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Definitely Maybe (Neversink) Paperback – February 4, 2014

3.9 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Definitely Maybe, further proof that knowledge can be a dangerous game, is a work of towering wit and intelligence."
NPR, Best Books of 2014

“Like the best speculative fiction, Definitely Maybe doesn’t show its age: the fundamental questions it addresses are timeless — and effectively and entertainingly framed by the Strugatsky brothers. It remains an intriguing, unsettling work.”
Complete Review

“A great truth is this: Some discoveries, like the sting of a painful memory, do a number on your psyche. Definitely Maybe accomplishes just that… You’ll laugh, you’ll look around suspiciously, you’ll throw the text across the room. You’ll pick it back up and go on, gladly welcoming the distraction.”
NPR

“One of the Strugatsky brothers is descended from Gogol and the other from Chekhov, but nobody is sure which is which. Together they have now proved quite definitely that a visit from a gorgeous blonde, from a disappearing midget, from your mother-in-law, and from the secret police, are all manifestations of a cosmic principle of homeostasis, maybe. This is definitely, not maybe, a beautiful book.”
—Ursula K. Le Guin

“Surely one of the best and most provocative novels I have ever read, in or out of sci-fi.”
—Theodore Sturgeon

“Provocative, delicately paced and set against a rich physical and psychological background, this is one of the best novels of the year.”
—Chicago Sun-Times

Praise for Roadside Picnic

“It’s a book with an extraordinary atmosphere—and a demonstration of how science fiction, by using a single bold central metaphor, can open up the possibilities of the novel.”
—Hari Kunzru, The Guardian

“Gritty and realistic but also fantastical, this is a novel you won’t easily put down—or forget.”  —io9

“It has survived triumphantly as a classic.”
—Publishers Weekly

Praise for the Strugatsky brothers

“The Strugatsky brothers demonstrate that they are realists of the fantastic inasmuch as realism in fantasy betokens a respect for logical consequence, an honesty in deducing all conclusions entirely from the assumed premises.”
—Stanisław Lem

“[In writing Gun, with Occasional Music], I fused the Chandler/Ross MacDonald voice with those rote dystopia moves that I knew backwards and forwards from my study of Ballard, Dick, Orwell, Huxley, and the Brothers Strugatsky.”     
—Jonathan Lethem

“Successive generations of Russian intellectuals were raised on the Strugatskys. Their books can be read with a certain pair of spectacles on as political commentaries on Soviet society or indeed any repressive society.”
—Muireann Maguire, The Guardian

“Their protagonists are often caught up in adventures not unlike those of pulp-fiction heroes, but the story line typically veers off in unpredictable directions, and the intellectual puzzles that animate the plots are rarely resolved. Their writing has an untidiness that is finally provocative; they open windows in the mind and then fail to close them all, so that, putting down one of their books, you feel a cold breeze still lifting the hairs on the back of your neck.”
—The New York Times

About the Author

ARKADY (1925–1991) and BORIS (1933–2012) STRUGATSKY were the most acclaimed and beloved science fiction writers of the Soviet era. They are the authors of twenty-five novels together, including Definitely Maybe, Roadside Picnic (which was the basis for Andrei Tarkovsky’s film Stalker); Snail on the Slope; and Hard to Be a God, as well as numerous short stories, essays, plays, and film scripts. Their books have been translated into multiple languages and published in twenty-seven countries. The asteroid 3054 Strugatskia, discovered in 1977, is named after the brothers.

Antonina W. Bouis has translated many Russian writers, including Yevgeny Yevtushenko, Tatyana Tolstoya, Sergei Dovlatov, and Andrei Sakharov.
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Product Details

  • Series: Neversink
  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Melville House (February 4, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1612192815
  • ISBN-13: 978-1612192819
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,047,528 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is the second book by the Stugastsky brothers that I read in 2014. Definitely Maybe forms the Yin to Hard to Be a God’s Yang. The novel trades fantastic frontiers for the living rooms of the Soviet Union's best scientific minds. Each are on the verge of a breakthrough but one thing leads to another and none find they can get anything done. The personalities of these academics are wonderfully developed. Furthermore, the researcher-to-researcher conversations ring true and remind me of dinner parties with my wife’s lab. The story is quite fine with an equal mix of humor and dread.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Although written in 1976, this novella feels timeless. A group of scientists- a physicist, mathematician, biologist, social scientist- each on the verge of a brilliant breakthrough in their respective fields, encounter puzzling roadblocks to their continuing their work. From aliens to entropy, they ponder what the nature of this roadblock may be, and how they will each choose to resolve it.

It has a quintessentially Russian feel, and the authors' sophisticated, passionate, but wryly humorous writing is a delight. I'd give it a 9 out of ten. I can't wait to read more of their work!

As it was written during the time of the USSR, it was subjected to censorship; however, it is available in an unexpurgated version. There is a brief discussion afterward about some of the censored bits... I found some of them pretty amusing.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A&B Strugatsky clearly wanted the world to know how oppressive their government was. They desperately invented sci-fi backstories to cover up true intentions. Every book is about common people being held down and enslaved by a higher power. If you've ever had a feeling of helplessness in the grand scheme of the world, read a few Strugatsky stories to realize there are others thinking the just the same.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I have read all of the books of Arkady and Boris Strugatski and they are all great fun and especially well written. Most of them were written during the communist Soviet Union so they have some sentences that were inserted in order for the books to be published during such dark times. Greatly recommend.
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