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The Dispossessed (Hainish Cycle #1)

4.17  ·  Rating Details  ·  43,805 Ratings  ·  2,319 Reviews
Shevek, a brilliant physicist, decides to take action. He will seek answers, question the unquestionable, and attempt to tear down the walls of hatred that have isolated his planet of anarchists from the rest of the civilized universe. To do this dangerous task will mean giving up his family and possibly his life--Shevek must make the unprecedented journey to the utopian m ...more
Paperback, 387 pages
Published October 20th 1994 by Harper Voyager (first published May 1974)
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Cj I'm reading this now for the first time: I think it reads more as a character study than a sci-fi novel; the sci-fi is more to show a dystopian alien…moreI'm reading this now for the first time: I think it reads more as a character study than a sci-fi novel; the sci-fi is more to show a dystopian alien culture. Think more Orwellian than lesser known Niven for how it holds up.(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Manny
First of all: if you haven't already read The Dispossessed, then do so. Somehow, probably because it comes with an SF sticker, it isn't yet officially labeled as one of the great novels of the 20th century. They're going to fix that eventually, so why not get in ahead of the crowd? It's not just a terrific story; it might change your life. Ursula Le Guin is saying some pretty important stuff here.

So, what is it she's saying that's so important? I've read the book several times since I first came
...more
Joe S
Nov 29, 2007 Joe S rated it really liked it
Oh, Ursula. No longer will I love you in a vaguely ashamed manner, skulking through chesty-women-blow-shit-up-also-monster! book covers in the sci-fi/fantasy aisles with a moderate velocity as though I am actually trying to find Civil War biographies but am amusingly lost amongst all these shelves, that's so like me, need a GPS for Borders. Today, I will begin loving you publicly, proudly, for you are the Anti-Ayn Rand. You do not skullf**k Ayn Rand and make her your bitch, no, too easy. You tak ...more
mark monday
Apr 07, 2015 mark monday rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Why America Is Full of Toxic Bullshit and Why Ambiguous Utopias Need to Check Themselves Before They Wreck Themselves Going Down the Same Fucked-Up Path
by Ursula K. Le Guin.

this excellent novel-cum-political treatise-cum-extended metaphor for the States lays its thesis out in parallel narratives. in the present day (far, far, far in the future), heroically thoughtful protagonist Shevek visits the thinly-veiled States of the nation A-Io on the planet Urras in order to both work on his Theory of
...more
Jeffrey Keeten
May 04, 2016 Jeffrey Keeten rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
When I started this novel I was a little worried because the prose seemed clunky and I was having a hard time settling into the novel. After a few pages that all changed, either I adjusted to her writing style or the writing smoothed out. If you experience this, hang in there, it is well worth sticking with this book.

Dispossessed4

I see some reviewers think of The Dispossessed as an anti-Ayn Rand book. I didn't come away with that impression at all. I thought LeGuin did an excellent job of showing the fallac
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Γκέλλυ
O Αναρχικός των Δυο Κόσμων είναι η ιστορία του Σεβέκ, ενός διακεκριμένου φυσικού, ο οποίος ζει στον δορυφόρο Ανάρες, που εφαρμόζει τις αρχές της αναρχικής ουτοπίας. Η Ανάρες έχει αποκοπεί από τον Γιούρας, τον μητρικό πλανήτη, που έχει ως πολιτικό σύστημα τον καπιταλισμό. Ο Σεβέκ νιώθει φυλακισμένος στην Ανάρες, επιζητεί να επανενώσει τους δυο πλανήτες, θέλει την ελεύθερη διακίνηση ιδεών, γνώσης, ανθρώπων, και διακινδυνεύει τα πάντα για να το επιτύχει.

Ένα βιβλίο πολιτικό και φιλοσοφικό. Ένα βιβλί
...more
Brad
As a semi-retired actor, there are many literary characters I'd love to play, and for all kinds of reasons. Cardinal Richelieu and D'Artagnan spring immediately to mind, but there are countless others: Isaac Dan der Grimnebulin (Perdido Street Station), Oedipus, Holmes or Watson (I'd take either), Captain Jack Aubrey (I'd rather Stephen, but I look like Jack), Heathcliff, Lady Macbeth (yep, I meant her), Manfred, Indiana Jones. But none of them are people who I would actually like to be.

That I r
...more
Aubrey
Fulfillment, Shevek thought, is a function of time. The search for pleasure is circular, repetitive, atemporal. The variety seeking of the spectator, the thrill hunter, the sexually promiscuous, always ends in the same place. It has an end. It comes to the end and has to start over. It is not a journey and return, but a closed cycle, a locked room, a cell.

Outside the locked room is the landscape of time, in which the spirit may, with luck and courage, construct the fragile, makeshift, improbabl
...more
notgettingenough
Jun 21, 2015 notgettingenough rated it it was ok
Recommended to notgettingenough by: Manny
Shelves: science-fiction
Thoughts on The Dispossessed

Of the various layers of content in The Dispossessed, the most obvious is the socio-political: capitalism vs. anarchistic-communism. The claim often made is that, even though her heart is with the latter, she nonetheless treats the two structures impartially. The claim or presumption is to be found in the reviews of fantasy/science fiction devotees, those with a particular interest in anarchism and, I suspect, also those who simply read it with an uncritical eye.

I don
...more
Lyn
Jan 08, 2016 Lyn rated it it was amazing
There are some books that even with my untrained, unskilled and inexperienced eye can detect and confirm are true works of art, mastery in literature. Other works, perhaps less skillfully written or not as masterfully created, still strike a chord within me and I can grasp the vision and voice of the author as if we were friends, as if we shared a thought. It is truly rare when I can see that a book is both a work of art and that also touches me in a way that leaves a mark on my soul, perhaps ev ...more
Darwin8u
Nov 27, 2015 Darwin8u rated it it was amazing
Shelves: aere-perennius, 2014
“You cannot buy the revolution. You cannot make the revolution. You can only be the revolution.”
— Ursula K. Le Guin, The Dispossessed.

description

le Guin's 'The Dispossessed' represents the high orbit of what SF can do. Science Fiction is best, most lasting, most literate, when it is using its conventional form(s) to explore not space but us. When the vehicle of SF is used to ask big questions that are easier bent with binary planets, with grand theories of time and space, etc., we are able to better unde
...more
Nataliya
Excellent book, and I've dog-eared about a third of its pages - too many messages, too little brain room left! Review to follow.

It's always easier not to think for oneself. Find a nice safe hierarchy and settle in. Don't make changes, don't risk disapproval[...] It's always easiest to let yourself be governed.
Chris_P
Ο Θ. Παπακωνσταντίνου είχε πει κάποτε ότι η αναρχία είναι ο πιο ποιητικός τρόπος να ζεις. Η Le Guin βουτάει την πένα της στον ρεαλισμό και φτιάχνει έναν κόσμο όπου η κοινωνία είναι οργανωμένη σύμφωνα με τα αναρχικά ιδεώδη. Μια κοινωνία που είναι σελήνη μιας άλλης, αμιγώς καπιταλιστικής, η οποία είναι με τη σειρά της σελήνη της πρώτης. Μια κοινωνία της οποίας οι άνθρωποι δεν τραγουδούν. Κοινωνία, όμως, που δεν τραγουδά, δεν είναι υγιής και σίγουρα δεν είναι αναρχική. Οι κάτοικοι του πλανήτη Ανάρε ...more
Michael
Nov 19, 2010 Michael rated it really liked it
It's really weird to me that, even though I'm totally drunk, I can still type just a s well as usual. I might not be able to make it down the hall without running into walls, but I can still compose a review without a problem. Anyway, I'm here today to talk about The Dispossessed. It is a book by Ursula K Le Guin, who is badass. If it hadn't taken me like four mouths to read this book, I would've probably given it five stars. Unfortunately, it took me almost a complete semester to read the damne ...more
Samadrita
So good. Maybe I'll write a review when I manage to find some free time.
Eric
Mar 18, 2014 Eric rated it it was ok
Recommended to Eric by: Manny Citron
This discourse on dystopias won Hugo, Nebula, Locus, World Fantasy, and National Book awards, and almost every single one of my Goodreads friends that has read it has it tagged with a 4 or 5 star rating. So clearly, the problem here is with me, because I really hated this book -- and it isn't because this book is dated or aged poorly, because the Cold War era slant of this book plays perfectly to a modern audience considering the current state of Russian-U.S. relations.

I'm giving it two stars b
...more
David
Nov 30, 2014 David rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: archists, propertarians, pretentious SF fans who wax on about who deserves to win Hugos
I read Le Guin's Earthsea trilogy way back when I was a kid, but I am abashed to say that until now I had never read any of her adult SF novels.

The Dispossessed holds up amazingly well for a book written nearly forty (!) years ago. In fact, forget about the publication date and it could have been written this year. Except that hardly anyone writes this kind of slow-moving, thoughtful, idea-heavy science fiction any more. The Dispossessed won a Hugo, a Nebula, a World Fantasy Award, and the Natio
...more
Nickolas the Kid
Είναι εκπληκτικό το πως η ΛεΓκεν ακροβατεί αποστασιοποιημένη ανάμεσα στα δυο οικονομικά συστήματα/πολιτεύματα... Τον κομμουνισμό και τον καπιταλισμό.
Η τελική κρίση ανήκει στον αναγνώστη...

Αν και παν κανα δυο χρόνια που το διάβασα η αίσθηση που έχει αφήσει νομίζω θα με ακολουθεί για πάντα...

Όλα τα πολιτεύματα είναι καταδικασμένα να αποτύχουν.... Ο άνθρωπος όμως θα μείνει!

ΥΓ: Η απόδοση του αγγλικού τίτλου του βιβλίου στα ελληνικά είναι λίγο άστοχη... Ο Σεβέκ μάλλον είναι ο εκδιωγμένος των δυο κ
...more
Althea Ann
Aug 18, 2015 Althea Ann rated it it was amazing
Re-reading for book club! (August 2015)

I first read this book in middle school, and was blown away by it. It introduced so many new (to me) ideas - brilliant ideas! - but then, rather than just presenting those ideas as a utopia, did everything it could to explore them further, and to explore their flaws and weaknesses.

I was very proud that I got my teacher that year to include this book on our summer reading list, so that everyone else would have to read it too. :-)

Of course, re-reading after s
...more
Stephen
4.0 to 4.5 stars. A truly exceptional novel and one of the best explorations of political theory and individual freedom ever in science fiction. Too often, an author will "beat you over the head" with their beliefs and make thinly disguised speeches through cardboard characters that leave no doubt that one side is very right and the other side is very wrong. Not so in this novel.

LeGuin's ultimate message is that individual freedom is the most important commodity in the universe. In conveying th
...more
jo
Apr 03, 2010 jo rated it it was ok
Shelves: spec-fantasy-sf
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tatiana
Aug 03, 2010 Tatiana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: sci-fi buffs
Recommended to Tatiana by: 1001
Shelves: sci-fi, 1001, 2010, nebula
Although The Dispossessed: An Ambiguous Utopia is classified as science fiction, it is hardly a novel about aliens and space travel. Rather, it is a speculative work of fiction that explores the possibility of existence and limitations of a completely anarchist society.

At the center of the novel is the planet Anarres. Annares is populated by a community of anarchists, whose ascendants have left Anarres's sister planet Urras almost 200 years prior to escape its oppressive regimes and to establis
...more
Arax Miltiadous
Feb 10, 2016 Arax Miltiadous rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Δύσκολα δίνω πέντε αστέρια σε βιβλίο. Μα αυτό παιδιά, πραγματικά, αξίζει άλλα τόσα! Το μοναδικό μειονέκτημα είναι ότι τελειώνει.
Λοιπόν, καταλήγω πως η Le Guin θεωρείτε για μένα από τους πολύ αγαπημένους συγγράφεις. Από αυτούς που πρέπει να διαβάσεις πριν πεθάνεις καθότι τα έργα της είναι γενεσιουργος μήτρα φαντασίας και πραγματικότητας. Και αν είναι να διαβάσεις μόνο ένα βιβλίο από αυτήν, τότε απαιτείται να είναι αυτό.
Ο Σεβέκ είναι μια παρουσία που ξεφεύγει από την μοναδικότητα του ονόματος του
...more
Nandakishore Varma
Kudos to Ursula K. LeGuin. She has created a world run by an "anarchistic government" - an oxymoron if there was one!
Algernon
Mar 25, 2015 Algernon rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015

I think hard times are coming when we will be wanting the voices of writers who can see alternatives to how we live now and can see through our fear-stricken society and its obsessive technologies to other ways of being, and even imagine some real grounds for hope. We will need writers who can remember freedom. Poets, visionaries — the realists of a larger reality.

The quote above is from an impassioned speech given by the author in 2014, forty years after The Dispossessed was first published,
...more
Laila
Apr 04, 2015 Laila rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Okuduğum ilk Ursula K. Le Guin kitabı... Sakin kafayla okunduğunda yaşamı sorgulamak adına çok şey çıkarılabilecek özel bir kitap bence MÜLKSÜZLER. Türkçe çevirsinden okuduğumu belirterek başlayayım. Bitirdiğimde kafamda "bir de yazıldığı dilde okuyayım" düşüncesi oluşmadı.

Kitabın yazılış hikayesi bile kendi başına bir hikaye. Mülksüzler, orjinal diliyle "The Dispossessed" Dostoyevski'nin "The Possessed'ine (Ecinniler) yazılmış bir cevap. Eğer Mülksüzleri okumadan önce bu bilgiye sahip olsaydım
...more
Penny
This one makes my top 10 all time favourites list and I can't wait to read it again since it's the kind of book one only gets more and more from.

Although Le Guin doesn't offer all the answers, she does pose many questions in new light and with a clarity that takes your breath away. Revolution, anarchy, profit, the role of language in shaping how we think, the motivation for excluding women from education, the drivers of scientific research, ethics, the nature of time, ownership, power, love, sa
...more
Garidation
Mar 12, 2016 Garidation rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Αγαπημενη Ουρσουλα λε Γκεν, ποσο βαθια συγκινησιακο βιβλιο ηταν τουτο!
Στην αρχη ομολογω οτι δεν ειχα πολυ ορεξη και δεν το ειχα παρει ζεστα, απο τη μεση και μετα ομως γινεται μια εκρηξη (η εγινε μια εκρηξη σε μενα, δεν ξερω) και το κατασπαραξα.
Ο Σεβεκ ειναι η πιο αγνη και ξεκαθαρη κατα τη γνωμη μου παντα, εκδηλωση αναρχιας σε ατομο. Καθαρη ψυχη, απλα.
Phrynne
Feb 19, 2015 Phrynne rated it liked it
I love Ursula K. Le Guin and The Left Hand of Darkness, The Lathe of Heaven and The Earthsea Quartet are some of my favourite books. I gave them all five stars. So what on earth happened with this book? I found it to be incredibly dull,with pages and pages of discussion of the same issues and nothing actually happening at all. The world building was fantastic - three stars for that alone. And the main character had a lot going for him but that was about it. I could not wait to get to the end and ...more
Lawyer
My first copy of "The Dispossessed" was the first mass market paperback edition. It is long gone. My current copy is an e-book, something I could not imagine when I held the thick paged paperback in my hands.

It is interesting to see this book chosen as the October selection for the goodreads group, "Literary Explorations." I do not know how the book was chosen, as I am new to the group. However, I launched into "The Dispossessed" with as much determination as I did the first time I read it.

"Why,
...more
Andreas
Repost from my blog.

Synopsis The Dispossessed follows genius physicist Shevek on his journey through two twin planets: Capitalistic lush world Urras, and Anarres, Urras' harsh and arid moon, a utopia in danger. A short story describes the The Day Before the Revolution (my review), when an anarchist revolution led to the founding of an utopist society on Anarres. Those idealists believe that the only just society is one based upon communal sharing, mutual tolerance, and voluntary cooperation: N
...more
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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

Hainish Cycle (8 books)
  • The Word for World is Forest
  • Rocannon's World
  • Planet of Exile
  • City of Illusions
  • The Left Hand of Darkness
  • Four Ways to Forgiveness
  • The Telling (Hainish Cycle #8)

Share This Book



“You cannot buy the revolution. You cannot make the revolution. You can only be the revolution. It is in your spirit, or it is nowhere.” 291 likes
“It is our suffering that brings us together. It is not love. Love does not obey the mind, and turns to hate when forced. The bond that binds us is beyond choice. We are brothers. We are brothers in what we share. In pain, which each of us must suffer alone, in hunger, in poverty, in hope, we know our brotherhood. We know it, because we have had to learn it. We know that there is no help for us but from one another, that no hand will save us if we do not reach out our hand. And the hand that you reach out is empty, as mine is. You have nothing. You possess nothing. You own nothing. You are free. All you have is what you are, and what you give.” 208 likes
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