Classics Without All the Class discussion

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Jun 2013 - Solaris > Bookshelf, Library Bag or Donation Box.

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message 1: by Karena (new)

Karena (karenafagan) As we added this a few books ago, how would you rate this book? Bookshelf means you loved it and you'd keep it for all time, Library Bag means you liked it, but you'd just borrow it and Donation Box pretty much speaks for itself.

There probably will be spoilers so please beware!


message 2: by Jean (new)

Jean (mama_v) I would have to say donation box. This was an interesting book, but there was way too much scientific jargon for me. The narration went on and on in boring history of the planet Solaris, I had to skip parts of it.


message 3: by Matthew (new)

Matthew I think I need a new category for " long-term inter library loan". This is a book where I felt like so much was packed in that I didn't "get" it all in one read. So I want to read it again. It also didn't blow me away so much that its a definite "keeper," or that I want to re-read immediately, but I could see it growing on me so much that it becomes s Bookshelf book.


message 4: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Burton (goneabroad71) | 43 comments I don't read much scifi either, and found some of the explanations of the planet to be very tedious. That said, I feel like I could read this book a second time and would get something new out of it. So for me it's a library bag, I guess.


message 5: by Melanti (new)

Melanti Electronic bookshelf. I listened to the audio version last year and will probably pick up an e-book of it the next time it goes on a good sale. His writing style is a bit stilted for my tastes but I'm impressed enough with his ideas that I've been slowly working my way through more of his books.

Not sure where this would fit into the general discussion but a lot of Lem's work is about difficulties communicating with something so profoundly different than you that you don't have any common ground to base an understanding on. It's the opposite of most first contact novels -- instead of assuming the aliens are going to be just like humans (which is rather silly when you think about it), he assumes that any similarities/motivations you think you perceive are probably coincidental and will most likely lead to further misunderstandings.


message 6: by Tome (new)

Tome (toenuff) Bookshelf


message 7: by Anil (new)

Anil (loykalina) | 79 comments I never donate my books. So, bookshelf for me, too.


message 8: by Nadja (new)

Nadja (nzie) | 16 comments I usually hang onto books, and I got it for Kindle, so I have to hold onto it, but I didn't like it much - very tedious, I agree.


message 9: by Jacque (new)

Jacque Hodges (Carter) Library bag.


message 10: by James (new)

James | 10 comments library bag. I enjoyed some of it but I also got a bit lost in the science. If I watched one of the film adaptations I might want to read it again.


message 11: by Jeane, Book-tator (new)

Jeane (pinkbookdragon) | 323 comments Anil wrote: "I never donate my books. So, bookshelf for me, too."

It's just a metaphor :) You don't have to REALLY donate your book.


message 12: by Ana Lucía (new)

Ana Lucía | 51 comments Bookshelf


message 13: by Shawna (new)

Shawna | 34 comments donation box


message 14: by Gail (new)

Gail Ritter (gail0) I confess: at 64% (Kindle), I gave up; just couldn't stand it anymore.
Now to figure out how to donate a Kindle book!


message 15: by Beth (last edited Jun 23, 2013 12:37PM) (new)

Beth (k9odyssey) I read the whole book. I liked it overall but I am not sure it would stay on the bookshelf. Library Bag


message 16: by Angie Downs (new)

Angie Downs For my review, I would say "Library Bag." Although there were elements of this story that I enjoyed, there were also many issues for me.

I agree with many of you that the book was a bit tedious. Particularly the long chapter, Monster, right after the second half starts. The chapters that delve too far into alien theory and science, went too far for me, and I found myself skimming.

Even so, I really enjoyed the story itself. I loved the idea that the ocean didn't necessarily create the guests as a scare tactic. Maybe it was trying to be nice! There really is no way of knowing. I also liked the idea that Kelvin could grow attached to the new Kris separately from the old Kris - that Solaris actually provided an individual different than the one it had originally intended.

Or maybe not. Maybe it created Kris's wife to the exact. Her entire existence is stained with her suicide, which she inevitably commits at the end as well. So, hmm...I'm not sure.

I just wish that Lem would have written more about the relationships on the station, rather than focusing so much on the science. For one, I would have like to truly get to know what apparitions were bothering the other two on the ship, particularly Snow.

Finally, although I know there are different ways to interpret the ending, I like thinking that Kris decided to go be a part of the ocean so he can still be with the "guest" that he fell in love with. He knew that he couldn't go back to Earth to assimilate after being gone for so long and knowing what he knows now. Instead, he'd rather become a part of what he came to understand and love.


message 17: by Pam (new)

Pam This was definitely a "donation box book" for me, but I am loaning it to my son-in-law to read, and he can do whatever he wants with it.


message 18: by Gideon (new)

Gideon Holmström (gidde) Bookshelf, definitely.


message 19: by Valerie (new)

Valerie Brown I thought it was interesting and am glad that I read it; but I don't think I would reread it (my criteria for the overflowing bookshelf...ha, ha). So, it is Library bag for Solaris.


message 20: by Francie (new)

Francie Grice Library bag for me.


message 21: by Crystal (new)

Crystal (infiniteink) | 87 comments Library bag. Great for a one-time read, but I doubt I will pick it up again.


message 22: by Jessica (new)

Jessica | 464 comments Ummm I think I will keep on my shelf. While, there were some extreme slow parts, I still enjoyed it and feel like I got a bood dose of the sci-fi shows I like to watch via a book. I just wish it had more of the plot in it and less scientific calculations/history/experimental jargon in it. I understand a little of it being there but the story got lost for me when it was there. Needed more balance between story and that.


One thing still bothers me. What was the story behind the black woman on the ship? I feel like it was a hole left wide open for me. I wanted an explanation of whose guest she was.


message 23: by Beth (new)

Beth (k9odyssey) Based on a comment made later on, I got the inference that he had a "thing" for women if her type and a history of some sort of relationship led to her becoming the one scientist's visitor. I wanted to know more but no such luck. It was the one place in the book where I chuckled.


message 24: by Shanea (new)

Shanea | 358 comments I think this might be one of the few books that I literally donate, so this is definitely in the donate category. I like science fiction, but I didn't feel really invested in any of the characters, which is extremely necessary to me in any book that doesn't have a majorly interesting plot going for it.


message 25: by Erika (new)

Erika (erikarae) Library bag. I still can't figure out how I feel about this one.


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