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Customer Review

on 26 June 2001
As a reader one becomes used to the notion of a plot in a novel which exists to pull the characters forward, or certainly to define them. Solaris does not conform to this idea. It is content to be an ethereal look at man's inner world using the device of a strange sea-covered world that, as the blurb says, is a huge brain. Innermost thoughts are turned into material entities, and chaos, both internally and externally is the result.
A most interesting and philosophical book that is really genre-free, and does not particularly fall under the category of science fiction, excepting in superficial form.
There is a film version of this by Tarkovsky, the Soviet film-maker that dates from the early Seventies, but they are really very different works, much like Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey is very different to the book by Arthur. C. Clarke. The film relies on extended periods of silence and little movement to create a feeling of space and time, whereas the book achieves this by its concepts and style.
All in all, I would recommend this as a read. It is very much an Eastern European book in the depth and types of observations it makes, and creates a fascinating world. If you like ideas and are not only driven by character-enjoyment, you won't regret giving this one a read.
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