Tuesday, June 26, 2007
The Dispossessed by Ursula le Guin
Because I work in a rock magazine, my officemates were screaming "anarchy, anarchy!" when they caught me reading this book. The Dispossessed is one of the books in the Gollancz SF collection and it certainly deserves its place. The setting takes place on two planets, one apparently seeming to be utopian and the other its complete opposite. Our protagonist hails from the benevolent planet but he soon discovers that he has no place in either. It's a science-fiction tale with a definite human dimension to it, one that calls to the reader. It has always amazed me how le Guin can write something as readable as A Wizard of Earthsea and also write something as complex as Left Hand of Darkness. This book belongs more to the latter category, and beginning readers might find it a difficult read, especially factoring in that the characters in the book have different norms and mores from us. An interesting technique le Guin uses in the novel is the juxtaposition of the past and present and while we witness the events that transpire to the main character, it keeps the reader wondering what tragedy befalls him until the very end. Definitely a good but difficult read.