The Futurological Congress

  • by Stanislaw Lem
  • Narrated by David Marantz
  • 4 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Bringing his twin gifts of scientific speculation and scathing satire to bear on that hapless planet, Earth, Lem sends his unlucky cosmonaut, Ijon Tichy, to the Eighth Futurological Congress. Caught up in local revolution, Tichy is shot and so critically wounded that he is flashfrozen to await a future cure.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Good story, but maybe better ingested visually.

First off, this was a good book, but I think one that I would have appreciated a lot more if I'd read it rather than listened to it. A lot of the latter part of the book contains words that Lem created and being able to see the words spelled out on the page and thus analyse them for the implied (and probably sarcastic) etymology would have added to the fun.

It did take me a little while to get into the mood for this book, the sarcasm is not so much tongue-in-cheek as tongue-through-cheek, it's not subtle. That said, once the introductions were complete and the main plot kicked in I enjoyed the story and the humour.

The story is told first-person, transitioning to a chunked diary-style format for the last third of the book and there were moments where I felt presages of the book Fiasco in the tone and style of the story-telling.

I want to stress that I had no issues with this particular recording, I thought it was well narrated by Mr Marantz and was free of distractions (music, chapter breaks, etc), I just think that the content would be better appreciated with a bit more time to linger on the words and a better idea of how things were spelled.
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- Amazon Customer

(Not Your Average) Really Humorous SciFi Adventure

I initially read this on my Kindle and enjoyed it immensely. It's a fun, feel-good type of book despite the dire futurological predictions. So, I recently decided I needed to listen to the audio version. The narration was just fine, thank goodness! So, here is my previous review.

"I must say I warily downloaded this book and put off reading it for some time. I thought it could be as bleak as the recent Russian sci-fi translation I read. I guess I didn't read the reviews carefully enough. This was one of the funniest books I ever read. Lem is brilliant, with such a sense of humor. There were parts where I had to close my Kindle, while I tried to get the guffaws under control. Luckily I was reading in bed and only my hubbie could see me.

While Lem is wonderfully creative and you could tell he had a great time penning this story, I was also blown away by the translator. This novel is so much about word play, and you could not tell it was written in a foreign language. It was impeccably translated and didn't suffer a bit. I can't wait to try more of Lem's books. While very funny and short, there was also a scary message here.

Even if you are not a sci-fi fan, you are in for a treat with this book. It would take anyone out of a reading slump or maybe even a deep depression. Get it and enjoy, now!"

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- Kathy "Besides incessant listening to audiobooks, I also read on my Kindle at night, birdwatch, garden (roses, daylilies), and do genealogy."

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-27-2012
  • Publisher: Audible Studios