Review: The Innocents Abroad by Mark Twain

“In Paris they just simply opened their eyes and stared when we spoke to them in French! We never did succeed in making those idiots understand their own language.”
~Mark Twain, The Innocents Abroad

Plot summary

“Who could read the programme for the excursion without longing to make one of the party? So Mark Twain acclaims his voyage from New York City to Europe and the Holy Land in June 1867. His adventures produced The Innocents Abroad, a book so funny and provocative it made him an international star for the rest of his life.

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Review: Will Save the Galaxy for Food by Yahtzee Croshaw

“Originally it had had two settings: Stun and Kill. These had proved inadequate against the ridiculously well-armored skin of monsters from particularly rough planets, so I’d found a way to tinker with the built-in limitations. The dial now had a third setting, labeled with the handwritten words ‘Solve All Immediate Problems.”
~Yahtzee Croshaw, Will Save the Galaxy for Food

Plot summary

“A not-quite epic science fiction adventure about a down-on-his luck galactic pilot caught in a cross-galaxy struggle for survival!

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Review: His Master’s Voice by Stanisław Lem

“And yet we knew, for a certainty, that when first emissaries of Earth went walking among the planets, Earth’s other sons would be dreaming not about such expeditions but about a piece of bread.”
~Stanisław Lem, His Master’s Voice

Plot summary

“A pulsating stream of neutrino radiation from a source with the power of a sun has been detected on earth and a team of scientists assembled to study and decode the mysterious message.

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Review: War with the Newts by Karel Čapek

“It suddenly occurred to me that every move on the chessboard is old and has been played by somebody at some time. Maybe our own history has been played out by somebody at some time, and we just move our pieces about in the same moves to strike in the same way as people have always done.”
~Karel Čapek, War with the Newts

Plot summary

“Man discovers a species of giant, intelligent newts and learns to exploit them so successfully that the newts gain skills and arms enough to challenge man’s place at the top of the animal kingdom.” More on Goodreads

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Review: Going to the Dogs. The Story of a Moralist by Erich Kästner

“I’m waiting for the victory of decency, then I could make myself available.”
~Erich Kästner, Going to the Dogs. The Story of a Moralist (Informally translated)

Plot summary

“Originally published in German in 1931 and in an expurgated English translation in 1932, this novel is the tale of Jacob Fabian, a Berlin advertising copywriter doomed in the context of economic, ethical, and political collapse by his characteristic mixture of detachment and decency.

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Review: Memories of the Future by Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky

“Understanding is strictly forbidden. Even dreams have the right to dream.”
~Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky, Memories of the Future

Plot summary

“Written in Soviet Moscow in the 1920s—but considered too subversive even to show to a publisher—the seven tales included here attest to Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky’s boundless imagination, black humor, and breathtaking irony:

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