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His Master's Voice Paperback – Nov 25 1999


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 199 pages
  • Publisher: Northwestern University Press; 1 edition (Nov. 25 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0810117312
  • ISBN-13: 978-0810117310
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 2 x 21.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 272 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #317,175 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"I would recommend [His Master's Voice] urgently to anyone in need of a taste of nobility." --New York Times Book Review

About the Author

Polish science fiction writer Stanislaw Lem was born on September 12, 1921. A medical graduate of Cracow University, he is at home both in the sciences and in philosophy, and this broad erudition gives his writings genuine depth. He has published extensively, not only fiction, but also theoretical studies. His books have been translated into 41 languages and sold over 27 million copies. He gained international acclaim for The Cyberiad, a series of short stories, which was first published in 1974. A trend toward increasingly serious philosophical speculation is found in his later works, such as Solaris (1961), which was made into a Soviet film by Russian director Andrei Tarkovsky in 1972 and remade by Steven Soderbergh in 2002. He died on March 27, 2006 in Krakow at the age of 84.

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By chris romano on Feb. 20 2003
Format: Paperback
Wow. HIS MASTER'S VOICE, as others have alluded, it's an incredibly intelligent read. Thick in it's diction, it demands your attention, to say the least. Admittedly, I had a difficult time with the first 50 pages or so, but I became completely engrossed by the halfway point.
Told in essentially diary format, HMV tells the story of one scientist's involvement in a secret goverment project established to decipher what appears to be a message from possibly superior, intelligent life. While most scientists spiral their theories into the fantastic, ours manages to poke sensible holes in each assertion...unfortunately escalating the Project's sense of hopelessness and ineptitude along the way.
Somehow, the scientists manage to produce possibly random effects from the recorded signal, but what does it all mean in the grander scheme? It's a wonderful moment when the main character finallly establishes his own theory of the signal, the effect, and his own short-comings.
I loved it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Nir Levy on June 17 2001
Format: Paperback
Not for nothing did Lem named this book, and the Project, HMV. The helplesness of the greatest Human minds against an uhuman message is not at all different from the helplesness of the dog in the face of the gramophone.
A word of causion, though. Altough Lem is depicted as a "Science Fiction" author, _HMV_ is not your regular "Arthur C. Clark"-like book. Dont expect racing starships or multi-handed aliens; it's a book about mankind, and it's failures, and is even more novel then Asimov's _I, Robot_, or Lem's own _Solaris_.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Timothy Zak on May 16 2003
Format: Paperback
This book is a confrontations of our limitations, a powerful reminder of cosmic magnitudes. I notice that facets of this book tie into another brilliant work, Fiasco, also by Lem.
The book warns that people expecting action should put the book down. I frankly don't know what he was talking about, I found my palms sweating, I found myself bursting into laughter - this is an exciting book for those willing to engage themselves intellectually.
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By A Customer on Nov. 25 2002
Format: Paperback
HMV is a very heavy read. Not in its weight but in its content.
This story reads more like philosophy than sci-fi so I can understand if people struggle with it.
Another point is that nothing is really ever solved in HMV. Just like the scientists trying to understand the message from the stars, the reader is left with the same frustration because we are told the outcome in the first few pages of HMV; defeat.
The message that Mankind has stumbled upon is an enigma so complex it would be like explaining the laws of physics to a baboon. The slight progress man does make is so subjective that it can't be considered true progress at all.
I would recommend HMV only to avid Lem fan's and to the others I would point in the direction of Fiasco, Solaris, or The Invincible.
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Format: Paperback
if it hasn't happened all ready... What James Morrow does to Theology in his books, Lem does to Science. The Emperor has no clothes...
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