The Three-Body Problem is a Chinese science fiction novel that was translated into English. I am a bit hesitant to recommend this book because I think it is the type of book readers either really enjoy or really dislike, with no middle ground. I thought it was good, but I honestly do not think I understood the full meaning of the book. I am interested in learning what other readers think (it has won awards and gotten a lot of recognition, so I want to see if people thought it lived up to the hype).
If you do not like to think too hard when reading, or if you enjoy books that are easy to digest and understand, I do not think this is the book for you. However, if you enjoy science fiction or thinking about extraterrestrial life, I think this could be a good book for you.
The story is complex and hard to explain without spoilers (I would recommend reading the summary); just to give a brief overview though, there is a Chinese military project that discovers the existence of aliens. The government, wealthy individuals, and scientists all disagree on how to handle the situation. Ultimately, there is a power struggle between the human race to decide on the best course of action.
The book starts off slow, and the first 1/2 is kind of confusing. However, the author does a really good job of bringing everything together in the last half of the book, and it all begins to make sense at the end. I personally enjoyed the book, and I liked that it challenged my preexisting thoughts on extraterrestrial life. The storyline had just enough truth to it that it could be plausible (in the most unlikely of circumstances), but also far-fetched enough that it seems like science fiction.
Overall, it was a good enough book that it has been recommended by Barack Obama, and a good enough book that I will be reading the second book in the series, The Dark Forest.
The Three Body Problem Recommendation Rating (Science Fiction Fans): 5
The Three Body Problem Recommendation Rating (Non-Science Fiction Fans): 2
This post has now been updated to reflect a new ratings system that I have implemented, which is scored as follows:
1: Something worth checking out if you have time
2: Something that is a hit for some people, but not a must for everyone
3: Something worth prioritizing if interested
4: Something worth making time to check out
5: An absolute home run, worth going out of your way for
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