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)
I read Four Past Midnight, more specifically 'The Langoliers', when I was about fourteen years old. It was the first story I ever read by Stephen King...moreI read Four Past Midnight, more specifically 'The Langoliers', when I was about fourteen years old. It was the first story I ever read by Stephen King and his views on time traveling, or Time itself, shocked me and I still treasure that story as one of my favorites, so when I heard he was going to write another book on time traveling I was really excited and anxious to read it.
Mr. King has a way of dealing with characters that I've seldom seen anywhere else. It, The Stand, Under the Dome come to mind when it's about creating a believable-charming-terrifying-intense atmosphere. Some call these kind of books "Character Books" because they are more focused on the characters than on the story itself. In this King is, no doubt about it, one of the greatest.
11/22/63 is a great example of a book that is more focused on the setting, the characters and their interactions and emotions that on the story itself. So yes, we know Oswald is going to shoot Kennedy, and most of the plot is so known in advance that all is left is 800 pages to fill, and with what? A (sad and intense) love story.
There is no terror in this book, at all. There are a couple of bloody-gore moments and some scenes that get you to the edge of the seat but that's about it. The rest is about the late fifties and sixties, how different it was from now, and if it was better or worse.
The time-traveling stuff is handled correctly, nothing new though. It helps the plot, obviously, but it plays a minimal role. I would have expected a bit more of a reaction from Mr. Amberson to the idea of the whole time-traveling psychological effects, but everything seems to be accepted pretty easily. Also, at the end, Mr. King dedicates a couple of pages to explain why time-traveling is possible. Was it necessary? I don't know. If you are going to try to explain the possible consequences of time traveling maybe prepare something a little bit more intense, or equally terrifying... I don't know. All that part left me a bit disappointed. I love the harmonious side of it though, well thought.
All in all, a good book, quite predictable but good. A bit to sweet for my taste though.(less)
Superb fun. This is the first story/book I read of the sort (that is, pulp fiction) and I have to say I've enjoyed it a lot. I will read more of John...moreSuperb fun. This is the first story/book I read of the sort (that is, pulp fiction) and I have to say I've enjoyed it a lot. I will read more of John Carter for sure.
Beware though, this book was published long before most of what we know today about Mars had been discovered, so, some may think that this book, as a science fiction book has aged terribly. If you can overcome this fact and simply enjoy the ride, you will not be dissapointed.
While reading the book a lot of Flash Gordon and Prince Valiant style and stories came into mind. Most of the time I thought that I was reading a novelized version of a comic.
Highly recommended to anyone who lived and enjoyed the 80's. It's impossible not to have a great time reading this b...moreSo much fun!!! What a geekfest!!!
Highly recommended to anyone who lived and enjoyed the 80's. It's impossible not to have a great time reading this book and remembering what it was like to live that part of computer/music/films/you-name-it history! I want an OASIS account now!
Oh, and I can't wait for the movie! Please WB, pretty please, with sugar on top, don't miss this opportunity to create a classic movie. Learn from recent movie industry mistakes and go search your 80's movie stack and see how it was done.
I'm exhausted after so much geek pleasure... As someone I know would say: 'Get a room!'.