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Аэлита

  10/02/2012       skoter      0 Comments

by Aleksey Nikolayevich Tolstoy

Category: Business Development

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Аэлита
 
by
Aleksey Nikolayevich Tolstoy
  • Type: Paperback
  • Pages: 152 pages
  • ISBN: none
  • ASIN: 9785998940736
  • Edition Language: English

It is impossible to find an accurate description of this book, and as other reviewers have stated, the classic silent Soviet film based on this book is nothing like it. (This can only be useful for the handful of people like me whove actually seen the movie) Even the Goodreads description is inaccurate. Gusev, a soldier of the recent Russian revolution, is bored with civilian life and its lack of adventure. He comes across a posting for a companion for a trip to Mars, and decides it is the thing to do. Los, the man who put up the posting, has just completed his spaceship which was built for two goals: (1) to investigate Mars on the suspicion that recent signals from space are from the red planet, and (2) to leave the Earth and all it represents behind, as he cannot shake the heartbreak he has suffered since the death of his wife. Upon arrival they discover that Martians do exist, that they are intelligent, and the Martian civilization is polarized between a large proletariat and a small ruling class. Gusev, the passionate soldier, decides to join the impending revolution, but the introspective Los falls for the beautiful Aelita, daughter of the de facto ruler of Mars, the Head of the Engineers. The greatest weakness of the book is the long exposition that takes up much of the middle of the story where Aelita teaches Los and Gusev her language, then summarizes tens of thousands of years of Martian history, which includes the lost history of Atlantis on Earth. As it turns out, Martians are descended from the survivors of Atlantis and creatures native to Mars. The science fiction elements dont often age well (bird like flying machines used by the Martians, for instance) but the realistic characteristics and desires of Gusev and Los keep the story moving. Unlike the more well-known John Carter series by Edgar Rice Burroughs, the point is not mindless, brutal combat led by highly principalled but amazingly stupid protagonists, but a thoughtful exploration of the inevitable rise and decline of civilizations. Of course, it cannot be denied that there is some propagandist notions about the book, as the author (distantly related to another, more famous author named Tolstoy) wrote it in a successful attempt to get into the good graces of the Communist party. Even with this in mind, I consider this equal in caliber to the best of H. G. Wells and Jules Verne.

Business Development

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