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The Chain of Chance de Stanislaw Lem
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The Chain of Chance (1976 original; edició 1984)

de Stanislaw Lem (Autor), Louis Iribarne (Traductor)

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaMencions
548633,692 (3.74)8
An ex-astronaut investigates a string of potential murders in this novel by the Kafka Prize-winning author of Solaris. Vacation is supposed to be relaxing. But while traveling in Naples, several American tourists die in a most macabre and unusual way: committing suicide in a fit of madness. The cases are too similar to be coincidental, and the prevailing theory soon assumes that a serial poisoner is on the loose.   Called in to investigate, and stem the rash of death before it becomes an epidemic, is a former astronaut from the States. As he follows the path of the last victim, he is confronted with a mystery that proves the truth is always stranger than fiction--and that we are all casualties of fortune in the end.   Called "a Jorge Luis Borges for the Space Age, who plays in earnest with every concept of philosophy and physics, from free will to probability theory," Stanislaw Lem now tackles the suspense genre with his famed intensity and intelligence, weaving a taut and enigmatic tale as only a great novelist can (The New York Times Book Review).… (més)
Membre:EthanRogers
Títol:The Chain of Chance
Autors:Stanislaw Lem (Autor)
Altres autors:Louis Iribarne (Traductor)
Informació:Mariner Books (1984), 192 pages
Col·leccions:History
Valoració:***1/2
Etiquetes:No n'hi ha cap

Detalls de l'obra

The Chain of Chance de Stanisław Lem (Author) (1976)

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» Mira també 8 mencions

Original ejemplo de los rasgos habituales de la literatura de Lem -reflexión filosófica entreverada de explicación científica- en el contexto de una novela policíaca. El primer "capítulo", desarrollado en Nápoles, da pocas claves al lector sobre la dirección y el sentido de la trama, aunque en el momento en que la acción llega a París la narración es -relativamente- directa. La fiesta con los científicos del equipo de investigación de Barth es crucial para el concepto general de la novela y, además, muy divertida. ( )
  Tremendamente | Feb 9, 2021 |
El primer libro de Lem que leo, y la verdad no me dejó decepcionado. Esta novela es de ese tipo de obras a las que uno debe acercarse sin expectativas de ningún tipo, porque Lem dedica la totalidad de sus casi doscientas páginas para destrozar toda expectativa. Aunque es muy breve (dos días de lectura es más que suficiente) a veces resulta densa, pero me parece que esa es la idea: el lector siente la misma confusión de los encargados de investigar las extrañas muertes de una docena de extranjeros en un balneario en Nápoles, muertes que no parecen tener nada que las relacione.
Novela a caballo entre la ciencia ficción y la novela detectivesca, hace que nos preguntemos, en más de una ocasión, la pregunta que seguramente le quita el sueño a más de un novelista: ¿Y qué tal si todo esto no tiene una razón última, si todo es causa del azar? ( )
  LeoOrozco | Feb 26, 2019 |
This was my first Stanislaw Lem, and I picked it up "by chance" as it were, at a used book sale a few months ago. I don't usually read "speculative" fiction, but Lem is considered to be one of the genre's great masters, perhaps best known for "Solaris" which has twice been made into a film.

"The Chain of Chance" also riffs on the detective genre, featuring as its main character a paunchy middle-aged American former astronaut who is seeking to "solve" a series of unexplained and mysterious deaths of paunchy middle-aged men. I don't want to say more than that.

The story-telling in the book is somewhat "clunky" at times - it was annoying how much of the narrative was "unloaded" all at once in a long section in the middle of the book. (Another reviewer appropriately calls it a "data dump.") That flaw notwithstanding, there's no doubt the Lem is a masterful storyteller, the plot is quite clever, and I was truly riveted by the last 25 pages. I thought that the ending was "a real corker"!

But what really makes "The Chain of Chance" a notable book is Lem's authorial voice - he is a bona fide twentieth century European intellectual, a survivor of World War II in Poland, a witness to the political, scientific and technological revolutions of modernity. The novel was originally published in 1975, and is saturated with a mid to late 20th century weariness, reminiscent of Camus or Boll, perhaps. (No coincidence that the action of the novel takes place amidst the great faded glories of Naples, Rome and Paris.) There's an atmosphere of unease, almost dread, a kind of bleak acceptance of the uncertainties of the present. There's no doubt that this is "literature," if you know what I mean.

"Nonchalantly, the conversation turned to the tribulations of the world. Not nonchalantly, really, but in a mood of surrender now that Europe's eternal mission had come to an end. . . . Europe had survived, but only in an economic sense. Prosperity had been restored, but not the feeling of self-confidence. It was not the cancer patient's fear of malignancy, but the awareness that the spirit of history had moved on, and that if it ever returned it would not be here. . . . McLuhan's prophecies were coming true, but in an inverse sort of way, as prophecies have a habit of doing. His global village was already here, but split into two halves. The poorer half was suffering, while the wealthier half was importing that suffering via television and commiserating at a distance. That it couldn't go on like this was everwhere taken for granted, but it went on just the same." ( )
1 vota yooperprof | Jun 13, 2010 |
Very unusual type of mystery, with philosophical and scientific isues involved. Original title "Katar" ( )
  beata | Feb 17, 2008 |
I loved the Cyberiad. I haven't really liked anything else of Lem's. This one, if I recall correctly, was a mystery **SPOILER** a crime that had no criminal, being the result of an improbable - but possible - chain of chance circumstances **END SPOILER** but I don't remember caring about the people or even the events. Of course I understand the philosophical point: we see patterns where we need them, even when they don't exist. I just didn't find that so profound an observation.
  nillacat | Sep 16, 2006 |
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Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Lem, StanisławAutorautor primaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Buschmann, RoswithaTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Iribarne, LouisTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Malm, JohanTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Murányi, BeatrixTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Staemmler, KlausTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
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No n'hi ha cap

An ex-astronaut investigates a string of potential murders in this novel by the Kafka Prize-winning author of Solaris. Vacation is supposed to be relaxing. But while traveling in Naples, several American tourists die in a most macabre and unusual way: committing suicide in a fit of madness. The cases are too similar to be coincidental, and the prevailing theory soon assumes that a serial poisoner is on the loose.   Called in to investigate, and stem the rash of death before it becomes an epidemic, is a former astronaut from the States. As he follows the path of the last victim, he is confronted with a mystery that proves the truth is always stranger than fiction--and that we are all casualties of fortune in the end.   Called "a Jorge Luis Borges for the Space Age, who plays in earnest with every concept of philosophy and physics, from free will to probability theory," Stanislaw Lem now tackles the suspense genre with his famed intensity and intelligence, weaving a taut and enigmatic tale as only a great novelist can (The New York Times Book Review).

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