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Malafrena (Orsinia)

3.42  ·  Rating Details ·  589 Ratings  ·  43 Reviews
Fantasy - Malafrena is not a real place. Itale never dreamed of love, nor Piera of him. Estenskar did not live, only his poems. Only the dreams of themselves are real, only their youth, only the wind called Freedom that swept through their lives like a storm unforgettable. A novel set in the imaginary nation of Orsinia in the early nineteenth century.
Paperback, 343 pages
Published September 1st 1980 by Berkley (first published 1979)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Hazal Çamur
Aug 21, 2016 Hazal Çamur rated it really liked it
"Söylenmeden kalmış yasaklı her kelime içinde sessizliğin gücünü barındırır."

Şimdi dağılabiliriz.

Şaka bir yana, Le Guin'in kurgusal ama bizimkinin bir yansıması olan, tamamen gerçekçi bir dünyada, 19. yüzyıl Avrupa'sından esinlenerek kaleme aldığı bu kalın eser, ilginç de bir sona sahip. İçinde gazetecilik, yasaklı sözler, itaat ve aşkı barındırıyor bu kitap. Hiçbir doğaüstü etmene de sahip değil. İlginç olansa, bu tür romanlarda bir yan etmen olan o aşk hikayesinin alıştığımız sonda bitmemesi.
Dec 04, 2012 Tatiana rated it it was ok
Shelves: worldsaving
I don't know what I think about this book. I've had it for years but never tried to read it until recently, which is odd since UKL is one of my very favorite writers. I think perhaps I don't yet "get" this one. It was hard for me to get into. The characters weren't compelling for me. Rather than quit reading, I decided to skip over chunks of it to see if it pulled me in later on, then I could go back and fill in the blank spots once it had my interest. Only it never really captured my interest. ...more
Aug 13, 2011 Teresa rated it it was amazing
This has long been one of my all-time favorite books. The first time I read it it was a very slow read -- Le Guin's writing is so layered, full of subtlety, and this is a book that doesn't spoonfeed the ideas, but depends upon the reader to work out the themes. After the first time, I went back and read it again ... and again and again, each time with more enjoyment, yet each time finding something new. The language is lovely -- you just want to read passages out loud to hear the way she puts ...more
Aug 25, 2014 Kimberly rated it liked it
A well written book in which lots of events occur but still remains unexciting. I'll stick to LeGuin's sci-fi from now on.
Oct 18, 2011 Liam rated it it was amazing
Brilliant and beautiful. Orsinian Tales is perhaps my favorite book, and this is more in that vein, but much more, and much heavier. It resonated with me because it asks all the same questions I've asked. I was disappointed that it didn't offer any answers--but perhaps there aren't any to be had.

It's deliberately paced, but absolutely full of powerful ideas and compelling characters. Sad, because it tells the truth about the world rather than distracting us from it.

I've always felt that there wa
Shawn Thrasher
Apr 30, 2012 Shawn Thrasher rated it did not like it
I must be in the minority, but I only made about half way through before I threw this one down. Very, very elegant languid language, but I couldn't figure out what was going on. I'm sure this is because it's subtle and layered, but I still want some sort of story. Too many strange surnames and placenames as well. The book is filled with names, like spilled jewels, only they are all crackerjack rings, not worth much. In the end, not one of my favorites.
Jun 01, 2012 Kathy rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
Took me a little while (50 pages or so) to get into this book, but in the end I didn't want it to end. I loved how the characters changed through the book, were ambivalent and complex. I loved the setting, which felt like another character and initially kept me with the story. Le Guin is such a good writer.
Oct 27, 2016 Sinem rated it it was ok
Diger kitapları kadar olmasa da guzeldi. Anlatımı biraz dağınıktı. Merkezde İtale nin macerasını anlatırken Ursula K L Guin yine aslında anlatmayı en cok sevdigi konuyu anlatmış; ev- yuva. Sonunda hikaye pek bitmiş gibi gelmiyor kitap bitse de yuva teması devam ediyor...
Deniz Altuntas
Oct 13, 2015 Deniz Altuntas rated it liked it
I was surprised how close to "real" this book was. It was so familiar that I didn't have the awe for the little creative details, which I normally love in Ursula Le Guin's books.
Still, I read it non-stop. After all, it is Ursula Le Guin.. :)
Sep 26, 2009 Joe rated it it was amazing
An excellent read - much like a classic, but without the stuffiness of many 19th century novels. Set in continental Europe in the 1820's.
Dec 05, 2016 Mark rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I just reread the title story after a twenty year hiatus and am stunned. This book is a youthful masterpiece from a masterful writer. The language is sublime. The story, while measured and slow, unfolds purposefully. I see many reviewers have struggled with the book. It's not for someone who reads lightly, but rather for those who seek substantial literature.

Le Guin puts us into the heads and hearts of her characters as fully realized human beings dealing with human situations. She creates a wo
Oct 24, 2016 Scott rated it really liked it
An engaging story of a group of young people living in a fictional central European country under the control of the Austrian Empire in the mid 19th century as they long for and work for freedom and independence.
Nov 25, 2016 Gail rated it it was ok
This story takes place in the 19th century in a fictional Eastern European county. I'm afraid I found it rather tedious.
Mar 12, 2015 Siv30 rated it it was ok
הוצ זמורה ביתן מודן, 1982, 313 עמ.

הקדמה: כחובבת מד"ב ופנטסיה, קראתי במספר הזדמנויות על נפלאות הכתיבה של אחת אורסולה ק. לה גווין. היא נחשבת בין הנשים היוצרות החשובות בזאנר האמור. אולם, לא נפגשתי בספריה עד לא מזמן.

ומדוע אני כותבת עד לא מזמן? כי לאחרונה נקרתה לי ההזדמנות כאשר חברתי רצתה, באכזריות מה אני מודה, להתפטר ממספר ספרים בספרייתה הצנועה, ובשמחה על ההזדמנות אימצתי את הפליטים לליבי למרות היותם ישנים ובינהם מצאתי את הספר שבכותרת.

ולגוף הסרט: העלילה ממוקמת במאה ה- 19 עם REFERENCE חזק גם למאה ה-
Matt Parker
This is another that I think LeGuin fans will enjoy, but it's a hard, quiet, cynical(?) book about failed ambitions.
Nov 29, 2012 Cindy rated it it was ok
I finally finished it!! This book took me around 2 years to get through. It was a like/dislike relationship. Something about the way Le Guin writes is difficult for me to follow... she's both so detail-focused on certain points and then vague about other details, I found the action and storyline confusing to follow.

But, I admit, there was something about the story line and the characters that kept me reading. I could sense that this is an epic story about how people make their way through the cu
Jan 29, 2010 Lynda rated it liked it
A good book working to convey a subtle message and the only historical novel I know of by Ursula K. Le Guin, but perhaps an acquired taste. I read it slowly. The character of Itale Sorde is lovingly drawn and the details of time and place well wrought. Malafrena is the farm estate where Itale grows up in the imaginary but plausible European nation of Orsinia during the era of revolutionary excitement that culminates in the French revolution. Itale leaves home to be a missionary-journalist of ...more
William Crosby
If you are looking for science fiction or standard fantasy (with magic and bizarre creatures) this is not that.

Although this was set in an imaginary nation in the middle of early 19th century Europe, it read more like an historical fiction. It was nicely detailed, but just not my type of book.

It had political and societal stuff, dances, etiquette, romance, and insurrection and disappointment. Also, various philosophical and feminist issues were raised. But, at times, it read like a Jane Austen s
Jan 04, 2010 Rebekah rated it liked it
This is a hard book. It is not sci-fi or fantasy, but historical fiction and it is like trudging through mud.
Having completed the journey I know it was good to read, but like War and Peace. I finished it, but really don't read for all this sort. I read for fun and this was not much fun and when I read because it is good for me I need to be aware of it in advance I don't like books like that to jump up on me. Oh well. I can return it and find more fluff.War and Peace
Apr 23, 2014 Lona rated it it was ok
Having always loved Ursula LeGuin, I grabbed Malafrena when I knew I'd need some hospital reading. It was not as captivating as I expected. I really didn't understand the young men's need to get involved in freedom politics, and I did not enjoy the political parts. However, there were character moments in the last two parts of the book that I did enjoy and think about. Overall, however, I know my family is surprised I finished Malafrena.
Jun 27, 2016 Erin rated it liked it
i almost dnf'd this twice

but i kept thinking, ursula le guin is a genius and there must be something i'm not seeing here

but it is just so long and tortured and even though there are glimpses of the clear-eyed prose i know and love her for, so much of it is goethe or something


where is my le guin

i only gave it three stars because i literally cannot stand to give her two stars

why did this book happen
Apr 09, 2016 Ana is currently reading it
Shelves: owned
I think I'm reading this book at the wrong time. I picked it up after reading The Left Hand of Darkness, seeing that we had another Ursula K. Le Guin book, but I'm also in the middle of my dissertation. It's a bit too cerebral right now and I think I need something lighter!
Aug 03, 2014 Sonja rated it really liked it
It was interesting to read this right after finishing Les Misérables and to kind of see how the events in France at the turn of the century would have affected other places - even though Orsinia is a fictional country, I found the plot very believable so that the events might as well have been real.
Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides
In a way this seemed like an expansion on the themes in the short story "The Lady of Moge" from Orsinian Tales. Though it's set at least a hundred years later, it involves the same wondering about women's positions and whether or not men and women can be friends — as well as many other things.
May 27, 2016 Kathleen rated it really liked it
Malafrena is a historical epic set in Le Guin's imaginary central European Orsinia (also the setting of her short story collection Orsinian Tales) detailing a young revolutionary's odyssey toward his ideal of freedom. Not the first of Le Guin's body of work I'd recommend to anyone, though her prose in this novel remains vivid, gripping, and compelling, as always.
Jan 03, 2016 Thoraiya rated it liked it
I enjoyed seeing what I suspected were the seeds of Ged and Shevek in friends Itale and Amadey, and some of Earthsea and Anarres in Malafrena.

But I'm glad I read Le Guin's other books first! As a fictional history, this probably wouldn't have grabbed me.
Sep 10, 2015 Marina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ciencia-ficción
Creo que es un excelente libro. Muy melancólico y triste porque habla de la desilusión que llega cuando nos damos cuenta de lo imposible que es pelear contra molinos de viento. Un libro idealista y a la vez pesimista. Sólo Le Guin puede hacerlo con genialidad extrema.
Nov 01, 2015 Lora added it
Shelves: never-finished
I simply can't get into this. I can't even guess as to why that would be. It's historical fiction; it's LeGuin; it's detailed. Yet every time I try and read it the words just blur on the page and I can't seem to make them out. Back to Ellis Peters for my literary feels.
I was disappointed; I was looking forward to a book by LeGuin that I hadn't read yet. It was quite boring for the most part, with themes of home and revolution. The writing was of course very good, and did paint a picture of the imaginary places she created and some of the characters.
Dec 17, 2009 Don marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
I've had this book for some time. I can't believe I never read it, since I love Leguin and have sopped up most everything she's written (well, not her fantasy). So -- I'm going to read this soon.
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As of 2013, Ursula K. Le Guin has published twenty-two novels, eleven volumes of short stories, four collections of essays, twelve books for children, six volumes of poetry and four of translation, and has received many awards: Hugo, Nebula, National Book Award, PEN-Malamud, etc. Her recent publications include the novel Lavinia, an essay collection, Cheek by Jowl, and The Wild Girls. Forthcoming ...more
More about Ursula K. Le Guin...

Other Books in the Series

Orsinia (3 books)
  • Orsinian Tales
  • Ursula K. Le Guin: The Complete Orsinia: Malafrena / Stories and Songs

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