©2002 Harper Collins Publishers; (P)2002 Fantastic Audio
"Like all great writers of fiction...Le Guin creates imaginary worlds that restore us, hearts eased, to our own." (Boston Globe)
"Fans will love these eight new stories." (Library Journal)
"Her characters are complex and haunting, and her writing is remarkable for its sinewy grace." (Time)
These short stories do just what I would expect from science fiction, they take me elsewhere and allow me think differently. The readers are the same crew that did the Ender series by Orson Card, with LeGuin herself contributing her forward and one of the stories. Having such talented readers with interesting stories combines for a great listen.
Le Guin fills out her Ekumen universe with six stories that are in the tradition of The Left Hand of Darkness--an almost anthropological approach. Sex roles play an important role in all the stories, which gives an interesting perspective on our current power structures in society. A great book.
Ursula LeGuin is an exceptional storyteller who presents us with fictional societies that open our eyes (in this case, our ears) to new, unimagined possibilities of human interaction.
The Left Hand of Darkness and The Telling
If you enjoyed THE LEFT HAND OF DARKNESS you will love these short stories! Any one of them would make a fine novel. All of her wit, energy, and imagination shine through these tales. They are delightfully written and perfectly read. I want to forget them in a hurry so that I will have the pleasure of listening to them again soon. Or, maybe, I won't wait to listen again right now.
These stories seem to depict a lifetime of frustration with male dominance and they beat you over the head with it. We already know that UKL's Left Hand of Darkness broke new ground and it was welcome. These stories take those ideas (and her new one-moieties) and burn them out. Each story attempts to right every wrong that women have suffered at the hands of men and society. I don't agree with male dominance either, most men reading these stories are likely enlightened on this as well, so it seems she's preaching to the choir. The males become the prostitutes, they are used and hurt, it goes on and on. The first two stories communicated the point and that's all I needed. If you're looking of Science Fiction, there is none in these stories.
"A great book and adaptation"
Both a good book and possibly better as an audiobook with the different voices all adding depth to the stories. This book was among the best of Le Guin, and affirms her place among the best of science fiction writers, where looking at the world askew is the main concern. I would not recommend this book to someone unfamiliar to Le Guin's work as I think it's the best introduction piece (unlike her longer novels). For those that has read more of her work, this is like a deeper dive into her world.
This truly original audiobook beigns with Le Guin's reflections on the difficulties and challenges of creating imaginary worlds and in particular startling diversions from 'normal'sexual relationships in different cultures - completely convincing as she is so skilful in creating detailed background to the strange marriage arrangements or the astonishing physiological development of becoming either male or female in each sexual cycle. I found this collection very varied, profoundly moving and thought provoking and am so grateful to Audible for offering it; the range and skill of the different narrators made listening a memorable experience.
"Just didn't get it"
LeGuin is revered as a premier writer of the 70/80s, so I was interested in what she had to say. However I have to admit that I never actually finished it because I found it so disinteresting. Maybe I will have another go at another time, but for now I just didn't get it.
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