Return from the Stars
"Return from the Stars" tells the story of an Astronaut returning to Earth after a long flight. Because of Einstein's time paradox one and a half centuries have passed on Earth. The Astronaut tries to understand and accept the unfamiliar Earthly civilization that gave up risk for the sake of safety and prosperity. We are presented with a fascinating vision of "Earth as an alien planet" - in order to live there, the protagonist has to experience anew the problems of the meaning of existence, good and evil, freedom and captivity, aggression and love.
Lem is both a polymath and a virtuoso storyteller and stylist. Put them together and they add up to a genius... He has been steadily producing fiction that follows the arcs and depths of his learning and a bewildering labyrinth of moods and attitudes. Like his protagonists, loners virtually to a man, his fiction seems at a distance from the daily cares and passions, and conveys the sense of a mind hovering above the boundaries of the human condition: now mordant, now droll, now arcane, now folksy, now skeptical, now haunted and always paradoxical. Yet his imagination is so powerful and pure that no matter what world he creates it is immediately convincing because of its concreteness and plentitude, the intimacy and authority with which it is occupied... read Lem for yourself. He is a major writer, and one of the deep spirits of our age.
Theodore Solotaroff "The New York Times Book Review"