Roadside Picnic

Roadside Picnic

Book - 2012
Average Rating:
11
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"Red Schuhart is a stalker, one of those young rebels who are compelled, in spite of the extreme danger, to venture illegally into the Zone to collect the mysterious artifacts that the alien visitors left scattered around. His life is dominated by the place and the thriving black market in the alien products. But when he and his friend Kirill go into the Zone together to pick up a "full empty," something goes wrong. And the news he gets from his girlfriend upon his return makes it inevitable that he'll keep going back to the Zone, again and again, until he finds the answer to all his problems."-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: Chicago, Ill. : Chicago Review Press, 2012, ©1972
ISBN: 9781613743416
1613743416
Characteristics: ix, 209 pages ; 22 cm

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k
KennethSmith
Nov 01, 2017

I enjoyed this book a great deal when I first read it in high school in the 1970s. I am re-reading it now and enjoying it again, however I find this new translation to be rather too American for my Canadian taste.

b
bwrogers
Oct 01, 2017

I don't want to speak ill of a classic but it's a bit slow-going. Nonetheless, the premise is a fascinating one and the development of the protagonist keeps things moving. In some ways it would have been better served by turning the middle section, it's strongest part, into a short story. It's not a heavy investment of time though, and the setting, rich with dread and caprice, is worth it.

s
Starpoem
May 06, 2017

* This book is different from any other sci fi I've ever read. It's a unique twist on a first contact story.

* The hero, Redrick Schuhart, is a lovable scoundrel.

* It's a quick read--under 200 pages.

* The particular edition (2012 Chicago Review Press) that I read included useful "extras"--an introduction by Ursula K. LeGuin and an afterward by Boris Strugatsky.

w
weirdduck88
Oct 01, 2016

As a fan of Stalker, I’ve been meaning to read this for quite some time but never got around to it. It’s much different than the film, which was a bit surprising, especially since the two guys who wrote the book also cowrote the film. I do have to say, although I’m not usually a fan of sci-fi, I found the sci-fi elements in the book to be intriguing and I wish there was some sort of glossary out there that defined all the various alien technology and anomalies. It was pretty cool.

The first third I found difficult to get into. The writing style is a lot different than what I’m used to, and it might be because it’s a work in translation. I almost gave up — but I’m glad I didn’t because the last chapter was everything I wanted the book to be.

a
awesomeguy451
Sep 23, 2016

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BnTW6fZz-1E

c
clebras
Sep 09, 2013

The film Stalker by Tarkovski is one of my favorites but this is a great book on its own. Originally I read the 1977 edition owned by the library and this new translation seems so much better. It is a powerful story. The final section is quite different from the rest, more like a thriller. Reading this version makes me wish Tarkovski could have added a few more elements from this novel into the film, which had so little dialogue, so you really had to make up your own mind about characters' motivations and such.

o
OrwellsLament
Feb 12, 2013

This should be considered a vital SF classic. It is the basis for Tarkovski's film 'Stalker', and the video game 'S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Shadow of Chernobyl'

dvschmidt Aug 29, 2012

Christianity Today recommendation

DesPlainesReaders Aug 27, 2012

A town, presumably in Canada, experiences a boom in prospectors (named "stalkers") looking to acquire nearby remains of alien contact for profit. It is difficult to say which result is worse, the dangerous aspects of an alien culture, or what they discover about our own. This short novel is the basis for the 1979 Russian film Stalker. Readers of China Miéville's The City & the City would enjoy this newly translated classic. ~wearespartacus/notTom

g
GLNovak
Jul 09, 2012

Interesting contact story. Aliens have been and gone and left behind their garbage. It appears that they also left traps to protect the garbage, and the stalkers, the raiders of the garbage, have had to learn techniques to avoid getting too close to them. Very dangerous profession but also very lucrative. What are all these bits and pieces and what do they do? Can they be used on earth? Can they be used for good or evil? The ultimate prize is still out there in the Zone and Red Schuhart is the only stalker able to go and get it but at what cost. Easy read and although dated (first published 1972) still relevent.

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