“Solaris: The Definitive Edition” by Stanislaw Lem, Bill Johnston (Translator) – narrated by Alessandro Juliani

“Solaris” was one of Audible’s daily deals and the publisher’s summary totally grabbed me. A science fiction novel published in 1961? Ok! I’ve since found out that it was the basis for at least one movie but I haven’t looked into that. When I started the book I immediately thought of the movie Event Horizon. Have you seen that? That movie scared me out of my mind when I was nineteen or so. I did a Google search and found one blog post comparing “Solaris” to Event Horizon, so I’m not the only one.

Solaris is the name of another planet that takes over a year to reach, if I’m remembering the book well enough. See this is why I need to not get behind on reviews. This planet is creepy as hell. It has a living ocean and I don’t mean an ocean like ours with living things in it, I mean the ocean itself lives. Water creature in the movie The Abyss anyone?

Kris Kelvin, a researcher from Earth arrives at the planet to find one of his fellow scientists on the station in a room acting incredibly paranoid, not trusting Kelvin is who he is at first. The other scientist has locked himself in his quarters on some other floor. That’s it. There’s no one else. Alive that is.

The book was incredibly creepy at first but that didn’t last long. There were several times the book would go into deep science and my mind would wander. I was incredibly impressed though with the foresight Lem had into the future, especially since this book was written before computers were even mainstream.

This edition was a direct Polish to English translation. I think that is partly what intrigued me about this book since my paternal lineage is Polish. “Solaris” was entertaining for sure and I’m glad to have read a science fiction classic.

Juliani’s narration was fabulous but I kept imagining a character from “Under the Dome” (the book, not that horrible TV show) because a character from “Solaris” sounded just like one from ‘Dome’ even though they are read by two different narrators.

Rating: Entertaining

I cannot find the Bill Johnston translation in a paperback. Apparently the other translation was written in the seventies and translated to French and then English and Lem himself said it wasn’t a good translation.

“Solaris” at Audible ~ “Solaris” in the Amazon Kindle Store

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