I have never read Solaris before but was aware of the criticism over the previous translated versions. My only experience with it were the two movies from 1972 and Clooney's 2002. This last one I strongly advise to skip or you are in danger of forsaken the story definitively.
This new translation is excellent and, as in most cases, goes a lot deeper than 1972's picture.
Solaris is a wonderfully rich story of man's inability to deal with the unknown, both from outside and inside himself. From the unsuccessful attempts to communicate with the living ocean to the disastrous relationships developed with its creations, you are immerse on a elaborated plot that leads to an unsuspected conclusion.
Alessandro's performance is consistent and ads a lot of depth to the telling. He conducts you gracefully trough the book and make it almost impossible to stop listening.
Most people know him only for the movie adaptation of his work in 2001: A Space Odissey, but Mr. Clarke's work is much richer and those who have the privileged to know his work better realize how talented and creative his writing is. Childhood's End may be one of his best works (many says it is his best) showing how incapable of reasoning the human race can be, even when faced by it own destruction. It is difficult to write more without spoilers so, read it!
If you came this far, found the book and are reading the reviews, you probably already know Tina Fey and appreciate her success on SNL and 30 Rock. This book tells her trajectory from high school to unfulfilling jobs to comedy, but there is a lot more inside. If you have even a little interest on the inner workings of the show business machine you will find a very rich material and a very true picture of how things really work on television, behind the cameras. Liz Lemon worked very hard to be where she is today!
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