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Summary

Arkady and Boris Strugatsky are widely considered the greatest of Russian science fiction masters, yet the novel they worked hardest on, the one that was their own favorite and that listeners worldwide have acclaimed their magnum opus, has never before been published in English. The Doomed City was so politically risky that the Strugatskys kept its existence a secret even from their closest friends for 16 years. It was only published in Russia during perestroika in the late 1980s, the last of their works to see publication.

The Doomed City is set in an experimental city whose sun gets switched on in the morning and off at night, a city bordered by an abyss on one side and an impossibly high wall on the other. Its inhabitants are people plucked from 20th-century history at various times and places and left to govern themselves under conditions established by Mentors whose purpose seems inscrutable.

Andrei Voronin, a young astronomer taken from Leningrad in the 1950s, is a die-hard believer in the Experiment, even though his first job in the city is as a garbage collector. As increasingly nightmarish scenarios begin to affect the city, Voronin rises through the political hierarchy, with devastating effect.

©2016 Arkady and Boris Strugatsky (P)2017 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about The Doomed City

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  • Mr. Sparkle
  • 15-03-18

Great Book

A great book if you're a fan of the authors but please skip the introduction as it contains minor spoilers.

19 people found this helpful

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  • Robert S Revels
  • 15-06-18

Amazing book

This book was amazing probably my favorite one from The Great Strugatsky brothers. The performance from the narrator was top notch, a highly recommend it.

8 people found this helpful

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  • patrick
  • 22-07-18

still amazing

when you fall under the spell of these brothers writing, you'll search out everything available. smart strong thoughtful witty biting and fun. This novel in particular is layered and although it has a timestamp of cold war era in the background, still feels fresh and relevant in the current world environment.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Nikki Bruises
  • 30-01-20

shocked!

this book took me so long to finish but it was worth it! love the Strugatsky’s so much!

5 people found this helpful

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  • Joshua Marcus
  • 29-05-19

I would have enjoyed it at 22

The Doomed City is brilliant. But I found it so damn boring. The first half was intriguing and engaging but then it went on and on and on. The real "problem" is that as a 21st century nihilist, I didn't find anything new in it. Ten years ago, when I was 22 and confused by moral relativism, I would have loved every second of it.

The narrator has a tough job getting the accents right and he acquits himself admirably. Unfortunately, he doesn't manage to do so while keeping the voices significantly different. When characters were from anywhere in Eastern Europe they sounded the same. Ditto Asia and America.

6 people found this helpful

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  • MustangRifleman
  • 03-03-22

Communist Dystopia

Incredibly interesting story originally written in secrecy. Though it doesn't directly refute communism, this book develops an atmosphere in which you can see the system, but also plainly can see all of it's downfalls. Throughout physical and political conflicts, as well as philosophical discussions, the Strugatskys quietly interrogate the reader about the perfect system for life. What must a collective do to create a perfect system of living and what does that have to offer to an individual? What happens if you try and fail, not just a couple times, but for years beyond counting. Absurdity can take over, take a break and be replaced by new ideas. But maybe, it's just not possible or needs to be more or less absurd. How long do you try? What should I do in a world where no one can find any answers?

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  • Mark A. Uzelac
  • 03-12-21

Good Story and Relevant

I won't compare the modern state of the US to the horrors of the Soviet Union, but the representation of nonsensical bureaucracy in this story that once represented the social minefield of communism will also ring closer to home than one may expect in this age of COVID foolishness. Never the less, the story does not read as a political criticism as the authors wanted to keep their heads intact. This means you're still getting a solid science fiction experience without the childlike political tirades of modern American story tellers.

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  • JOHNNY MEANS
  • 05-10-21

Holy spoilers, Batman.

The amount of spoilage in the prologue is a travesty. Some of us like to walk into a book blind

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  • Robert
  • 12-01-21

rad book

I really liked "a roadside picnic" so I decided to listen to this since they share the same author. it's a good book but I feel that the ideological conversations can be a bit long winded but not unusual for the main character.