Hard To Be a God

Hard To Be A God - Arkady Strugatsky, Boris Strugatsky

I read this one for a book club discussion. I didn't like it much.

- Too full of pondering instead of being in the action, and as a result, the main character didn't appear so much like a "god who doesn't know whether he should intervene or not", than like a passive observer.

- The political commentary laid it a bit too tick to my tastes. It called for something more subtle.

- The female characters. Only two, and basically one is a wallflower who's obviously only here to get kidnapped or whatever, and the other is the courtesan type who "gets what she deserves—and here's to notice that in spite of all his disgust for this "backward society", our hero just goes about his business knowing all too well what he'll left in his wake (and all for nothing). Granted, there's Anka, but I don't really se the point of having her in the novel at all. As a love interest? I couldn't feel anything there, so I really don't know.

- The translation: I can't compare with the original text, but the prose in general felt like something had been... lost. I probably wouldn't have liked it much more had it been for a different translation; still, it sure didn't help.