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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
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Memoirs Found in a Bathtub (From the Memoirs of Ijon Tichy Book 2) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 204 pages||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled||
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- Book 2 of 4 in From the Memoirs of Ijon Tichy (4 Book Series)
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Top Customer Reviews
The plot is simple: An innocent, foolishly loyal aspiring agent enters his new occupation only to find out that those in power have plans of their own (which he just can't discover). Searching the confines of a "Building", a futuristic military-like establishment hidden underground, he seeks his mission, his purpose and the meaning of his existence. Ultimately, all those disappear before his eyes and turn into code. This skillfully written tale where not one word lacks meaning or purpose (or does it?) attempts to understand methods of population control. Could it be that political systems have, are and will rule their population through skillful semantics-control? (think NEWSPEAK) Lem posits that political rhetoric color not only our judgment but also our ability to perceive the world around us. Concentrating on the cold war tension between the US and CCCP, Lem explores systems which convert all their resources and their entire populations to one task: the destruction of the enemy. To accomplish their goal, they convert the minds of their subject.Read more ›
With a book like this, what you get out of it depends to a large extent on what you bring to it. Aside from all the political satire, to me this book was about how people build explanations - how the mind reacts to a steady stream of sensory impressions which can be very noisy and confusing. To illustrate - I was at the scene where he is in the bathroom, shaving, while there is someone else dressed similarly to him, sleeping next to the bathtub. As the narrator shaves, he is going over the events of the recent past, trying to make sense out of them. He builds one paranoid theory after another, convinced that the whole building (i.e. the whole world) is against him, is out to get him. While reading this I was thinking - This guy is going crazy. No sane person would think this way. But the events dont make sense either. Maybe what is really happening is that he is caught in some sort of time loop, and the person sleeping next to the bathtub is he, from the past or the future!
At this point I stopped and burst out laughing because my theory was so much more preposterous than the ones the narrator was constructing! (yes, I read too much sf!). But the question of course is - if you are trying to make sense out of the world, how do you know which explanation to accept?Read more ›
"Pentagon 3" is a concrete bullet stuck in the teeth of the Rockies. Walled off from the rest of the world by three miles of rock, it served as civilized mankind's last refuge in the face of an alien paper-devouring agent that has reduced the global culture of the twentieth century to embers. "Pentagon 3" existed for seventy-two years until a slight shift in the volcanic strata burst its cement envelope and flooded the innards with magma, preserving building's contents for posterity. A millennium later, this derelict is excavated and explored. One of the more interesting finds happens to be an almost perfectly preserved wad of a substance called "papyr", which apparently served for recording data. "Memoirs Found in a Bathtub" is the perfect transcript of these ancient texts, humanity's only glance into the heart of a bygone age.
The Building is a mysterious realm of double, triple, and quadruple agents, unmaskings and concealed microphones, infinitely meaningless passwords and rows of identical offices, containing no less identical secretaries. Here, everyone speaks in code, and every bit of sewage is hand-sifted in corresponding facilities. Don't be surprised to find metallic flies floating in your coffee: they're just trying to distract you from noticing the less obvious devices. What is the building's modus operandi?Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Philip K. Dick once described this book as an elaborate KGB plot to drive the brilliant and creative in the US insane... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
A true classic from the Polish master. It proves prophetic for our times as we slowly lose our civic courage in the face of corporate power in the west.Published 8 months ago by P.K.Mardak
I’m not going to try to describe it. This book is different. Just give it time and let it carry you along. Then, when you’ve finished, think about it for a few days. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Albert
Other reviewers give a range of opinions on the writing that will probably give a good enough description of the style of the writing, so I will simply note that I side with those... Read morePublished 21 months ago by Leo Siefert
This book is creatively exhausting. It's cleaver and very frustrating. As I read the book, I wondered what kind of mad genius would come up with this setting, these characters,... Read morePublished 23 months ago by Ron Johnson
I found this book stupid, not much of a story-line. The reason I chose it was because my Grandma kept mail in her bathtub 50 years ago, made me think of her. Read morePublished on January 28, 2014 by Tina Gallagher
I'm a big Lem fan, but I found this novel really disappointing. "The Cyberiad" is funnier, "His Master's Voice" is more mind-bending, "Chain of Chance" has... Read morePublished on January 11, 2014 by mathew
The story didn't go any where. It was confusing, and didn't seemed to have a point or direction. I was very interested in the story line , but just didn't deliverPublished on January 5, 2014 by Amazon Customer