one book leads to another

I enjoyed Left Hand of Darkness when i read it last year but the reason i picked up The Dispossessed by Ursula K. LeGuin is because Mor mentions loving it in Among Others. At first, i really didn't know where the book was going but as it went on i enjoyed it more and more.

Urras is a world somewhat like Earth; it lots of different nations, some at war with each other. There are extremes of rich and poor and much environmental destruction. A difference is that women aren't allowed to be educated and aren't equal to men. Anarres is the desert moon that Urras gave to a group of communalist anarchists to get them off Urras about 200 years before the novel begins.

Shevek is a physicist and the first man to go from Anarres to Urras to stay in decades. Anarres has segregated itself almost totally from the rest of the Universe and Shevek knows that to find his grand unifying theory that he needs access to other knowledge. so a portion of the story is Shevek's life as he goes to Urras and discovers what life is like among the owners. The other half of the book is about Shevek's life from childhood until he leaves for Urras. The chapters go back and forth so the last chapter of the backstory is at the end of the novel and the next chapter chronologically would be the beginning of the book.

I really liked this book and understand why teens might enjoy it. Anarres, while having problems, is a version of a utopia. no one is rich but no one is poor either. Work is meaningful and voluntary and more based on abilities and interests. Life is hard because the planet isn't the best for human life but it is hard for everyone relatively equally.

Overall a 6 from me! definitely will be reading more LeGuin!


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