Peretz spends his days navigating the bureaucracy of the Administration, the institute tasked with governing the Forest below. Except no one ever seems to go there, and his attempts only trap him further within the workings of this strange organisation. Candide cannot remember how he got to the Forest, and he is certain he belongs somewhere else. Determined to escape, he finds that all paths lead him round strange bends and into encounters with bizarre creatures. This classic SF novel sees Boris and Arkady Strugatsky meditate on how little man can understand of the wider world, and in doing so produce one of the great literary works to come out of Soviet Russia.