Wow! What a surprise. I did not know what I was getting into, and I'm glad I didn't. This book is a collection of short stories where robots, and part...moreWow! What a surprise. I did not know what I was getting into, and I'm glad I didn't. This book is a collection of short stories where robots, and particularly Trurl and Klapaucius, are the main protagonists.
The stories range from funny and good, to awesomely amazing, (funny) and philosophical. Particularly the HPLD is one of the funniest (and truest) things I've ever read. This is like Asimov's Robots series on steroids. I'm not saying it's better. It's somehow different, equally good and hilariously peculiar.
Also, after reading this book first published in 1965, I have to agree with Lem that there's nothing new under the sun (and there'll never be). What an imagination!
This book, a collection of three novellas ('The fifth head of Cerberus', 'A Story' and 'V.R.T') came out in 1972. I won't add anything new that has no...moreThis book, a collection of three novellas ('The fifth head of Cerberus', 'A Story' and 'V.R.T') came out in 1972. I won't add anything new that has not been discussed/revealed/speculated before.
I felt compelled to add a simple review to say that after reading this book I had to spend some time trying to understand what the hell had I read. Then, after finding no answers I let Google by me friend to try to solve the riddle. It seems that most of the Internet is completely blown away by this book, and I can understand why, but no real answers (well, maybe a few) are given anywhere, lots of speculation though.
And that is awesome! Why? Because I'm tired of the simple-here-you-have-it-everything-is-chewn-for-you science fiction and fantasy books. As Mr. Wolfe also does on 'The book of the new sun', after reading them you don't know what you've read. The hours you have to spend later trying to puzzle it all up are the best, way better than the reading time. Every time you experience an epiphany and *think* that you have solved a part of the puzzle is amazing! Then you realize you where wrong, or not entirely right, since ten different theories appear online proving diferent. This is why Mr. Wolfe's books are great. They take your imagination way beyond the point of simple enjoyment.
Highly recommended though is not an easy read.(less)
I'm giving it 4 stars because I'm comparing it to other 2012 Hugo nominated books I've already read. This is the one I've l...moreHard, hard book to review.
I'm giving it 4 stars because I'm comparing it to other 2012 Hugo nominated books I've already read. This is the one I've liked to most so far BUT I feel cheated. And why is that? Because Jo Walton uses a trick citing other SF masters that I don't know if I like to much.
You see, every time she, or Mor, says this or that book is bril, the reader goes back to his memories and relives the memory he/she has of that particular book incorporating those feelings into this book. That is cheating. :-)
If I had not been a SF fan would I have enjoyed this book? I don't know... not much anything else happens. Mor reads and reads and reads at an incredible speed also. Reading LOTR in 3-4 days is quite an achievement.
Is this a book about growing up? About becoming a young woman? About leaving behind childhood stuff even if at a price? Maybe...
If it were possible I'd give it 3.5 stars. The other half is for the long list of books I'm going to add to my to-read shelf.(less)