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Tomasz Lem was a late child of Stanisław Lem, so he has no memory of his father as a young man. "Gravity-Related Tantrums" is his portrait of his famous parent (...) From this the story of Lem the man emerges: his wartime adventures are described in brief, as are the various flats and houses where he lived, his foreign travels and longer visits to West Berlin and Vienna, the accounts of his friends and intellectual partners, and also his private passions and weaknesses, mainly a disastrous passion for sweets. Accompanying the writer, always in his shadow, but as an extremely important person, is his wife Barbara – his partner and carer through all the years of their marriage.
More interestingly, from a wider perspective than the family one, this is the portrait of a unique personality in the days when the totalitarian regime was in power, which was also an era when the world was divided, information was rationed, goods were generally in short supply and services were inefficient in the socialist camp. The struggles with these inconveniences of such a stubborn man as Stanisław Lem, his moments of defiance, despair and discouragement are on the one hand an excuse to show the gloomy truth about communism, and on the other a topic for endless satirical anecdotes.

Jerzy Jarzębski (full review)

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