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Monday Starts On Saturday (НИИЧАВО #1)

4.36 of 5 stars 4.36  ·  rating details  ·  5,085 ratings  ·  81 reviews
A. and B. Strugatsky are by far the most famous Russian writers of science fiction. Their work influenced several generations of young Russians, opening up new horizons of intellectual freedom, combined with endless fun. "Monday Starts on Saturday", the Russian equivalent of "Harry Potter", was written 40 years earlier, and the whole business of dealing with magic happens ...more
Paperback
Published July 1st 2005 by Seagull Publishing House Ltd (first published 1964)
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Crime and Punishment by Fyodor DostoyevskyAnna Karenina by Leo TolstoyThe Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor DostoyevskyThe Master and Margarita by Mikhail BulgakovWar and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
Best Russian Literature
174th out of 380 books — 1,508 voters
Roadside Picnic by Arkady StrugatskyVita Nostra by Marina DyachenkoMonday Starts On Saturday by Arkady StrugatskyDay Watch by Sergei LukyanenkoСердце Пармы by Alexey Ivanov
Best Russian science fiction
3rd out of 42 books — 10 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Kaya
Одна из лучших книг братьев Стругацких. Лучшая из цикла НИИЧАВО. Прочла ее впервые лет в 19, и потом, как в детстве, долго не отпускало ощущение, что этот подорванный НИИ Чародейства и Волшебства и правда где-то существует.)
Stephen
Monday Starts on Saturday, the most well-known of the Strugatskys' books in Russia, would seem to be the apotheosis of the brothers' throw-everything-into-the-cauldron approach, bringing together science and magic, Russian folktales and Greek mythology, Merlin and Walt Whitman, mermaids and vampires, statistics equations and the Upanishads, and much, much more... none of which seems particularly well-imagined, or important. When there are so many points of reference, none of them stable, it's ha ...more
Vadim
May 18, 2009 Vadim rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who reads Russian (but they've all read it)
«Престарелый колдун Перун Маркович Неунывай-Дубино из отдела Атеизма взял отпуск для очередного перевоплощения.»

One of the funniest sentences I've ever read.
Dan
This is one of the most fun and enjoyable books I've read in a very long time and it totally came of out of left field for me.

There is a great documentary on YouTube titled Pandora's Box : The Engineers' Plot about how the Soviet Union attempted to use mathematical and scientific principles to bring about the greatest amount of happiness and comfort to the Russian people. Through pure logic and reason the Soviet scientists hoped to control an illogical and irrational population. This was a real
...more
Branimir
Интересна история и, можеби, най-обърканата фантастика която съм чел наскоро (в позитивна светлина).

С присъщото си тънко чувство за хумор и до някъде самоирония, братята Стругацки успяват да опишат реалността в научните среди в СССР посредством НИЧАВО и да запазят разказът на едно достъпно (дори пре-достъпно) ниво. Но това е причината мнозина да си мислят, че това е една добра комедия / фантастика...

Всеки епизод цели да заклейми даден тип поведение в определени ситуации. Всеки персонаж е сборен
...more
Yaroslav Skorokhid
...потому что сюда в двенадцать часов новогодней ночи, прорвавшись через пургу, пришли люди, которым было интереснее доводить до конца или начинать сызнова какое-нибудь полезное дело, чем глушить себя водкой, бессмысленно дрыгать ногами, играть в фанты и заниматься флиртом разных степеней легкости.

Сюда пришли люди, которым было приятнее быть друг с другом, чем порознь, которые терпеть не могли всякого рода воскресений, потому что в воскресенье им было скучно. Маги, Люди с большой буквы, и деви
...more
Genia Lukin
One of the best books I've ever read. I keep rereading it from time to time when I need a chuckle at the foolishness of life, or when I am too stressed with exams and research papers for my own good.

The Brothers Strugatsky managed to satirise everything under the sun: Academic research, communist optimism, science-fiction (and especially science-fiction authors), academia, and on and on.

The book might prove a touch impenetrable for the foreign language (English or otherwise) reader, due to its
...more
Anoush
Reading Strugatsky brothers' books I finally understood the reason for people learning Russian to read Russian literature in its original form. Russian style is undeniably powerful and funny beyond explanation.
In order to understand Monday Begins on Saturday, the reader better be familiar with Russian folklore, fairy tales, most famous mages, vampires or myths of all time (and Russian language... just kidding). Otherwise, some characters and their deeds will not be understood.

The beginning of t
...more
Jerzy
Lots of great satirical humor, but the story itself is barely there. It felt like it was written as an excuse for making jokes and allusions, but with too few jokes to be a pure comedy, and too little plot to be a rollicking story. Still, I'm glad I read it.

Also, I'm sure it loses something in translation. I read it in Polish, as a Pole raised in the US decades after it was published, rather than in the original as a Russian of that time period. Still, the cultures of academia and bureaucracy ar
...more
Mariano Hortal
"El lunes empieza el sábado" de los rusos Boris y Arkadi Strugarski es una atípica novela de ciencia ficción mezclada con fantasía.
Está dividida en tres partes diferenciadas, una parte inicial en la que tenemos una presentación de los pintorescos personajes, en la segunda ya tenemos el instituo NICASO (Nuevo Instituto Científico de Adivinación y Sortilegio) y la vida que se desarrolla en él, la fantasía va virando a la ciencia ficción cada vez más para, en una tercera parte memorable, desemboca
...more
Csenge
So, here is a book that matches Harry Potter in magic, Terry Pratchett in deadpan humor, and Doctor Who in time travel. And raises them one heck of a parody of Soviet science and bureaucracy.
It did remind be of Pratchett in a lot of ways: Deadpan one-liners, creative uses of magic and folklore, and humor catered to smart people. I also loved the fact that while it is categorized as science-fiction, this book is not action. It is rather a parody of everyday life in a science institution with all
...more
Forgoszel
Köszi Zergének, hogy eszembe juttatta, hogy ez is kell:) A Sztrugackij fivérek nem éppen pörgős üzemmódban írtak. Ők a sci-fi kalsszikusai Lassan, de érdekesen indul a könyv. Lassúság alatt azt értem, hogy az ember simán le tudja tenni két fejezet között, hogy felvegye a telefont, vagy éppen ebédet főzzön. Ez, körülbelül a 100. oldalig lesz így. Aztán, miután az ember szétröhögi magát a díványon, beindul a sztori és egyre viccesebb lesz. Innen pedig, még tudják fokozni a dolgot a srácok. Olyanny ...more
Алексей Епифанов
Прочитал уже в зрелом возрасте и возможно потому, что жизнь к.м.к. была у меня тогда достаточно интересной и насыщенной совершенно не разделяю щенячьих восторгов советских м.н.с. и современных бездельников относительно этих сказок.
Моя тогдашняя работа субъективно для меня была интереснее, чем "приключения" сотрудников этого НИИ. Никакого волшебства не состоялось.
Рассматриваю исключительно как "памятник эпохи"
Natasha
Read this in Russian, so can't vouch for the translation. The original felt like it changed my whole life when I was about 11.
Mcruz
Empecé a leer esta novela con entusiasmo debido a las críticas que había leído por Internet y al texto en la contraportada. Ahora que la he terminado, no puedo decir que me haya decepcionado... pero tampoco ha satisfecho del todo mis expectativas. ES una mezcla de "El color de la magia" y "Guía del autoestopista galáctico". Todo esto mezclado con los cuentos y leyendas eslavos. Y, claro, en Rusia (con todo lo bueno y malo que tiene esto).
La novela tiene tres partes bien diferenciadas: la aventu
...more
Ана Хелс
Какви са причините да не се влюбиш в един откровен класик, в случая множествено число от тях даже, въпреки огромния хайп от няколко поколения разностранни като търсения читатели, които са те надъхвали с години за това колко големи са братя Стругацки. Е, за големи, големи са. Истински гиганти, колоси, исполини. И безкрайно остарели като послания. Или като общо изпълнение. Или нещо друго, което ми нагарча. Що да ми е лесно и просто приятно винаги, нали …


Историята е брилянтна – програмист от старат
...more
Profundus Librum
A könyv 1965-ben született, tehát abszolút a hasonló stílusú könyvek ősének tekinthető Stanislaw Lem műveivel egyetemben. Amíg azonban a lengyel írózseni ötletein, fricskáin sokszor tudtam felszabadulva nevetni, addig ez az érzés most valamiért elmaradt. Sok szereplő van a könyvben, akik közt azért voltak olyanok, akiket kedveltem (az öreg és zsugori boszorkány például, aki parádés volt, vagy a csuka), de a főszereplő és közelebbi környezete nagyjából semmit nem mozgatott meg bennem. Lem egyszer ...more
Stacy
Great and brilliant beginning which loses its brilliancy towards the end. Marvellous ideas which the authors were unable to solve in the same manner to call the book complete phenomena.

As preface says - this is the fairytale for scientific employers of lower class. Mix of reality and Russian fairy tales. I was laughing loud while listening to the first part of the story, really - great, humorous an so on. Then, as plot takes some turns, it becomes harder and harder to follow the author's thought
...more
Yara Ray
I read this book when I was a teenager. Very funny and interesting. This book help me to understand that in Russia lives many good authors too.
Maciek
Chyba najlepsza po "Pikniku na skraju drogi" powieść braci Strugackich. Świetne połączenie nauki i technologii z czarami i baśniowymi stworzeniami, galeria ciekawych postaci naukowców-magów. Spodobała mi się podróż głównego bohatera w przyszłość podczas której autorzy przedstawili swoje poglądu na literaturę sf, gdzie mamy albo przesłodzone utopie w których każdy jest genialny i wysportowany, albo apokaliptyczne(głównie amerykańskie) wizje wojen z najdziwniejszymi istotami. Szczególnie jednak pr ...more
Salome
I've loved this book since I was little. But considering other comments, I should probably check the original.
Andrey
Great book! Magic meets Soviet bureaucracy and scientific research :) I admire the imagination of the authors. Very inspirational novel!
Lyubov Hristova
This is not the best of the Brothers, but I had great fun (giggling most of the time), and I was pleased to find that most of the contemporary fantasy bestsellers, or sci-fi blockusters have adopted a lot of their futuristic ideas!
Todor Zed
Definitely an entertaining book - certain passages were pure genius. Overall, I thought that way too many thematic references and additional characters were introduced, which distorted the initial lightness of the narrative for me. Yes, the novel is obviously not just a fun fairy tale - there are subtle social commentaries implied within the fantastical events. I am also no enemy of abundant referentiality, but in this case I believe the book would have profited from a less clustered composition ...more
Andy
I read it in English, Monday Begins on Saturday, Daw Books, Trans by Leonid Renen.
Alexander
A must-read for everybody who enjois science and fantasy, regardless of age.
Witcher
Czy ktoś zrozumiał w pełni zamysł autorów ?
Ja się nie zgłaszam : P
Alexey Pechorin
One of the best and most inspiring books that I've ever read
Ina Shprintsak
One of my favorite, humorous science fiction.
Neven
изключително весела и забавна книжка.
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SF Masterworks Group: Monday Begins on Saturday by Strugatsky brother 1 9 Jul 19, 2013 05:54AM  
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The brothers Arkady (Russian: Аркадий; August 28, 1925 – October 12, 1991) and Boris (Russian: Борис; April 14, 1933 – November 19, 2012) Strugatsky (Russian: Стругацкий; alternate spellings: Strugatskiy, Strugatski, Strugatskii) were Soviet-Russian science fiction authors who collaborated on their fiction.
More about Arkady Strugatsky...

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НИИЧАВО (2 books)
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Roadside Picnic Hard to Be a God Обитаемый остров Град обреченный The Snail on the Slope

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“Strange department, this. Their motto was: "The comprehension of Infinity requires infinite time." I did not argue with that, but then they derived an unexpected conclusion from it: Therefore work or not, it´s all the same."
In the interests of not increasing the entropy of the universe, they did not work.”
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