Been several years since I last read a book translated in Romanian and several more since the last such translation that wasn’t non-fiction, plus that I was barely a teen, or perhaps even yet to cross that threshold, when I read the rest of the series and some other related works, back in the ’90s, so can’t compare and some of the complaints may be the result of this. However, I can clearly say that the first few chapters are a quite painful attempt to force philosophy, opinions and information on the reader by wrapping them in the thin veil of a story crafted from a mix of reality and the author‘s last, desperate attempt to rebuild the myth he had wrapped himself in through most of his life, perhaps for his own peace of mind more than anything else. Later, along with the unapologetic firm return to the familiar realm of imagination and the above-mentioned personal myth, the storytelling does improve, though the signs of trying too hard never go away, the dialogs remain so strained and forced that I’m not even sure they deserve being called amateurish and readers are likely to roll their eyes plenty of times, for those as well as other reasons.
Still, the story does its job passably well overall, providing a conclusion, or perhaps another conclusion, as well as some amount of closure where necessary. Perhaps more importantly, however, while some of the views expressed may be questionable or even dangerous or simply wrong, many remain relevant and useful even now, over a century after the book was written… At least once they’re separated from the author’s ego and personal myth and properly adapted to current times and events.