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Esmaspäev algab laupäeval

(НИИЧАВО #1)

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  11,977 ratings  ·  412 reviews
Jutustus-muinaslugu noorema vanuserühma teadustöötajatele.

Venemaal kultusteose staatust nautiv romaan on vendade Strugatskite loomingus üsnagi erandlik teos, nende ainsa fantasy’na on see teravalt satiiriline, kohati absurdne, kohati hüsteeriliselt naljakas. Raamatut on nimetatud metsikuks, pööraseks, ohjeldamatuks, seda on eriti teadustöötajate hulgas ohtralt tsiteeritud.
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Paperback, Orpheuse raamatukogu, 251 pages
Published July 2015 by Fantaasia (first published 1965)
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Start your review of Esmaspäev algab laupäeval (Orpheuse raamatukogu #18)
Glenn Russell



Many people outside Russia are familiar with Stalker, Andrei Tarkovsky's 1979 film loosely based on the novel Roadside Picnic by Boris and Arkady Strugatsky. But, let me tell you comrades, the brothers Strugatsky's Monday Starts on Saturday is one of the most imaginative, off-the-wall hilarious novels ever written, a work that should be better known than it is.

Science fiction held a special place within the Soviet Union back in 1964 when this novel was first published, with issues revolving arou
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Evgeny
Mar 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi
A buddy read with my friend Sarah. I am not going to mention I tricked her into this.

Who is the greatest science fiction writer of US? Robert A. Heinlein? Roger Zelazny? Ray Bradbury? Issac Asimov? Hard to pick one. Who is the greatest science fiction writer of GB? Arthur C. Clarke? H.G. Wells? Neil Gaiman? Again hard to pick one. Who is the greatest science fiction writer of the former Soviet Union writing in Russian? This question is laughably easy. Ask anybody who was "lucky" to live in that
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Dan
Oct 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, genre, russian
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
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✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)
🧙 Most Frolicsome Soviet Wizards R Us Buddy Read (MFSWRUBR™) with Evgeny (aka He Who Forces Me To Read All This Russian Stuff Against My Nefarious Will) 🧙

Actual rating: 8.568426 stars

⚠️ This crappy non-review is a disgraceful disgrace, and a revolting insult to the Greatness that is this book. Thou hast been warned and stuff.

There’s really just one thing you need to know about this Slightly Very Good Book (SVGB™): the characters in it work at a place called NITWITT. Don’t believe me? Check this
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carol.
Sep 11, 2019 added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Russian literature, old-school sci-fi
First published in 1965, Monday Starts on Sunday has an unusual feel. Written by a pair of Russian brothers, it applies elements of folklore and fantasy to social commentary on institutions and politics, with a solid dollop of humor on top. I was drawn to it for the above reasons, along with the comparison to Zelazny, and found it enjoyable, as long as I was in the exact right reading mood.

This is not one of those books that can cajole me into enjoying regardless of attention and mood. No doubt
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George
Nov 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, sci-fi, humor
What a fun read. Now How the hell am I going to get my hands on the rest of the books from this series in English... Younger Me You Fool, Why didn't you pay attention in Russian classes back in high school!?

Anyway, regrets aside, to the review. The book comprises three humorous short stories featuring Soviet Scientists/Wizards working at NITWITT (National Institute for the Technology of Witchcraft and Thaumaturgy) and their daily troubles. By the style it's like the wizards from The Unseen Unive
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Caro the Helmet Lady
I just finished listening to a magnificent audio version and I already know I'm ready to do it again. Says me, who rarely does audio-books, because audio-books put me to sleep. Well, with this one I couldn't doze off because I laughed too often.
I had soooooo much fun! Both on the intellectual level as well as shits and giggles level, because this book has it all. On one hand it's a pity I haven't read this one as a teen, but on the other I'm pretty sure I would miss most of political allusions t
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Vlad
Maybe I'm too dumb for some books. Or maybe some books are too dumb for me. I've no idea which was the case here.

Fun though. An extra star for that. Even though it wasn't the fun kind of fun.
Genia Lukin
Feb 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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Victor Sonkin
I started rereading it almost by accident because I wanted to find the time-travelers' contramotic Tunguska reference (which is tucked away at the very end), and the book was nice and pleasing in some chunks and rather irritating in others. It's very obvious how it has aged (something that is ridiculed by the authors themselves in the scene where Privalov is witnessing the worlds depicted by science fiction authors; and, for example, in these same scenes the sexual division of labor is glaringly ...more
Anna Nesterovich
This is one of my all-times favorites that I read and re-read (I can remember at least ten occasions). This particular session was special, because my husband was reading it aloud. And as soon as we reached the end, we started again. And then read again, selected parts.

The mix of surrealism and straightforward realism, irony and self-irony, fondness and disillusionment is amazing and breathtaking. This book shows the atmosphere among Soviet Union -> Russian scientists so accurately, as if it's a
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K.J. Charles
A demented and more or less plot-free rambling tale of a Russain wizardry institute. Basically a satire of how Soviet bureaucracy and institutions worked with additional weirdness in the way of time travel, folklore, dimension-bending, monsters and explosions. An interesting curiosity with fantastic ideas, and a good read for the first half or so, but would have been a lot more special with a coherent plot.
Noah
Dec 08, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: russia
This novel starts out as great Soviet Metaliterature, touching the obscure from Gogol to Bulgakov. However it quickliy turns into a siviet Harry Potter. Not badly written, sometimes funny, but not my cup of tea.
Anna (lion_reads)
I didn't quite know what I was getting myself into with Mondays Starts On Saturday, except that the Strugatsky brothers are renowned for being behemoths in sci-fi. This book was not what I expected, and it kept changing my expectations while I was reading.

For one, this is actually three stories in one roughly organized in chronological order! Who. Knew. And unlike the first story might lead you to believe, the world this book inhabits is not so much of myth and fairy tale as it is about scienti
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Jordan Roland
This was one of the most frustratingly painful books I have ever read! The store that recommended it called it the Russian version of Harry Potter. THEY LIED. I spent so much time trying to understand the thought loops they went through, and I finally grasped the major points in logic, philosophy, and the overall satire (which is remarkably still relevant especially compared to the USA university system). For the first time in my life I actually cried tears of frustration, it was more confusing ...more
Troy
Jan 18, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2016
I couldn't get into this. It's the Strugatskys' fantasy novel, set in Soviet Russia, filled with bureaucrats and well-drawn scientist/magicians going about their passions, digging into the way the world works. Baba Yaga is there, as well as a ton of Russian folklore I don't know despite my nerdy D&D background.

It's roughly three stories: The story of our hero, the computer programer Alex Ivanov Privanov's, initiation into the strange and magical side of the USSR. This part is complete madcap an
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Anoush
Oct 11, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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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
Csenge
May 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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Jamie
Nov 26, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Admittedly, without really any of the background to appreciate it, I found this scattershot, an unrelenting fire hose of political and social commentary, digressions and satirical musings on scientific and supernatural oddities. The innumerable changes of subject and endless stream of characters made my eyes glaze over.

The first story I was actually able to digest and enjoy, but the second in particular quickly became a slog, a kind of Night at the Museum on steroids, despite frequent flashes of
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Kat  Hooper
Oct 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Will review soon at www.fantasyliterature.com. ...more
Callum McAllister
Perhaps every time I picked up this book I was feeling very distracted. Perhaps it was difficult to follow. Either way, if it was to grip me, it had a lot of opportunities. Amazing concept with a bunch of clever literary, scientific and philosophical references. At another point in my life I might have loved this book. This time it just passed me by.
VannTile
Jun 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excitingly strange, a mashup between a social commentary against bureaucracy, fantasy, science-fiction, allegory and a strange quantity of "what is even going on". Cherished every story and especially the culmination of the volume.
Marina Sofia
Apr 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So unusual, crazy, funny, thought-provoking. I need to read it again to make proper sense of it.
DeAnna Knippling
A computer programmer is lured into the aptly bureaucratic world of Soviet magic.

This is a fabulous book, and if you love Terry Pratchett, I particularly recommend it--there are a thousand and one things from Discworld's Unseen University that seem to have come from this book! Of course, Sir Terry added his own particular spice, and, ahem, a PLOT. This book is almost pure setting, without actual plot or character development, so keep that in mind. But what a setting! I also highly recommend if y
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Anita Wu
Jan 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the most unusual and unique books I've read. I started and quickly found myself in a headspace of 'what the heck am I reading?' which soon progressed to an insatiable need to know more. An absolutely marvelous work.
Frank Kool
Jul 13, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not sure what I just read, but I do know that I want more of it.
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
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Jorg
Jan 25, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
The book itself is five stars, easily, but the translation is one star at best, hence the total of three.

I will not spend much time on the book; those who know the authors and are familiar with the text do not need any introductions, and those who have not read it yet should do so immediately, regardless of the quality of this translation (or better yet, use it as an excuse to learn Russian and read it in the original!)

The translation, though...In all honesty, translating this would be extremely
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Christian
Feb 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Bizar, philosophical, rich of ideas and really funny to read. Once again a fantastic novel of the Strugatzky brothers.
As other reviewers already pointed out, you get a far deeper understanding of the books meaning when considering the time and place it has been created. In the first half of the 60ths in the soviet union. There are many references regarding the absurdity of the world view of the regime.
Another part I really enjoyed are all the work groups in the magical institute. Each of them w
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SF Masterworks Group: Monday Begins on Saturday by Strugatsky brother 2 25 Oct 24, 2018 03:34PM  

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The brothers Arkady Strugatsky [Russian: Аркадий Стругацкий] and Boris Strugatsky[Russian: Борис Стругацкий] were Soviet-Russian science fiction authors who collaborated through most of their careers.

Arkady Strugatsky was born 25 August 1925 in Batumi; the family later moved to Leningrad. In January 1942, Arkady and his father were evacuated from the Siege of Leningrad, but Arkady was the only su
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