I would describe Stanislaw Lem as the depth of Leo Tolstoy, humor of Woody Allen and absurdity and originality of Douglas Adams -- all under the same roof. This is a brilliant book and the English translation by Michael Kandel is very good. I read lots of Lem in my teen years but now I am going to reread all he wrote. I used to just find his writings funny and interesting but there is so much more on all levels. Too bad Stanislaw Lem is not well known outside Eastern Europe, he deserves a world wide fame.