Aliens have visited the earth and left without seeming to have noticed the human race, the areas where the ships landed are now almost completely off-limits and are known as "The Zone".
The visit itself has left the zone littered with various artifacts and environmental effects that are often fatal to humans travelling through it.
However there are men known as Stalkers who venture into the Zones to retrieve the mysterious artifacts left behind by the aliens and if they make it out of the Zones alive, sell their booty through a thriving black market. Focusing on Redrick 'Red' Schuhart who has spent his life making constant forays into the Zone. Every aspect of his life is dominated by the Zone, from his trips into the Zone to his daughter Monkey who is deformed as a result of Red's forays into the Zone.
Ultimately it is for Monkey and his desire to have her made "normal" that leads Red to make a last journey into the Zone in search of a legendary artifcat that is said to grant any wish to the lucky person that is able to find it. This last journey will ultimately be a final revelation for Red ....
Written in Russia in 1972 the book does not feel 40 years old, probably due to the more character based approach taken rather than focus on the technology recovered from the zone.
Very enjoyable and not aged in any way.