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Prisoners Of Power (The Noon Universe #6)

4.22  ·  Rating Details ·  2,972 Ratings  ·  41 Reviews
Originally published in Russian as Obitaemyi ostrov, translated into English by Helen Saltz Jacobson. First in series, followed by Beetle in the Anthill (original title: Zhuk v Muraveinike), and The Time Wanderers (original title: Volny Gasyat Veter).

The novel is set in the 22nd century of the Noon Universe. Mankind is the prevalent race in the Galaxy, capable of interstel
...more
Hardcover, 286 pages
Published August 1977 by Macmillan Publishing Co (first published 1967)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Katherine Hurinovich
Аркадий и Борис Стругацкие "Обитаемый остров"
Не знаю почему, но братья Стругацкие знакомы мне лишь по доброй детской книге "Понедельник начинается в субботу". Может, сыграло роль то, что в своё время стала равнодушной к фантастике, повернув свои предпочтения в сторону более реалистичной литературы.
"Обитаемый остров" выдержан в очень хороших традициях научной фантастики, причём с достаточно богатой развитой психологической стороной, что меня и подкупило. Отличительной чертой книги явилось то чув
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Gordon
Mar 06, 2014 Gordon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
22nd century communist earth has raised the human being to such heights that even Maxim Kammerer - who has the less than prestigious job of exploring new planets chosen at random - is a virtual superman compared to the unhappy inhabitants of what he comes to think of as his "Undesert Isle" (IMO a better translation of the Russian title Обитаемый остров). Social development there has taken such a bizarre turn that by comparison capitalism looks humane and even fascism not quite so utterly hopeles ...more
Vira Motorko
Apr 09, 2016 Vira Motorko rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Про «Сто років самотності» мені сказали, що такі книжки люблять не за сюжет. Стругацькі після Маркеса — як повернення додому: тут і події розгортаються логічно, і люди мислять звично, і непрохідна тупість людського життя — знайома і домашня.

Дуже сподобався початок — як спершу все описано очима головного персонажа, Макса, а потім тумблер клац! — і йде опис всього, в т.ч. Макса, очима інших.

Подібне відчуття, як після «Важко бути богом»: все ясно, проблему видно, рішення знаєш — і нічого не можна з
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Olga Davydkina
Jan 17, 2011 Olga Davydkina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great book, but never ever watch the movie
Alex
Oct 19, 2009 Alex rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While this might not be the Strugatsky brothers' greatest work, this is still a damn fine science fiction book. It straddles the line very nicely between poking fun at the Soviet system (see esp. the character of the State Prosecutor) and having a much more Utopian outlook for our future than most Western SF writers. If you're into SF and are looking for something different, this book will not disappoint.

Stylistically, one of the excellent things about this book is the quick jumps it makes. The
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Ilya
Apr 02, 2014 Ilya rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of my favorite novels, of which I once wrote an amateur English translation (there is already a English translation of a heavily censored version of the text, dating to 1971). A naive 20-year-old from utopian Earth is thrown into a planet of humanoids who combine atompunk technology with totalitarian mind control. After a series of roller-coaster adventures on the planet, the young man destroys the mind control center, and swears that it would never be built again. The man to whom I ...more
Lauri
Jul 31, 2015 Lauri rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Tihtilugu on nii, et kui venelane kirjutab eksootilisest lõunamaast, ammusest minevikust või kaugest planeedist, teiste sõnadega, kirjutab ulmet, siis vaatamata eksootilistele tegevuspaikadele, tegelaste nimedele või eriti fantastilisele tegevusele vaatamata puudub täielikult usutavus, tunne mida scifi's nimetatakse "sense of wonderiks". Sest venelane kirjutab ikka ja jälle Venemaast, peitku ta seda ükskõik mis sulgede alla. Ei usu trussikutes raketist välja kargavat 20 aastast revolutsionääri, ...more
Anna
Aug 30, 2012 Anna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
the eternal Strugatsky's curse - it starts out with a super-awesome idea, then fall out of it on some boring lecture~y deep-philosophizing .. the climb back into adventure (which is now kinda hard to get back into with as much enthusiasm as before) and then.. kinda limp to the ending
Ondřej Puczok
Jan 10, 2016 Ondřej Puczok rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Po Je těžké být bohem a Piknik u cesty velké překvapení. Zmíněné dvě knihy byly dobré, velmi zajímavé a originální. Číst další knihu bratří Strugatských mě ale už nedonutily. Když sem však nedávno dočetl Malevil, v doslovu byly uvedeny další příklady knih a filmů, které se post-apo světem postiženém dopadem bomby zajímavě zaobírají. A Obydlený ostrov byla jedna z doporučených knih. Když sem se pak na ni vrhl, po kapitole a půl to nevypadalo nijak zvláštně. Po Vánocích jsem se však vrhl do čtení ...more
Tania Lukinyuk
Jul 20, 2014 Tania Lukinyuk rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Обитаемый остров", на мой взгляд, это мужской вариант сказки про Золушку. Золушкой в данном случае является умирающая планета, а главный герой - без сомнения, принц. С неизбежным хиппи ендом в конце. Удивительно, что книга была написана в советское время и была пропущена цензурой. Вероятнее всего, сказалась неспособность чиновников среднего ранга адекватно оценить представленный мир или снисходительность: фантастика, что с нее взять. И еще удивительнее то, что книга советского времени по прежне ...more
Przemek Skoczyński
Stałe motywy u Strugackich. Ziemia to miejsce, gdzie właściwie zapanował już idealny ustrój i teraz zgłębiamy inne światy, które są na zupełnie innym etapie rozwoju. Oczywiście mnóstwo odniesień do totalitarnej rzeczywistości, ale (z prostych powodów) ten zły przykład, którym podążają prymitywne cywilizacje, to coś na kształt faszyzmu (kilka razy pada to stwierdzenie), a nie totalitarnego Związku Radzieckiego, no ale wydźwięk jest jednoznaczny. Pomijając drugie dno, które u nich jest zawsze, jes ...more
Anna
Jul 14, 2013 Anna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I try to be Strugaccy brothers fan, but there is still long way to go for me to reach that level.
Olga Tikhonova
Dec 05, 2012 Olga Tikhonova rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi
The book is cool, the movie just sucked.
William Crosby
Aug 03, 2016 William Crosby rated it really liked it
Mix Orwell, Kafka, and Huxley and you have the sense of this book.

Different expectations, misunderstandings, different ways of viewing the world.

If you could control everybody with a device, would you?

If you could make people adore you, would you?

If you could cause people to be joyful, would you?

If you landed on a world which was in chaos and you had superpowers, would you help? What if it turned out that all your help was more of a hindrance?
Маx Nestelieiev
начало трилогии про Мак Сима Каммерера, пока читал вспоминал фильм - кстати он не так уж плох, книга - советский экшн, очень непосоветски написано, идеи несложны, но кстати многое похоже на теперешнюю войну на Донбассе - Мак Сим настоящий русский, его национальная идея - ввязаться в драку, а там как посмотрим, а главное в драке совесть не забыть, конечно...
Ubik
Sep 27, 2008 Ubik rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A hard book to get a hold of, but definitely worth the search. At first I wasnt really getting into it as I found it starting off kinda cheesy, but the writing was so good that it kept me going until it really got going. The Strugatsky's also have a habit (from what I understand -- this is the first of theirs Ive read) of shoot first, explain later which means that you might not get whats going on until later in the book (so stay tuned). There is a great explanation in the beginning of the book ...more
Peter
Dec 22, 2010 Peter rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Noon Universe at its best. Ah, hell no... I'm exaggerating. Count Beetle in an Anthill, It's Hard To Be A God and Waves Silence the Wind (a.k.a. The Time Wanderers) in as well. Now that's the Noonverse at its best - no kidding. The other half of the series isn't that bad either, but these 4 books are totally pivotal to the entire setting and totally one of the best things ever created by the legendary Russian duo.

P.S. I'm pretty baffled about the complete lack of any mentions about the plot
...more
Ventsi Dimitrov
May 02, 2016 Ventsi Dimitrov rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
Another great book by the masters of Soviet science fiction!

The Strugatsky brothers are great at the way they expose human relationships within a sci-fi literary universe. And thus the social fiction is born!

The book starts a little slow, but after page 30 you get involved in the story of Maxim Kamerer, an earthling who's stranded on a planet with problems and tries to help the locals overthrow their government. In every chapter, the story jumps a few weeks or a month ahead so you are left to wo
...more
Bruno Silva
Oct 05, 2009 Bruno Silva rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
A história passa-se num planeta onde aterra o Terrano Maxim e descobre um povo constantemente em guerra, totalmente poluído e radiactivo onde existem os Legionários e todos os militares combatentes e uns "degenerados" que querem derrotar a estrutura de poder composta pelos Criadores Todo-Poderosos. Numa alegoria muito bem criada vem-se a descobrir que existe uma segunda intenção para todos os personagens, em especial para umas torres que emitem umas radiações com um intuito muito específico. É u ...more
pax
There are dissonances and inconsistencies that would make it a 2-star book, but there is the ending, which is very much not what one would have expected (oh, one gets a feeling who the Wanderer might be, but not this, never this), there are ideas, small and big and shining, there is the very way of writing, and there is the afterword, at least in my today's Russian edition, by Boris Strugatsky, explaining the history behind the publication of the book, all with the Sovjet censorship, which makes ...more
Maria
О мальчике из будущего, который "всех спасает": неразумно, без четкого плана, по принципу "лишь бы что-то делать", а в итоге наломал дров и многое запорол. (Тяжело читать книгу, когда большую ее часть ГГ бесит!)
А вот сатира на управление государством все еще не теряет актуальности. Промывка мозгов одна только чего стоит, грызня в высших кругах и полный "трындец" в мире вообще. Признаюсь честно, гораздо интереснее было наблюдать не за мытарствами Макса, а за интригами в кругах Отцов.

А вот общий с
...more
Cybermilitia
Aug 03, 2016 Cybermilitia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lemvari komediyle basladiktan sonra giderek karanliklasip, neredeyse gotik hale gelen, etik tartisan, Kant'lasan, Kafka'lasan, oradan Cernisevski'nin Nasil Yapmali'sina selam verip Dick'le sonlanan enfes bir oyku. Leziz...
Matus
Feb 21, 2011 Matus rated it really liked it
This was essentially an anti-dominating-government diatribe, written as a scifi story with various other obfuscations to prevent the authors from being sent to siberia (it was pretty hilarious when one of the rebellion leaders was referred to as having communist feelings--the dire situation of the country was unlike the tsar government overthrown by lenin ET AL, more like stalin party). I respect this choice by the authors but give them their first (from me) sad 4stars due to my perception of re ...more
Sieg
Sep 10, 2016 Sieg rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Just reread it during the vacation, this time in the latest version, created by the Boris after the book was no longer subjected to the strict censorship of the USSR. It is funny that the book was basically started as a "simple, stupid and actionpacked" sci-fi novel which they wanted to write to basically make some money. Well, it is indeed actiopacked and exciting but the basic dystopian settings and authors' ideas and satire still make it a worthwhile read even for people who want something de ...more
Сибин Майналовски
Тежка книга с много смисъл в нея...
Sandro
Authors inadvertently made very good prophecy about how deeply indoctrinated Russian population would become after 50 years book was first printed.
erjan avid reader
i love all of their stuff so 5\5
Georgi Nikolaev
Jan 25, 2014 Georgi Nikolaev rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
...И такива сфери има още много на света, на някои от тях живеят много по-зле от вас, на други - много по-добре. Но никъде не живеят по-глупаво.
Martin Yankov
I didn't really love this novel.
It was okay, but nothing more. And considering the fact that the Strugatsky brothers are among my most favorite authors, the book was a real disappointment.

The beginning was interesting but after 150 pages I realized I didn't really care about the characters. The worldbuilding has some potential, but is not fully developed.

Besides, I was never a fan of "all people are porgrammed" type of stories.

So, 2 out of 5 stars from me.
Eerik
Feb 12, 2013 Eerik rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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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...

Other Books in the Series

The Noon Universe (10 books)
  • Noon, 22nd Century
  • Беспокойство (Миры братьев Стругацких)
  • Далекая радуга
  • Escape Attempt
  • Hard to Be a God
  • Малыш
  • Beetle in the Anthill
  • Парень из преисподней
  • The Time Wanderers

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“Възрастните солидни люде не участват в Групата за Свободно Търсене. Те имат свои, възрастни, солидни занимания. Те знаят, че всички тези чужди планети в своята същност са достатъчно еднообразни и досадни. Еднообразно-досадни. Досадно-еднообразни… Разбира се, ако си на двадесет години, ако не умееш нищо като хората, ако не знаеш конкретно какво всъщност би искал да умееш, ако не си се научил да цениш най-голямото свое богатство – времето, ако нямаш и не ти се предвиждат някакви особени таланти, ако доминанта на твоята същност, както и преди десет години, остават ръцете и краката, а не главата, ако си толкова примитивен и си въобразяваш, че на неизвестните планети може да се намери някаква неизвестна на Земята скъпоценност, ако, ако, ако… е, тогава… разбира се. Тогава вземи каталога, отвори го на коя да е страница, забий пръст в кой да е ред и лети, когато искаш. Откривай нова планета, наричай я със собственото си име, определяй физически характеристики, сражавай се с чудовища, стига да се намират, влизай в контакт, стига да има с кого, робинзонствай, ако няма никой…” 4 likes
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