"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
Rob Inglis brings anything he reads to life in a spectacular way. and this book was already bursting with life all its own. I highly reccomend this book to any and everyone who enjoys High Fantasy.
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.
What would have made A Wizard of Earthsea better would be if anyone in the novel ever said anything that wasn't a deepism or tautology.
I've read the Left Hand of Darkness, which is excellent. This is my second Le Guin book since joining audible, each time I was hoping for something on the level of Left Hand. Unfortunately I've been disappointed in both. I won't be getting another book by her.
He has a good voice and reads smoothly. There aren't many characters in this story so I can't say how well he would do a larger cast.
All the meaningless land hoping that occurs so that the characters can have vapid conversations that are all some version of; Person, "I can tell there is a shadow on you and great danger" then Ged says, "I know, I'm going to fight it."
Apparently the series of which this book is the first has been compared to LOTR and Narnia. I can't see how. Maybe it gets better, but I'm not investing anymore time into it.
This is one of my all time favorite stories. but there were a few minor issues with the production. the narrator's voice cracked inn a few places and they neglected to remove the part of the recording where they advise the listener to fast forward to the end of the cassette and then flip it over to hear the other side. You'd think someone would be assigned to listen to each book before it becomes available for purchase so they can edit out that sort of thing.
I would enjoy the story slowing down. I wanted to get to know all the characters, not just run by months and years at a time.
The narrator made everything sound boring, as if the story was being told by a history teacher to school children. I couldn't get immersed.
Annoyance. I wanted to learn more about this world and the magic.
This is a great early sketch for what will be an epic series of books. I look forward to when Ursula writes "A Wizard of Earthsea" where I'm sure she'll flesh out the characters, add some cohesion to the world, and finish linking together the somewhat disjointed scenes. Sure, she published this in 1968 and released several more books but it's not too late to go back and finish writing this one...
one majorly sweet dude
This book is all right, but the narrator is not very engaging. His voice breaks pretty regularly. The voices he does for the characters are not great, especially things like dragons and monsters. It's a little hard to understand him sometimes.
Also, there's a part that tells you to switch tapes, and in the end it suggests you call a toll-free number to order more books on tape.
I'm not sure I would have gotten through this book had I not had piles of laundry and ironing and dishes. Yup. I listened while I cleaned. And even though my cleaning was mind numbing, I would still zone out listening to this book. It was very slow. The hero, Ged, wasn't very likable. Ged was kind of a punk. He did a lot of stupid stuff, and the only points he won from me came from being Vetch's friend.
The book did pick up steam, so I was curious enough to figure out what happens. Although what happens is tied up and ended a little too simply. And I was looking forward to some falling action, and there wasn't much of this either.
So that being said. There are some interesting question the book poses. Can a young person, though pride or arrogance or another failing, inadvertently ruin their life--like for good? How do we place our trust in others? And how do we arrive at the decision to place our trust in them? Just because we don't know how to do something, should that keep us from trying? What's in a name?
Of course the world building of this fantasy is impressive (and tedious). Also irksome how few women are in this book. It rankles that in an entire school for magic learning there are no girls and in among all these wise wizards and mages there are no women. Sure there are disreputable female characters doing some magic.
I knew it was a seminal work. Also knew it was part of a trilogy, but I have zero interest in hearing anymore about Ged.
Could be so much better..this is a seminal work -certainly deserving of a voice far more interpretive.. I don't understand why the narrator is British. From the cartoon movie to this, all of LeGuins work is poorly represented. It's not bad..it's just not great..
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