Classics Without All the Class discussion

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Jun 2013 - Solaris > Chapters 1-7

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message 1: by Karena (new)

Karena (karenafagan) Please keep the discussion to these chapters. There will be spoilers so reader beware!


message 2: by Gail (new)

Gail Ritter (gail0) Is anyone else having trouble breathing while they read this book??


message 3: by Matthew (new)

Matthew There was definitely a sense of claustrophobia, where the station had only 3 people, and they were all on top of each other, and they all wanted their privacy, but they were also all one another had in the world.

That part was very well done. Where I had trouble suspending my belief was where the author goes one step further and implies that no one off the station would believe them, and they won't even believe each other -- using the story of the giant baby from the Minor Apocrypha as evidence that people will find them crazy. Does this futuristic space station that can analyze neutrinos lack cameras?

I was very satisfied when the claustrophobia was at a "10". The places where he cranks it to "11", (including that first conversation with Snaut) turned me off a little.


message 4: by [deleted user] (new)

Matthew wrote: "There was definitely a sense of claustrophobia, where the station had only 3 people, and they were all on top of each other, and they all wanted their privacy, but they were also all one another ha..."

" Where I had trouble suspending my belief was where the author goes one step further and implies that no one off the station would believe them, and they won't even believe each other."

I agree. Since this is an advanced, futuristic society, there has to be some way to document what is happening on the station. Unfortunately, I think this is a symptom of the fact by today's standards, the book is dated. The author could not even imagine the technological abilities that we have today, let alone the distant future.


message 5: by Nadja (last edited Jun 04, 2013 03:46AM) (new)

Nadja (nzie) | 16 comments I'm at about chapter 4 (I'm reading on my kindle so I didn't want to go back to the TOC and count) but yeah, I definitely got a very claustrophobic sense. I find it very effective because normally when one thinks of outer space there's a lot more space. I'm really confused by this guests (visitors, depending on translation) thing, and who this woman is.

Anyone else feel like Lem's messing with time as well? Kelvin makes a big deal out of "only an hour" and "only half an hour" (and not wanting to be late but then being 15 minutes late) but then this time pressure stops while he gives almost a history lecture or academic paper. Until that point I had felt very "in the moment" I think, almost like things were being described as or shortly after happening. But at that point it was like getting whipped away, and realizing really it must all be retrospect (in some way or another), or else just really messing with my head in terms of timing, because I don't think that sort of in depth research is 30 minutes' product.


message 6: by Tome (new)

Tome (toenuff) This book is soooooo CREEPY!!!! I love it so far!


message 7: by LaLaLa Laura (new)

LaLaLa Laura  (laurabhoffman) Tome wrote: "This book is soooooo CREEPY!!!! I love it so far!"

welcome back, Tome!


message 8: by Christine (new)

Christine A very strange book, I love it! It is interesting how guarded everyone is. It is as if they are more concerned about hiding their past than finding truth. I also was intrigued that Harey is so blank. Is this how Kris remembers the relationship or is this copy all that the ocean is able to produce? Perhaps Harey is blank on purpose?


message 9: by Gail (new)

Gail Ritter (gail0) I keep thinking of those new 3-D printers that can produce something, but it can't actually do details. I see the ocean operating that way; it looks like something, but is lacking the essence of that thing, eg: that garden that was a rough approximation.


message 10: by Anil (new)

Anil (loykalina) | 79 comments I'm on page 80 at the moment. After having read Snow's suggestion that we are not capable of admitting our limits, I think the Ocean serves as our conscious or superego. It is like a mirror that shows us reality that we deliberately distort so as not to be upset with ourselves. I might be reading too much into it, though.


message 11: by Reija (new)

Reija I like 3d printing idea! those creatures reminds me something, movie or book, how they have created our memories and then they are not so multidimensionals as real humans.

Really like this book so far.


message 12: by Jeane, Book-tator (new)

Jeane (pinkbookdragon) | 323 comments It's kind of interesting that this book is such a product of it's time, they write letters on paper and slip them under the door, probably b/c when Lem wrote the book email was even a fathomable thing to him! There are other things too like phones, and print books. Although I guess they had skype :)


message 13: by Joshua (new)

Joshua Kurtz | 6 comments One part of the book that stood out to me so far is the changing way Kris thinks about his ‘visitor.’ Sometimes he seems convinced that the visitor is not really Rheya – like when he tries to get rid of her in the spacecraft, and when he thinks he has come to peace with her presence, saying he is “no longer afraid of anything” and that his mind is “empty and at rest” (page 88 in my copy).

However, a few pages later he seems much more alarmed by the whole situation. For instance, he describes holding the visitor’s graceful, trembling shoulders, and how he knows the visitor isn’t deceiving him because she really thinks she’s Rheya. And he says that seeing her two dresses filled him with a horror that was worse than anything he had felt up to then. It must be disorienting to Kris how he goes back and forth between seeming to love the visitor and seeming to observe her much more objectively.

It reminds me a little of Frankenstein too, with its questions of personal identity and what exactly it is to be human and alive.


message 14: by Beth (new)

Beth (k9odyssey) I agree with Laura that this is creepy. I am enjoying it a lot. Just got to the discovery of the garden and the baby. Conjures up disturbing images. I heard it has been made into a movie 3 times and never came close to doing the book justice. I saw the George Clooney one but hadn't read the book yet. I don't think it followed the story from what I remember.


message 15: by Beth (new)

Beth (k9odyssey) The tension and fear a palpable. Dated and implausible at times?....maybe....but intelligently, effectively written making it feel more real for me.


message 16: by Jessica (new)

Jessica | 464 comments Well, I, apparently, am hooked! I think that is the fastest I have read in a while. I am trying to figure out the ocean's motive behind the "guests" right now. A part of me feels like it is just what it does. Like a reaction to an action. The action...people being there. The reaction is forming things from their existence. Does that make sense?

My other thought is that it is malicious in some way. It mentions that this started happening after the radiation stuff they did... But that wouldn't explain Berton's experiences. So many questions.

I wonder if they could do the book any justice now with a movie. Update some of the technological items in the book. Plus with all of the special effects we have now, it could be great. But there is so much that would be lost in the movie. It would have to be a really good screenplay writer to capture all the thought processes that would be lost.

It reads like a Twilight Zone or Xfiles episode. I think LalalaLaura made that comment somewhere in a thread and I agree. The more books I read with the group, the more I am glad I joined. This is not a book I would have picked up off a library or bookstore shelf. But between this one and Ender's Game (read last month), I have discovered that I love me some scifi!!! Good stuff!


message 17: by Daniel (new)

Daniel Clark Solaris has been on my to-read shelf for a while. I'm excited to explore this watery space world. I am in chapter 2 and just getting into the backstory of this strange planet. Glad the comment boards are all still up, so I can participate!


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