bit of philosophy mixed in.
Overall good read
I'm a web developer based out of Sacramento, I listen to books while I work, and love audible.
Interesting, but a bit dry. I really liked the ideas, however the characters seemed question their sanity far too quickly. And I honestly lost interest in the last hour of the audio-book and don't even recall what happened.
The ideas where pretty cool and the planet was very alien I have to say. It's a decent read if you are in the mood for hard, dry Sci-Fi.
I listened to this some time ago, but it has kept with me. I will be listening again, I think. The pace and darkness is married with light and revelation in such a beautiful, consistent and heart-wrenching way that I savoured every moment. The narrator similarly became one with the tale, perfectly conveying it. I highly recommend this book, especially for those who want to understand why a book doesn't need to be fast-paced to be good.
Alessandro Juliani performance is really amazing: he can bring a lot of atmosphere and depth to all characters without exceeding with his interpretation. His delivery is perfectly understandable for a non native speaker yet it's still full of character and personality.
The story itself is a little slow at the beginning but once you're involved in the characters and their emotions it's easy to get lost in the narration.
I especially loved the "world-building" work the author put in the story: the setting is completely alien and still completely believable, the creation of a meta-scientific-literature really does the trick and the descriptions of Solaris are suggestive and evocative.
I watched the 2002 movie just after finishing the book and it really doesn't hold a candle to the book. If you saw the movie and was put off do yourself a favor and listen to this audiobook.