rating: 3 of 5 stars
The Investigation is beautifully written, even in translation. Scenes are described with a clarity that I can almost touch. Lighting is especially described vividly.
I put this on my detective/mystery shelf, because those are the genre tropes Lem is playing in, but it's not really a genre book. Specifically, many people read detective/mystery because they like that the mystery is solved in a tidy package at the end, and that doesn't happen here. It's more of a commentary on the human condition, especially the conditions of emotional isolation, uncertainty, and inability to connect/communicate with other people.
It took me forever to read this book because I figured out early on that the resolution that makes me enjoy a genre book wasn't going to be there.
So I only gave the book 3 stars because I didn't enjoy it that much, but as a work of literature it probably deserves 4 stars at least.
It's been a long time since I read Stanisław Lem's other famous book, Solaris, but my impression is that Lem's themes worked better for me in that book, because I am used to those themes being played with in the science fiction genre.
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