I read this book in Russian, but I doubt that any translation would be good, since understanding this book is impossible without growing up in Russia. It tells a story of a peculiar "research center" in the north of Russia, where all the Russian fairy-tales come true. All the heroes and anti-heroes of Russian childreen are there, resulting in a weird, and at times funny SF novel.

Written in the 1960s during the cold war, this book was untypical for its time. It's far less conservative than the other Russian SF works of that time, and as such presents an interesting curiosity in the world of Russian SF literature.

Even though this book is considered one of Russia's SF best, I found it very hard to connect with it. I dislike SF where there is a complete mess and the reader has a very hard time following the plot (which isn't necessarily there at all). I dislike books in which the main characters' dreams are spilled on 10-page, "WTF" style narratives. I guess I'm too logical and rational to like such books.


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