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Publisher's Summary

The first ever broadcast dramatisation of Ursula Le Guin's seminal science fiction novel.

On an alien world in the middle of an ice age, one man prepares for the biggest mission of his life. Alone and unarmed, Genly Ai has been sent from Earth to persuade the people of Gethen to join the Ekumen, a union of planets. But it's a task fraught with danger.

Genly is shocking to the natives, for Gethen is a world in which humans are ambigendered - everyone can be a mother, and everyone can be a father. First Minister Estraven is the only person who champions Genly's cause, but their relationship is deeply incomprehensible and troubling.

As the duo embark on a journey that will take them to the edge of their physical and emotional endurance, the stakes are high - to save a world from war and save their own lives.

Ursula Le Guin's award-winning masterpiece was one of the first feminist SF novels, and this compelling dramatisation is both a subtle exploration of gender and a thrilling tale of love, betrayal and survival in a landscape of endless snow and ice. It stars Lesley Sharp (Scott & Bailey), Toby Jones (Dad's Army) and Louise Brealey (Sherlock).

Duration: two hours approx.

©2016 Ursula Le Guin (P)2016 BBC Worldwide Ltd.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

This is not the full book

Wish someone else had wrote this in a review, I guess I spent more time looking for a review and not enough looking at the length. Only two hours. It's not bad, but obvious well short on details amd explanarion that must be in the book. As for performance, the dialogue was often read in a soft voice, dramatic maybe but harder to hear and understand than most audiobooks. I would rather be able to listen to someone just read the book than act it out as an audio play. My fauly I should have paid closer attention to the description.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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I want to give this six stars

It's always difficult adapting a novel - what to keep, what to leave out, how to interpret character voices. This brought the beauty and the terror of the ice-crossing, and the complex relationship between Ai and Estraven, with a host of wonderfully living voices. Gorgeous. Gripping. Good show all around.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Good, but not the novel

I like the dramatization, however there were parts not included which could've been with good effect. There is a particular chapter in the novel " The question of sex" which I think would've explained much more about the gethenians for those who hadn't read the novel.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Still a favorite of all time.

I love this book and this performance of it. Perfect! If only it could have been the full unabridged version.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

meh

i expected more but left unimpressed. only one thing made me go woah. and that was the inability for gender changers to comprehend how non-changers view the opposite sex within their own culture.

2 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Chris
  • 07-28-17

Proper Science Fiction

No guns, no explosions, just concepts, snow, and writing. No more words are needed. none.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Mariangela
  • 03-15-18

beautiful but a bit confusing to follow

loved it but this it was a bit too abridged which made difficult to follow

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for A. Stephens
  • A. Stephens
  • 02-12-18

Absolutely Dreadful - don’t waste your money

Confused, rushed, lacking depth or coherence, and with no development of characters. This was my first experience of Ursula Le Guin’s work: I have to believe it’s just a dreadful botch of an adaptation, because otherwise her ‘classic’ sci-fi status would be a joke.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for Erin
  • Erin
  • 09-24-16

love this story.

was wonderful to hear this story that i know so well to be acted out

1 of 1 people found this review helpful