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37 Reviews
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book you can always dip into, again and again
Like 'Mortal Engines', this collection of short stories is lovely. If you want to classify the genre, they're... bed-time stories for androids. The Cyberiad is probably the better of the two collections, but it's a close-run thing. The collection starts with the tale of an inventor who creates a machine which can make anything that starts with an 'n'. Everything goes well...
Published on 25 Nov. 2004 by Teh Lolrus

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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Unusual but interesting
First thing that strikes you is the very unusual style reminiscent of Mervyn Peaks' Gormonghast (it feels like the author just loves the sound of words) with a little bit of Kurt Vonnegut thrown in as well.
To be honest it's not the kind of thing that I usually like to read, but it did start to grow on me by the time I'd read about half way.
The story about the...
Published on 11 Jun. 2003


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite book ..., 5 Jun. 1999
By A Customer
Get this book and give a copy to all of your friends. Period. It's that good. At times it leaves you breathlessly enlightened. Lem should be granted immortality (supposing that's a good thing.) Michael Kandel's translation is magical. Email me if you want to discuss the book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five stars to the translator too, 28 Jun. 2014
By 
P. J. Dunn "Peter Dunn" (Warwickshire) - See all my reviews
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Quirky just isn’t sufficient a word to describe Stanislaw Lem. There has got to be better adjective and it’s probably in his original Polish. That brings me to one of the best features of this particular Lem book. The translator has obviously gone to significant pains to find ways of working with the original Polish preserving, or finding the best alternative to, the great many puns that litter the book. They also seamlessly recreate in English the linguistic traps that drive many of the stories through the contractual and programming problems faced by the "great constructors" as they deal with their often pedantic clients and creations.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply incredible!, 18 May 1999
By A Customer
Like an earlier poster, I ran into Lem while reading Hofstadter's The Minds Eye and was absolutely amazed by the technical sophistication of a story that, on the surface, looks like random words thrown together. Lem's ability (no doubt assisted by his very able English translator) created a universe that has so many layers that I found myself rereading most of this most enjoyable book. Lem's work is much more significant than much of the SciFi pantheon (e.g. Bradburry, Asimov) because beyond his stories, there's a good amount of philosophy underneath the cybernetic construct.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars one of a kind, 13 Dec. 1998
By A Customer
Lem captures a subtle interplay between human and artificial intelligence which I have never encountered before, and he accomplishes it with humor. This novel stands as a literary achievement, science fiction or not.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fractured Fables, 7 Jun. 1998
By A Customer
The Cyberiad is the type of book worth reading over and over again, since there's just so much to get out of it. On one level, there's the simple humor of the stories, with the antics of Trurl and the pragmatism of Klapacius; on another level there's a deep moral message that runs throughout all the stories. As always, the Michael Kandel translation is beautiful; I had to wonder just how he reproduced some of the poems and clever wordings in such perfect clarity. Definitely worth buying.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Set phasers to FUN!, 7 Jun. 2010
By 
H. Coull (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Cyberiad (Paperback)
Exquisite tales of cybernetic adventurers Klaupacius and Trurl, and their slapstick antics across the galaxies, inventing fantastical machines, beguiling pernicious rogues, and generally getting up to mischief.

This is an absolutely fantastic book, an all time favourite. Lem has an excellent sense of humour - playful, surreal, and philosophical - a bit like Woody Allen in deep space. The linguistic games, puns and poems are also ingenious - it's amazing to think they were translated from Polish.

Some of my favourites include How The World Was Saved, and A Good Shellacking, where Klaupacius asks Trurl's clever machine to reproduce an exact copy of Trurl, which he then proceeds to pummel and beat incessantly, prompting a discussion around the philosophical implications of cloning... If you make a perfect copy of your friend, is it acceptable to beat the copy to a pulp for amusement? Genius!

Don't hesitate to pick this up.

"There are two wisdoms: the first inclines to action, the second to inaction. Do you not agree, worthy Trurl, that the second is the greater?"
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5.0 out of 5 stars uncommon sci-fi pour the ages, 31 Jan. 2012
This review is from: The Cyberiad (Paperback)
I was relatively surprised when I saw Lem's name popping up around me, and intrigued at the sights of the reviews I bought this book.
I was blown out. I didn't expect this at all, accustomed to Asimov, Bradbury, Dune and friends, and didn't expect a collection of such powerful short stories.
These short stories could be set anywhere really, from the outside they look not really different from "standard" stories, intended for a young audience. But, and congrats to the translator, they really are written in a great style, really fun, pseudo-technical words keeping on coming, and are filled with some kind of deeper meaning; while some stories do nothing to disguise the philosophical debate holding the stories, some such as the ones of the HLPDs are pure philosophy. It contains some poems, pretty good ones, including the greatest poem about love and tensor algebra ever written in my opinion.

Truly original, and truly worth reading. I wish I could read the original version, but the translation, as I said before, is a quality one.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This really is a book that everyone should own, 31 Aug. 2000
By A Customer
Although classified as sci-fi, this book would be a delight to readers of all genres - it transcends. Lem is in a class of his own. I remember first reading this in 1980 - it's not a short book, but I could not put it down, I stayed up all night reading it to the end. I've owned 2 copies now - don't lend it to people, they'll find a way to keep it! Persuade them to buy their own copy. Other favourites of mine were Star Diaries and Memoirs of a Space Traveller. Now I'm going to order a new copy and read it again...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic futuristic set of fables, 3 Jan. 1998
By A Customer
I first read The Cyberiad when I was a kid, at my local library. It was unlike anything I had read before. It's also unlike anything that I have read since. It stands alone, in its own quirky, curious, and interesting genre.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Sadly not really my style., 16 Feb. 2015
By 
Dale A. Haines "master_ice" (England) - See all my reviews
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OK now this book came highly recommended by a Russian writer. Perhaps, as Lem was Polish, the humour and sense of the book may attract the eastern bloc readers more.
It is, I suppose, best to describe this as a science fiction, semi-political book.
The translation into English must have been interesting as a considerable amount of the language in the book is invented pseudo-scientific jargon.
I can't say that I enjoyed the book until I came to the very last story which appealed to my sense of the bizarre.
Describe the book? I wish I could - truly indescribable.
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The Cyberiad
The Cyberiad by Stanislaw Lem (Paperback - 4 Feb. 2008)
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