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Solaris
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Jun 2013 - Solaris > Chapters 8-14

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


LaLaLa Laura  (laurabhoffman) I found myself reading this book, imagining Kelvin as George Clooney while narrating it in the voice of Rod Serling from the Twilight Zone.


message 3: by LaLaLa Laura (last edited Jun 02, 2013 11:25AM) (new) - added it

LaLaLa Laura  (laurabhoffman) I'm ready for a book where the main female character does NOT commit suicide


Jean (mama_v) LaLaLa Laura wrote: "I'm ready for a book where the main female character does NOT commit suicide"

Well sorry to disappoint you, but the main female character in Solaris attempts it three times. And succeeds twice! Only possible on Solaris.


LaLaLa Laura  (laurabhoffman) Jean wrote: "LaLaLa Laura wrote: "I'm ready for a book where the main female character does NOT commit suicide"

Well sorry to disappoint you, but the main female character in Solaris attempts it three times. ..."


I know Jean! I'm like wtfff!!! hahahaa. This is the 3rd consecutive book I read like that.


Jean (mama_v) The thing I didn't understand was how Kelvin does an about-face towards his visitor. When she first shows up, he knows she's not real, and quickly gets rid of her. But when she reappears the next day, he suddenly wants to be with her all the time and believe she's real. Is this a just a coping mechanism to withstand the visitor's presence? I don't think so, because Kelvin is REALLY upset when she finally leaves. And it's strange how the scientists are all working towards making the visitors leave, when Kelvin doesn't want this at all.
I don't usually read science fiction, so all of the scientific terminology was way over my head. And the chapters and chapters that discuss the history of Solaris - BORING!! The whole book was just hard for me to understand.


Matthew And speaking of being 2 for 3 in suicide attempts, doesn't it bother anyone (including Kelvin!) that there may be a living Harey-prime #1 still orbiting Solaris in a rocket?


Nadja (nzie) | 16 comments The scientific background on Solaricists and Solaricism was interesting in the first half, but in this half it really dragged and was not enjoyable at all in my opinion. I also agree that his feelings towards Harey were completely unexplained - and they changed swiftly without any explanation. He's shocked, then he loves her, then he's apathetic but doesn't want to see her go?

It was intriguing in the first part, but ultimately I didn't much care for this book. He didn't take his themes where I was hoping they'd go, and where they went I didn't like. :-\


message 9: by Joshua (new)

Joshua Kurtz | 6 comments One interesting part of the book for me deals with the name of Solaris, which I started thinking about after I saw it asked about on the names thread (I figured I’d put my thoughts here in case they have any spoilers). I thought the meaning of the name might have something to do with its similarity to the name of the North Star, Polaris. Since people look at Polaris to orient themselves physically and perhaps emotionally, maybe Lem is showing that the people who study Solaris do something similar, since he seems to emphasize that all the theories and goals relating to the ocean reflect people’s minds and hopes more than they reveal anything about the ocean itself.

So Lem might be saying that the book isn’t so much about Solaris as it is about people and their reactions to the planet, just like the role of Polaris is largely about how people have responded to it over the centuries. This might depend in part on Polish translations too, but it’s something that stood out to me when I thought about the name.


message 10: by Beth (new) - rated it 3 stars

Beth (k9odyssey) I enjoyed Solaris for the most part. Some if the scenes and dialogue struck ne as tense and creepy....I like that! On the other hand the long scientific dissertations made me feel like I was in over my head. I was also expecting more at the conclusion. I was fascinated by the descriptions of the oceanic processes but they were so bigger than life that I had trouble picturing them. I need a special effects giant to take this book on and make a movie that does it justice. Peter Jackson brought Middle Earth to the screen so we could all marvel. Who can make Solaris into a feast for the eyes? I don't think the previous attempts even tried.


Jessica | 464 comments Matthew wrote: "And speaking of being 2 for 3 in suicide attempts, doesn't it bother anyone (including Kelvin!) that there may be a living Harey-prime #1 still orbiting Solaris in a rocket?"

This freaks me out to think about. I wonder if she is actually alive. Do we know is she would still thrive without oxygen since the supply is supposed to run out?

The second part had some boring moments with sprinkled and few exciting moments. I wanted more of the story and less history.


Daniel Clark I have often wondered myself why people are so interested in life on other planets. What are we looking for? Isn't the search for life on Mars, an asteroid, or exoplanets just an excuse for us? We can't face our own humanity so we look for it outside and miss the mark. Lem really hits this point home in his book, where all of those on this mystery planet must face their own conscience, their own memories, their own brain, and their own emotion. The search for extraterrestrial life is just a search for human life within us, and reaching out to communicate with what is not seen, as he mentions, is a cheap substitute for connecting with God.

I really dug this book! It was psychological sci-fi, creepy, fun, and interesting. There were a couple of chapters that went off the deep end of too much alien trivia, but the rest was a great ride. I liked the ambience, the spooky vibe, and especially the undertones of "Why?" Unfortunately, the why never gets answered...


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