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Hard to Be a Godby Arkady Strugatsky
Synopses & Reviews
Don Rumata has been sent from Earth to the medieval kingdom of Arkanar with instructions to observe and to save what he can. Masquerading as an arrogant nobleman, a dueler, and a brawler, he is never defeated, but yet he can never kill. With his doubt and compassion, and his deep love for a local girl named Kira, Rumata wants to save the kingdom from the machinations of Don Reba, the first minister to the king. But given his orders, what role can he play? This long overdue translation will reintroduce one of the most profound Soviet-era novels to an eager audience.
"Bormashenko's rewarding new translation of this slim 1964 novel makes available a regrettably obscure Cold War — era hybrid of SF and satire. Anton is disguised as aristocratic Don Rumata and sent to the archaic planet Arkanar by enlightened Communist historians from the future. Anton is instructed to only observe and not intervene ('like a god') as cruel Don Reba, First Minister to the King, orders the murder of intellectuals and artists whose individuality threatens state authority. This dark allegory of unrestrained governmental power lauds the pens that battle swords. Communism is unsubtly attacked beneath a veneer of escapism. While some overly adolescent humor minimizes emotional intensity, themes of culpability and responsibility remain effective. The Strugatsky brothers (Roadside Picnic) use Anton's struggle between impartiality and interfering as the emotional bridge connecting time travel whimsy with mature soul-searching. The unadorned prose cloaks rich ideas, illustrating the ability of imaginative literature to probe troubling moral questions. This edition includes an informative introduction by Hari Kunzru and an afterword by Boris Strugatsky. (June)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Arkady and Boris Strugatsky were famous and popular Russian writers of science fiction, with more than 25 novels and novellas to their names, including The Doomed City, The Inhabited Island, and Roadside Picnic. Their books have been widely translated and made into a number of films. Hari Kunzru is the author of several highly praised novels, including Gods Without Men and The Impressionist. Olena Bormashenko is the acclaimed translator of the Strugatskys Roadside Picnic.
Arkady and Boris Strugatsky were famous and popular Russian writers of science fiction, with more than 25 novels and novellas to their names, including The Doomed City, The Inhabited Island, and Roadside Picnic. Hari Kunzru is the author of several highly praised novels, including Gods Without Men and The Impressionist. Olena Bormashenko is the critically acclaimed translator of the Strugatskys Roadside Picnic.
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