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Julian Meynell's Books

I like Books.

The Dispossessed

The Dispossessed - Ursula K. Le Guin It is my feeling that Le Guin is one of the most important authors of the late twentieth century and that the only reason that she has not been recognized as such is because she worked in science fiction and fantasy. The Dispossessed just reinforces that feeling. It is done with the same imagination, but also precision that one expects from Le Guin.

The story is about a true believing anarchist who comes from the anarchist moon of a planet to visit a world much like the Earth of the Cold War. He is a physicist with a potential theory that could allow instantaneous travel and communication between stars.

The book is subtitled an ambiguous utopia, which is the strength of the book. The world depicted is an anarchist word, but it is also a world that fails in many ways to live up to the anarchist ideals, because of the imperfections of human nature. It is also a world in which famines happen and in which many people can still be effectively stifled. The book explores these ideas and while there could be a tendency to identify Le Guin's views with Shedaks I think that she is not committed and is playing with the ideas.

The exploration of ideas is very good. The characterization especially of the physicist Shedak is good as is her prose. The book does not have the same physicality as The Lefthand of Darkness which is probably a better book, but it is still a very good work.