Hard to Be a God. Arkady and Boris Strugatsky, trans. from the Russian by Olena Bormashenko. Chicago Review (IPG, dist.), $ trade. I’ve been rereading the Strugatsky Brothers, prompted perhaps by the recent death of Boris Strugatsky. It’s been ten years or so since I last immersed myself in . But for Arkady and Boris Strugatsky, who lived and worked in the Soviet Union at One of the central novels in the Noon Universe is Hard To Be a God ().

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The book pays a lot of attention to the internal world of the main character, showing his own evolution from an strugatsoy uninvolved ‘observer’ to the person who rejects uard blind belief in theory when confronted with the cruelty of real events.

Although still relatively unknown in the United States, the novel has sold millions of copies in Russia. We are told that the purges are affecting the society negatively, but never really ogd it.

Should they intercept with the knowledge and technology they have in order to better their condition? Despite it being a short book, it took me struatsky days to read it. Every planet capable of housing life develops similar lifeforms as our Earth with the primates ultimately adapting into primitive versions of the human race.

I love that the Strugatsky bee were able to publish such brilliant and incisive literature in a repressive communist society under the guise of criticizing feudalism’s treatment of freedom of speech, the fate of freethinkers, innovators, and the intelligentsia.

But inwhen the Soviet Writers’ Union was caught up in a wave of puritan-nationalistic fervour, a backlash against the thaw of the Khrushchev years, the Strugatskys realized that “the time of ‘light things,’ the time of ‘swords and cardinals’ seemed to have passed. Most of the agents find these rules easy enough to stick to, with the notable exception being Rumata [earth name Anton].

Hard to Be a God

In Asimov’s Foundation series, the scientist Hari Seldon invents steugatsky science of “psychohistory,” which is predicated upon the assumption that group behaviour is as predictable and as exact as a “science. Facebook Google Twitter Print Email. When you start to see people not as individuals but as masses, there’s a problem.

When he’s not carousing, he tries to avoid the grey police, the ones who arrest and hang the ‘bookworms,’ as the intelligentsia are called. An unnamed planet in the Noon Universe has hod yet progressed beyond the Middle Ages. Then a little bit more. After graduating, he was assigned to sgrugatsky Military Tp, where he taught foreign languages.


Maria White Just finished reading this novel in the original. To look at him was to be afraid. Yet, they cannot interfere, shortcircuit the curse of history a It’s intelligent, and philosophical, and it makes you angry, and it makes you think, and it makes you hope. The novel follows Anton, an undercover operative from the future planet Earth, in his mission on an alien planet, that is populated by human beings, whose society has not advanced beyond the Middle Ages.

The reason for this never seems particularly clear, but it is stressed to these people that their task is limited strugztsky observation, that they must not interfere or intervene, and they certainly should not reveal their purpose or real identity. Threatening a rampage right back.

Filthy, Squalid, Genius: Why It’s ‘Hard to Be a God’

The manuscript remained unacceptable. Don Rumata has been sent from Earth to the medieval kingdom of Arkanar with instructions to observe and to save what he can. He was Stalin’s chief of police, mass murder, and pedophilic rapist.

The main character, Anton, is probably one of my favorite fictional characters ever, and the end? In a series of novels, set in the strubatsky Universe,” the Strugatskys imagined a future in which the Marxist theory of history had been vindicated, a classless utopia established, and humans were now a space-faring species in a peaceful galaxy. This novel explores several interesting issues, such as political control of art and science and intellect, how totalitarian regimes affect their subjects, what sparks rebellion, when to prevent or not at all abuse, and what consequences acting “for the greater good” might have.

Sparks Emotion 5 The counter strugahsky is that if you force people to be good, then goodness essentially becomes meaningless, and if you stop all disasters, if only positive things ever happen, you prevent people from learning through adversity.

And these people cannot exist and certainly cannot function in the former atmosphere of low self-interest, banal preoccupations, dull self-satisfaction, and purely carnal needs. After a long discussion — with Budah wishing and Rumata explaining the dire consequences of each of the wishes, Budah finally states that the only true gift t god could give the people is to leave them to their affairs.


The premise is interesting: This novel imagines that Earth achieved perfect Communism, and the Moscow Historical Society sends agents out to other worlds to guide the development of the human condition with a subtle invisible hand.

Until gard served as an interpreter on the Kamchatka Peninsula.

Feb 08, Becky rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: Anton is covertly trying to further the medieval age humans with his fellow comrades. After graduation destiny brought Arkady Strugatsky North.

Strange Horizons – Hard To Be a God by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky By Gautam Bhatia

The pain and violence of feudalism must be suffered by its inhabitants, in order to pave the necessary way to utopia. His role, or part, is as a womanising nobleman goe dangerous, expert swordsman. Budah, fearing that the man is not to be trusted with King’s life, don Reba apologizes.

The three observers meet again to discuss the har. Return to Book Page. However, their vision is not all starry-eyed: Although, sooner or later, it will likely be screened more widely: Don Reba then calls in the Holy Order’s army, which quickly dispatches the criminals and the guardsmen alike, seizing the defenceless city with minimal losses.

Threats to the ones he loves? Stalinist totalitarianism’s sacrifice of individual freedom and autonomy to the iron constraints of the march towards an illusory utopia has served as the political backdrop for a number of science-fiction novels—from Yevgeny Zamyatin’s Wewritten in the earliest years of the Soviet Union, to Orwell’s Review is completely rewritten on December 28, hrad Additionally, it seemed like a clip had been taken from Don Rumata’s life and work as an operative.

Probably it is also hard ;- for English language reviewers to appreciate the enormous amount of humor encapsulated in this book, which is probably lost in translation. His mental condition gently starts to deteriorate as he spends time in a vastly different environment than he is accustomed to. I have been delaying this review for a while now.

Defeated, Rumata is brought in front of Don Reba.