"The shapeless mass of darkness split apart. It sundered, and a pale spindle of light gleamed between his open arms. In the oval of light there moved a human shape: a tall woman...beautiful, and sorrowful, and full of fear." - from A Wizard of Earthsea, first in a tetralogy that includes The Tombs of Atuan and The Farthest Shore, introduces the listener to Ged, the greatest sorcerer in all Earthsea, known also as Sparrowhawk. When Sparrowhawk casts a spell that saves his village from destruction at the hands of the invading Kargs, Ogion, the Mage of Re Albi, encourages the boy to apprentice himself in the art of wizardry. So, at the age of 13, the boy receives his true name - Ged - and gives himself over to the gentle tutelage of the Master Ogion. But impatient with the slowness of his studies and infatuated with glory, Ged embarks for the Island of Roke, where the highest arts of wizardry are taught. There, Ged's natural talents enable him to surpass his classmates in little time. But when his vanity prompts him to summon Elfarran, the fair lady of the Deed of Enlad, he unleashes a shapeless mass of darkness - the shadow.
©1968 Ursula K. Le Guin; (P)1992 Recorded Books, LLC
I was in elementary school when I first got the Tombs of Atuan on cassette from the library. A Wizard of Earthsea is an even better book, and I'm truly happy to have it to listen to whenever I want. As the main character grows, he learns to balance his desire for power with the need to use it responsibly, and to understand the consequences of his actions before taking them.
It's a very classic coming-of-age story and the setting is immense, rich and powerful.
This recording was not re-done for audible, it is the original Recorded Books cassette recording, including the directions to change cassettes every so often. That's rather jarring, because it's a good 30 seconds of gap here and there with the "please fast forward to the end of the cassette before loading the next one..... A Wizard of Earthsea, Cassette X"
I really wish they'd edited this better to remove those. Just a small touch that really would have made the book more enjoyable to listen to. The story itself is a classic, but for audio, the listening experience matters a lot. That definitely takes it down a notch.
The story and narration were quite enjoyable. the only thing that distracted from an otherwise great performance was the direction to fast forward the remainder of the cassette and turn it over to continue the story. That should be removed from the digital copy. still, I will not hesitate to recommend the story to others.
This was clearly a recording of a book on tape (at one point you hear "begin side two tape one"). I was not a fan of the narrator, although his voice sounded appropriate for the Era in which this recording was made (80s?).
As for the story itself, I found the characters shallow. The protagonist's well-being didn't concern me. it was an imaginative and an interesting world, but its inhabitants were not.
Completely rewrite the book. The characters were so very uninteresting, and the moments that should have been meaningful or suspenseful were about as boring as the rest of it.
Didn't live up to the hype.
Dispassionate uninteresting competent
Tempted to ask for a refund.
I love Tolkien & R R Martin for descriptive story writing that transports me into another world. Only now I discover what many have known for decades .. that Le Quin's writing is equally brilliant! I love Rob Inglis's voice so for me the narration is perfect. The only complaint I have is that the old tape recording woman's voice message to change from side 1 to side 2 wasn't deleted when making the audio book version so that is a bit jarring.
Hello, I'm Adrian. I'm engaged to Nichole Braddock and love books! Though I don't have much time to sit and read so I listen... But audio books whole new universe! They make old books new and new books classics! I myself get into some moods and don't write the greatest reviews. Forgive me. I like to review books but it just feels too much like work to me :p
Overall it is nice. A very simply story about magic. It's not so much about Ged as it is a general outline of what things are like in this world.
The story, characters, world & magic are all straight foward. It has a good constant pace, that keeps your interest, with little or no filler bla bla BS. It's a comeing of age story, with some magic. I would of liked to of seen a bit more action & magic thow. The end is hard to guess & that's a nice plus :}
Do you enjoy fantasy? Do you enjoy ANY stories with wizards in them? If you answered yes, then you CANNOT pass up this book.
The only criticism i have of this book is that it's too short. I think the target audience is younger readers, but enjoyed reading it for the first time as an adult. I have never read anything like it from this perspective.
This is the first book I've read by Ursula Le Guin, but so far I love her. She knows how to paint a scene, without being too wordy so that we can actually enjoy a progressing story. *
Love the Narrator; he's perfect for this one.
*I read an article from George R. R. Martin where he basically said if it wasn't for writer's like Ursula Le Guin and her "Wizard of Earthsea" (and a few others), that fantasy wouldn't be where it is today. That says a LOT.
This is a well written coming of age tale. It was excellently narrated, but I have to admit that for the first half of the book I was totally distracted by the narrator. Mr. Inglis narrated all of the Hobbit/LotR books and I'm afraid I've type cast him in my head. Just hearing his voice evokes Middle Earth. I had to consciously remind myself that I was not listening to a Tolkien story. Once I got past that, it was an enjoyable listen. I'll be listening to the rest of the series.
Quick, inoffensive read. Despite great female authorship, the women characters fail to impress. A book very much of the time it was written (1960's).
Absolutely; I enjoy her prose.
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