Have you ever had one of those moments where you have to step back and think, “What the hell did I just listen to?” Well, The Cyberiad by Stanislaw Lem is one of those books. First published in 1974, this work of genius-level nonsense is just bonkers. A whimsical set of stories of two constructor robots – Trurl and Klapaucius, both best of friends and each other’s nemesis. Both are the most ingenious of robots ever constructed, and the stories follow their adventures throughout the universe which is both technologically advanced and near-on medieval at the same time.
Absurdist science fiction blended with complex philosophical ideas in an altogether inventive and imaginative world. Stories of the familiar and alien at the same time, the originality of the stories is absolute.
The wordplay is astounding, from alliterative paragraphs filled with rhyming and nonsense words that somehow sound perfectly fine. I read a review of this audiobook before I purchased it that mentioned it felt a lot like Dr Suess, and I can’t say I disagree with that.
Scott Aiello, the narrator, is a favourite of mine as his lyrical-like voice suits this word well. He has a particular flow that he gets into when the pace picks up, which is such fun to listen to. I didn’t make any notes on production issues or the like.
Certainly, one I’ll listen to again. Grab a copy and listen to stories about dragons, the world’s stupidest computer, genetically engineered monsters, poetry-writing robots, and so much more in between.