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The Ugly Swans by Arkady Strugatsky
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1053114,970 (3.93)4
  1. 00
    The Yellow Arrow (New Directions Paperbook) by Viktor Pelevin (leigonj)
    leigonj: These two books, both allegories about Russia, have something otherwise undefinably similar about them.
  2. 00
    Roadside Picnic by Arkady Strugatsky (leigonj)
    leigonj: By the same authors, both books feature strange happenings: in Roadside Picnic the curious effects left by a brief Alien visitation in 'the zone', and in Ugly Swans the perpetual rain and mutants in a small town, caused by who knows what?
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» See also 4 mentions

Showing 3 of 3
No actualy story, but the social commentary is so prescient it could have been writen yesteray. ( Which actually gives you some idea of how intractable these problems are ) ( )
  Baku-X | Jan 10, 2017 |
No actualy story, but the social commentary is so prescient it could have been writen yesteray. ( Which actually gives you some idea of how intractable these problems are ) ( )
  BakuDreamer | Sep 7, 2013 |
The Ugly Swans is set in an unknown country in an unnamed town where it rains perpetually, and where some affliction of unknown cause, a kind of plague perhaps, is afflicting some of the residents. Victor Banev is a writer who returns to the town to deal with his daughter, Irma's, strange behaviour at the demand of his estranged wife. Irma and all the children of the town have become seemingly cold and rational - alien to their parents - and are so under some kind of influence of the plague carriers, or 'slimies' as they are called. The slimies' condition is studied by Golem, the physician, whose leprosarium receives literally truckloads of books to meet the slimies' insatiable demand, and also shelters them from the victimisation they suffer at the hands of the town's population - which only increases as their apparent hold over the town's children grows, in a way reminiscent the pied-piper of Hamelin...

This is not the sort of science-fiction in which you will find any discussion of science or technology: here we have ambiguity instead of explanation; here we have political and philisophical allusions. And here we have well developed characters. Victor is well written and interesting, with grievances and wandering thoughts, and we follow him through his half-inebriated conversations at the hotel bar, as well as near-interrogation by a class of the strange children.
Highly recommended. ( )
  leigonj | Aug 23, 2010 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Arkady Strugatskyprimary authorall editionscalculated
Strugatsky, Borismain authorall editionsconfirmed
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Irma left the room, carefully closing the door behind her.
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'Life is a disease of matter, thought is a disease of life.'
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