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Lucky Starr and the Oceans of Venus (1954)

af Isaac Asimov

Andre forfattere: Paul Couturiau (Oversætter)

Serier: Lucky Starr (3)

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629727,539 (3.13)7
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I romanzi di Lucky Starr sono lavori minori di Asimov, chiaramente destinati ad un pubblico di ragazzi: vengono accantonate le riflessioni sociologiche e l'introspezione dei personaggi per concentrarsi su una trama avventurosa in luoghi futuristici ed esotici.
Pur cambiando la location, la struttura resta invariata da un libro all'altro ed anche questo non fa eccezione: il protagonista viene chiamato ad indagare su un mistero, e tra mille peripezie riuscirà a venirne a capo. La parte migliore del romanzo è proprio il giallo, che terrà desto il nostro interesse e ci soprenderà con qualche colpo di scena spiazzante, in puro stile Asimov. Anche la descrizione di Venere, dei suoi oceani sterminati e delle sue creature leggendarie è abbastanza affascinante (benché scientificamente superata, come chiarisce lo stesso autore in una prefazione successiva), ma la trama è troppo ingenua, perfino scontata in alcuni punti. I personaggi poi sono stereotipati da morire: abbiamo Lucky bello, intelligente e coraggioso, accompagnato dal suo amico buffo e rissoso che sembra sempre la caricatura di se stesso.
Ovviamente trattandosi di un romanzo di Asimov lo stile mantiene la piacevolezza e la chiarezza cristallina che lo contraddistinguono, però non ne consiglio la lettura se non ai fan più accaniti. Tutti gli altri hanno opere di ben altro pregio a cui approcciarsi. ( )
  Lilirose_ | Jan 6, 2019 |
This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: Lucky Starr and the Oceans of Venus
Series: Lucky Starr #3
Author: Isaac Asimov
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: SF
Pages: 174
Format: Digital Edition

Synopsis:


The Science Council has had a call for help from the domed Cities of Venus. They sent in a top operative but they received a letter of recall from the Head of the Science Council on Venus accusing the man of corruption. Lucky knows this man and doesn't believe a word of it. He heads to Venus but receives a radio communique from said operative warning him away.

Lucky and Bigman barely make it to Venues, as their pilots mysteriously black out and almost crash their craft. Lucky begins his investigation and is shown a whole slew of incidents where rational people have performed very irrational acts and then had no memory of it. The Head of the Local Council is convinced it is a Syrian trick so as to steal the rare Venus yeast formulas.

Lucky thinks otherwise and after some hair raising adventures in the oceans, finds out that telepathic frogs are the culprit! But the mystery doesn't stop there. It turns out one of the engineers on Venus has learned how to control the v-frogs (venus frogs. Get it? Pretty clever right?) and has been planning to become dictator of Venus.

Thanks to Lucky and Bigman, said Engineer is brought to Justice and the benevolent rule of the Science Council continues apace. Heil Scyenze! * salutes *

My Thoughts:

Maddalena pointed out in the comments of the previous book that this was written for middle graders. So when I went into this, I deliberately kept that in mind and you know what? It worked wonders for my expectations and how I read the book itself. I had a lot more fun this time around. I could see myself as a 5th grader eating this up with a spoon. I wish I had known about these way back then but oh well.

A good rousing adventure tale. It also shows unabashedly, or perhaps unknowingly(?), just how strong a belief in science as a force for good permeated the society of the 50's. Science was going to solve every problem, only the best of men would be scientists and they would all get along because obviously, once you know something you have to act rationally and logically to that knowledge. Phraaaaack, what a naive outlook. Makes me wonder what Asimov was thinking at the end of his life, as he was a humanist and from what I understand didn't believe in God or any sort of afterlife.

Anyway, with that aside out of the way, this book gave me some hope that I was sorely lacking from the previous. I am now looking forward to the next couple of volumes instead of dreading them. Ha!

★★★☆½ ( )
1 stem BookstoogeLT | Sep 21, 2018 |
A sorozat következő darabja: ismét fordulatos, izgalmas, könnyen olvasható. Nem teljesen kiszámítható, a Vénusz bemutatása fantáziadús. A sorozat jól filmalapanyag lenne. Talán nem moziba, de tévére biztos alkalmas. ( )
  rics | Mar 8, 2018 |
Along with his diminutive but dauntless sidekick, Bigman Jones, David “Lucky” Starr travels from Earth to Venus when fellow Council of Science member and longtime friend, Lou Evans, is charged with corruption and theft of an experimental yeast formula.

During their flight to Venus, a message from Evans warns Starr to stay away from the planet. This of course only entices Starr to press onward. As they approach Venus, Starr and Bigman discover that their pilot and navigator have succumbed to mind control and turned against them, sending the vessel crashing into the ocean.

After a brief scuffle, the pilot and navigator regain control of themselves, but recall nothing of the incident. Starr and Bigman repair the vessel and dock in the underwater dome city of Aphrodite. There, Starr and Bigman meet with senior council member, Doctor Mel Morriss, only to learn that previous incidents of mental aberrations have occurred in the recent past—and Lou Evans might himself be a victim.

Starr requests an interview with Evans, but his fellow councilman is reluctant to explain his actions. Their conversation is then interrupted by an emergency—a junior engineer has fallen victim to mind control and is threatening to open one of the airlocks and flood the entire city! Worse, Lou Evans takes advantage of the distraction to escape in a personal submarine into the oceans of Venus.

Can Lucky Starr save the underwater town of Aphrodite from destruction, recapture his fellow councilman, and solve the mystery behind the mind control before the next incident destroys every living human on Venus?

Lucky Starr and the Oceans of Venus is the third book in the series and is just as entertaining as the previous entries. Asimov creates a clever and plausible mechanism by which the mind control is executed.

The feisty Bigman is noticeably more subdued than in the first two volumes. His most heroic moment is hustling through the city’s ventilation shafts in an effort to cut off power to the airlock before the engineer can flood the city. After that, Bigman is reduced to steering a ship and asking Lucky for clarification about certain scientific concepts during their adventures.

In the 1972 Signet editions of the series that I’m reading, Asimov added a disclaimer regarding the inaccurate descriptions of the planets when this series was originally published in 1954. Such details as the existence of an ocean on Venus, for example, were merely speculation prior to the images sent by the Mariner II probe launched in 1962 that debunked the theory. ( )
  pgiunta | Jul 19, 2017 |
Benché sia del tutto campato per aria dal punto di vista scientifico (come si premura di sottolineare lo stesso Asimov nella nota introduttiva), il terzo romanzo dedicato a Lucky Starr riprende quota a livello narrativo rispetto all’episodio che narra la caccia ai pirati degli asteroidi, sfoggiando una di quelle storie a incastri, care al Dottore, che mischiano all’invenzione fantascientifica il racconto giallo dai ben calibrati colpi di scena. Così al lettore nulla importa che su Venere non ci siano oceani, come si credeva agli inizi degli anni Cinquanta, e si tuffa volentieri sotto le onnipresenti alghe assieme al ranger dello spazio e al suo fido pard Bigman: tra città subacquee, sottomarini e la strana, a volte inquietante fauna locale, la storia vira da un caso di spionaggio industriale riguardante il lievito, prodotto principe venusiano, a un pericoloso intrigo basato sul controllo delle menti altrui. Asimov alterna i dialoghi fatti di lunghi botta e risposta, sua notoria specialità, all’immaginazione della società del secondo pianeta e alle scene di pura azione, come il lungo capitolo che vede Starr in tuta da sub tentare di eliminare l’insidia costituita dal mostruoso animale detto ‘toppa arancio’: il tono si mantiene leggero, si tratta pur sempre di libri destinati a un pubblico di adolescenti, ma si avverte il costante sforzo di costruire un lavoro credibile che possa per dipiù far da stimolo a qualche spunto di riflessione. A parte il pistolotto conclusivo che riepiloga il destino del dottor Turner – che un po’ ricorda quello di un Von Braun, tanto per fare un nome – l’intento pedagogico è mascherato con cura, così che il libro riesce a essere una lettura capace di divertire e appassionare anche gli adulti in cerca di un po’ di leggerezza: conoscendo il modo di procedere di Asimov si arriva forse al colpevole prima del suo effettivo disvelamento, ma è comunque un piacere seguire le peripezie e le deduzioni che finiscono per incastrarlo. ( )
  catcarlo | Jul 28, 2016 |
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Couturiau, PaulOversættermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
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