Eden (Helen & Kurt Wolff Book) Paperback – 1 Oct 1991
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About the Author
Stanislaw Lem is the most widely translated and best known science fiction author writing outside of the English language. Winner of the Kafka Prize, he is a contributor to many magazines, including the New Yorker, and he is the author of numerous works, including Solaris.
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Top Customer Reviews
This book is really exciting, in that sense. A crew of explorers lands in a planet, finds an alien civilisation, wanders around the planet, sees many aliens behaving in absolutely uncomprehensible ways and never get really close to understand what's happening around them. As it tends to happen with Lem's books, the end is a bit disappointing, only because the expectations he draws along are very high and it's simply very difficult to keep up to them. However I think this book is truly original and very recommendable.
The whole story of Eden can be perceived from 2 angles. From one point of view it's a classic "Robinson's" tale. From another point of view is author giving us his visualization on human-to-alien contact. For me both those views are interesting, however why I love the book is the first one. Let me elaborate on both those sides of the same story.
The "Robinson's" part is a straightforward action which begins in the very beginning of the book. I love the parts where crew is trying and solving the technical issues. It is always dynamic and well written, including dialogs among the crew. Overcoming all the difficulties, making a small progress in repairs, step by step improving their situation - this is where this book shines. There are not many good sci-fi novels with "Robinson's Crusoe" plot. Maybe another worth mentioning would be Kir Bulychev's - Those Who Survive.
The second side of the book is - unlike the technical side - more philosophical view on how humans would react when contacted with truly alien life. That part was more descriptive and slower moving. While I agree that individual crewmembers are not deep enough for reader to actually see/feel the human nature in depth, there are at least parts which would force you to think about true "alien-ness". Also the final part when crew is trying to communicate with an alien is very well written and will catch your attention.
In conclusion I enjoyed the book very much and read it maybe 10x.Read more ›