Friday, 12 November 2010

Solaris by Stanislaw Lem

First of all I never read science fiction. Second of all I don’t like novels taking place in space. Solaris has both of it. But the man I love loves this book and after having ignored him asking me to read it for a long time now, I finally gave in.

At the beginning I couldn’t get into the book very well. This is because I lack imagination concerning technical and spacey things and doings. But after thirty pages or so it went better. The main character Kelvin visits the planet Solaris for research. But as he gets there he realizes that strange things are going on. Solaris is covered by a big ocean of a glibbery mass which seems to be orange or blue or black depending on the daytime and the both suns orange and blue accompanying Solaris.

All three researchers on Solaris are having “guests”. Those guests behave and act like people who only exist in the minds of the researchers, as Kelvin’s guest for example is his young wife who had killed herself after Kelvin left her some years ago.

The big questions are: what kind of trick of mind is that? What has the ocean got to do with it? And how can one get rid of “guests” in order to stay sane?

Have I already mentioned that I actually do not read books of this kind? This has got a reason. But Lem’s writing wasn’t all in all bad or boring to me. He writes in a descriptive and often philosophical manner. But still I’m not sure I got his message for I don’t know if I got the right meaning of the ocean. But of course this could be intentionally and everybody is going to come up with something different. I hope so.

I think I’m going to stand back from science fiction for now as I had my portion for this year.

I’m going to give ★ ★ ★ under reserve.


  1. Nice review! I don't generally read sci fi either, but congratulations on giving it a shot!

  2. Good review. I find sci fi hard to read too.

    I see you're reading Dracula at the moment. How are you finding it? I'm looking forward to your review because I love that book!