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?
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.
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.