Hal Bregg is an astronaut who returns from a space mission in which only 10 biological years have passed for him, while 127 years have elapsed on Earth. He finds that the Earth has changed beyond recognition, filled with human beings who have been medically neutralized. How does an astronaut join a civilization that shuns risk?
©1967 Stanislaw Lem; English translation © 1980 by Stanislaw Lem (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
The opening sequence of the book describing the astronauts return to earth was genuinely masterful. Brilliant really. I have never encountered such a perfect evocation of cultural confusion.
After that I figured I was in for one terrific book.
Unfortunately, it was all downhill from there. The main character is rather unlikable. Not always a problem in a book but in this case it seemed important to empathize with him. I found it difficult. Especially as the book quickly degenerated into a pretty tiresome romance. I gave up near the end.
Part of my problem with the book might have been the narrator's voice and inflection. I found it off putting and continually wondered if I would have been so irritated by the astronaut had I been simply reading the book. Who knows?
Whatever the case. This is no Solaris.
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