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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » In awe of Earthsea (And LeGuin)

   
Author Topic: In awe of Earthsea (And LeGuin)
Nathan2006
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I just finished The Other Wind

Wow. These are the only books of Leguin's I've read (Other than a collection of short-stories called 'The Birthday of the World', and The Telling)

I'm just amazed. It was awesome. I thought the series was okay to start with, and then it just got better and better until the end.

I have a question though... What exactly are the 'Hainish' novels? Do I need to read them in a particular order?

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TomDavidson
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http://hem.passagen.se/peson42/lgw/books.html
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Tatiana
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I love the Earthsea books! My favorite is Tombs of Atuan. LeGuin is one of the best science fiction writers ever.

Also check out her "The Lathe of Heaven" and "The Left Hand of Darkness". Those two I read over and over.

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BlackBlade
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My first exposure to LeGuin was the short story, "Those who walk away from Omelas." I had to read it for a Science Fiction class where the text book was,
Masterpieces of Science Fiction edited by Mr. Card himself! It was a really fun class.

I remember greatly enjoying the story and REALLY liking LeGuin's literary style. I really wish I had some more of her offerings to read.

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Evie3217
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Ooo "Left Hand of Darkness" was one of the best books I've ever read. I had to read it for a Sci-fi writing class and I absolutely loved it. Go for that one next, if you really want another LeGuin book.
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Nathan2006
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It was hard reading LeGuin at first... I had to shift gears in my head. But once I did, I really loved her writing. I think her books are the most 'dense' I've ever read. I remember thinking when I looked at A Wizard of Earthsea for the first time, I thought 'It must not be a long story'.

Silly me.

Actually, the first book of Earthsea I ever read was The Other Wind (The only book of Earthsea my library had), about three years ago. I realized half-way into it that there was no way I'd understand it fully without reading the preceding works. And then I just kind of forgot about the books until now.

Boy, was I right about missing something! I thought Phoebe was literally a bird-person, and I thought that the Kargad people were somehow related to birds too (All of the allusions to 'flight' led me to the latter conclusion, and Pheobe's playing with feathers led me to the former)

Tatiana, although my personal favorite was The Farthest Shore (Or the Other wind...), I really liked The Tombs of Atuan too. (Actually, I think I liked all of the books equally, except for A Wizard of Earthsea, and I think that's just because I was busy shifting mental gears while reading it.)

I have to ask... I have a friend, who I lent the book because she loved the sci-fi miniseries... She told me some things about it. Is it really true that they mixed up Ged's use-name and true-name? For real?

Thanks everybody for your reponses. I'm thinking I'll read the Left Hand of Darkness next (Actually, I'll probably read whatever my library has next, and then search for whatever the library didn't have.)

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Kwea
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Yeah, they mutilated her story in the worst possible way. You should read HER opinion of it, it is pretty clear what she thinks. [Frown]

Here is a link to it....

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Omega M.
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I liked the original three novels very much, but I thought that Tehanu had too much thinly-veiled sexual symbolism.
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TheGrimace
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just a quick question based on people's comments/recommendations so far here:

I read Wizard of Earthsea and enjoyed it.
I read Left Hand of Darkness and found it hard to get into... not that it was bad, but just that there was a lot more stuff I found off-putting or disinteresting.

1) does that jive with anyone else's experience?
2) does that change anyone's recommendations of other Earthsea books or any of her other stuff?

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scifibum
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Stick it out with LHOD. I think I had the same reaction at first but at the end I felt it was one of the most affecting and memorable books I had ever read. You just have to read about the trek over the ice. You must. No option.
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TheGrimace
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oh no, I finished it, but just didn't really enjoy it all that much
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SenojRetep
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quote:
Originally posted by TheGrimace:
just a quick question based on people's comments/recommendations so far here:

I read Wizard of Earthsea and enjoyed it.
I read Left Hand of Darkness and found it hard to get into... not that it was bad, but just that there was a lot more stuff I found off-putting or disinteresting.

1) does that jive with anyone else's experience?
2) does that change anyone's recommendations of other Earthsea books or any of her other stuff?

Yeah, I had pretty similar feelings. While I enjoyed LHOD, it was a more...esoteric book than the Earthsea trilogy (now a pentatuch, I suppose).

The first three Earthsea books move along really well. The last two are more philosophical (particularly Tehanu), but they're all good.

I should say that I may have read more books by LeGuin than any other author <edit>just checked the bibliography on her website and my best count is I've read 15-17 of her 29 novels/short story collections</edit>. Pretty big fan, I guess. Besides Earthsea I really liked The Dispossessed (Hainish cycle) and The Lathe of Heaven.

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mr_porteiro_head
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I too had similar reactions, Grimace.

I've read a few other Ekumen books by LeGuin and really enjoyed them, particularly The Word For World Is Forest.

I loved "The Lathe of Heaven".

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