Friday, June 3, 2011

The Best Books Nobody Knows About Part 1: The Cyberiad

I sat down one day and realized something--some of my all time favorite books are books I can hardly discuss because no one has ever read them. This I saw as a problem. These are great books. I wouldn't be doing my part to the literary community if I kept these locked up in my library, so here we go with my absolute FAVORITE book, The Cyberiad by Stanisaw Lem. Some of you may know Lem's name from his very difficult to read, but very famous book "Solaris".

So, back to The Cyberiad. Unlike most short story collections, which tend to focus on a single theme, The Cyberiad follows a very rough story line. Each story is an excerpt from the lives of the glorious constructors Trurl and Klapaucius, focusing mainly on their Seven Sallies made across the universe in order to better the lives of their fellow robots (since robots are the predominant race in the universe at this point). Mixed in are stories of triumph, love, and the fallacy of a perfect mind--all things we need to remember are out there.

The style of the book is very much a sort of tongue in cheek humor of sorts. The text is sprinkled with seemingly random gibberish, but when you bother to take a look at it, everything is clearly Latin and Greek based. On top of the brilliant science involved, the humor ranges from slightly bawdy to downright intellectual.

From an English standpoint, this book can run on and ramble a bit, as well as a few bits and pieces that are just not grammatically proper. However, I blame this mostly on the fact that the English is a translation from Polish and loses something from the translation. Aside from those tiny flaws, this book is absolutely fantastic. I give it a definite 5-star rating, albeit this book can be tricky to track down. I reccomend that you find it, read it, and then keep reading it. Commit sections to memory. Just read it.

More books to come in later posts,

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