Review│Solaris: The Definitive Edition

solarisAuthor: Stanislaw Lem // First published:  1961 // Genre: Science Fiction // Get it @TheBookDepository
This edition: 7 h 42 min (unabridged), published in June 2011 by Audible Studios // Get it @Audible

Read in October 2015

Synopsis (from Goodreads)

In Solaris, Kris Kelvin arrives on an orbiting research station to study the remarkable ocean that covers the planet’s surface. But his fellow scientists appear to be losing their grip on reality, plagued by physical manifestations of their repressed memories. When Kelvin’s long-dead wife suddenly reappears, he is forced to confront the pain of his past – while living a future that never was. Can Kelvin unlock the mystery of Solaris? Does he even want to?

My thoughts

At last, one of the world’s greatest works of science fiction is available – just as author Stanislaw Lem intended it.

To mark the 50th anniversary of the publication of Solaris, Audible, in cooperation with the Lem Estate, has commissioned a brand-new translation – complete for the first time, and the first ever directly from the original Polish to English. Beautifully narrated by Alessandro Juliani (Battlestar Galactica), Lem’s provocative novel comes alive for a new generation.

A while back someone recommended this to me on Goodreads. But after doing a little bit a research, it appeared that people genuinely disliked the translations of this book. I tried to read it in French, but I couldn’t get past page 2. I also saw that a good translation was available, but only in audio form. I didn’t have an Audible subscription at the time, so it felt out of reach; but since then I did get an Audible subscription and therefore was able to use one of my credits to get this aubiobook.

And what a good idea it was! This audiobook is really great, and the performance of Alesandro Juliani really makes the story come to life.
If you like classic science fiction, then I’m sure you will love this. It’s sci-fi set in space, on a space ship, above a new planet, and dealing with a possible alien life-form. There’s also quite a lot of hard science I would say (although really I wouldn’t know because I know nothing about science), so for those of you out there like hard sci-fi, this might be a good fit for you too. I would say that this book also contains some elements of a psychological thriller, because the events are so peculiar, you don’t know what is going on, and maybe they just are all going crazy from being in space for so long… Who knows?

My rating:

Even though I didn’t follow all of the story (which happens a lot with audiobooks), I give this book 4/5 stars, and I definitely recommend that you get this “definitive edition” (I think it will be published in physical book form pretty soon, but don’t quote me on that).

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