A Classic Novel By The Strugatsky Brothers Is Out In English At Last

Illustration for article titled A Classic Novel By The Strugatsky Brothers Is Out In English At Last

Most of us know Boris and Arkady Strugatsky from their novel Roadside Picnic — but their fantastic output was much greater than that. And now at last, there's an English-language edition of their trippy book The Dead Mountaineer's Inn, translated by Josh Billings with an introduction by Jeff VanderMeer.


As NPR's Juan Vidal explains:

First published in 1970, The Dead Mountaineer's Inn is a biting, deeply funny tale that sends its readers down unpredictable paths. Our hero is police inspector Peter Glebsky, a family man anticipating two weeks of leisure — his first vacation in four years. Soon after arriving at the titular inn, Inspector Glebsky finds out about a tragedy that occurred several years before — a man falling to his death on a nearby peak. Now, the inn has a museum housing many of the late climber's belongings, and a rambunctious St. Bernard, the last living remnant of the dead man, roams freely.

Guests at the inn also include a famous magician, a physicist, a hypnotist and a nervous youth counselor with a bad case of tuberculosis. This bunch of oddballs eats together, they play billiards and cards, they skiand occasionally they share personal accounts of the spookery they've encountered since setting foot in the inn. Apparently some sort of miscreant — or ghost, or something — is wandering the premises, stealing shoes, filling ashtrays with tobacco, and leaving the shower running.


Read more about Dead Mountaineer's Inn over at NPR.

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It's a nice whodunnit with aliens, but I'm surprised it was picked over the still untranslated stuff in the Noon universe (a very thorough but more diverse Star Trek-like vision: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noon_Univ…) or far, far, far more significant Burdened by Evil.