Memoirs Found in a Bathtub

Rating: +

Stanislaw Lem

The story is focused around a man who finds himself in an underground spy installation (I think that he wasn't a spy, but it wasn't entirely clear). He's trying to figure out what is going on with all of the spies running around him, acting ludicrously spy like and not catching on to the fact that this guy doesn't fit in. Eventually, he realizes that the spies are spying on each other as much as they are trying to spy on the enemy spies. Nobody is sure which side the other spies are working for. And there doesn't seem to be a lot to the definition of which side you are on except for the label of the group you adopt. In addition, there is some ludicrousness of having massive numbers of spies pretending to be on the other side to infiltrate the enemy, but instead they infiltrating each other because they can't tell who is really on the other side and who is just pretending.

So, we get lots of commentary on intrigue, group identification, patriotism, information flow, etc. in a satirically funny wrapper. It's a fairly dark story, but not morose. I'll definitely really more Lem, having enjoyed this.


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