Solaris by Stanislaw Lem

I picked this book up cheaply since it was a tacky version with George Clooney on the cover that came out for the related movie. I had it sitting on my shelf for a while since when I saw the movie, despite it being excellent, I associate it with some pretty bad times. One day I’ll be ready to appreciate it again though.


The book was a bit of a let down and reminded me a lot of a Dostoevsky novel. Lots of grim internal commentary going on. Unfortunately I couldn’t relate to the characters very well, the most human one (Rheya) is ironically not really human, which I can say without really ruining the plot. Although perhaps that is an ironic point that the author was trying to convey. I found the main character a passive-aggressive asshole more often than not, and unfortunately the book is written in the first person.

The plot itself was also a little lacking, nothing really happened, and there was a lot of history on Solaris and its research to read. History is great, but in this short novel it seemed to be a little excessive. Maybe I’ve been ruined by reading pulp sci-fi with at least a little action.

It did however invoke atmosphere – loneliness, isolation, and being in the clutches of unfathomable alien entity. Glad I read it since it is a classic, but I probably wouldn’t read it again.

1 comment so far ↓

#1   itsme on 06.27.07 at 3:53 pm

Um, I remember I watched its version by Tarkovsky… And it was too much art for me so I can’t remember any more… Yep, reminded me the times I had budget for films, books, music,…thanks 🙂

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