j's Reviews > A Wizard of Earthsea

A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin
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's review
Jul 20, 2010

it was ok
bookshelves: 2010, audiobooks, sci-fi-fantasy, ya, here-there-be-dragons
Read from July 20 to 26, 2010

I wish I'd read this one as a kid. It's one of those books that crams an epic story in under 200 pages, sketching the world and the details and the action rather than spelling everything out. As a kid, you get lost inside of a book like that, and it seems the better for it (the closest comparison I can think of is The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe - I was shocked to re-read that and discover the "epic battle" at the end is about two pages long).

I can tell that's what UKLG was going for with this first book of Earthsea. And I did enjoy it. But it basically crams the entire stretch of seven Harry Potter novels into one book, and thus is all plot plot plot and melancholy hero and years passed and so without developing anyone's personality or giving the world some depth and color beyond its geography and a few memorable details, like the children who have lived their entire lives alone on an isolated reef and have never seen another man.

Upon the recommendation of another goodreader, I downloaded this one from iTunes for $5 (I've had a gift certificate credit there since 2007... I don't buy music). Harlan Ellison reads in the style of an overenthusiastic grandpa, doing the funny voices and everything. Whether this added to or detracted from my enjoyment of the book, I cannot say.
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Reading Progress

07/22/2010 page 70
06/04/2016 marked as: read
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Comments (showing 1-11)

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message 11: by Miriam (last edited Feb 14, 2011 05:31PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Miriam I can't imagine this being read by an overenthusiastic grandpa. That doesn't sound like the right tone at all. But I'm not a fan of books on tape in general.

message 10: by j (last edited Feb 14, 2011 05:37PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

j i find i don't like them for kid's books very much because they are easy reading, so listening can be tedious.

i really feel like i need to give this another shot, even though all three UKLG i have read have been kind of mixed bags. something about her writing style doesn't grab me.

Miriam I don't love her, except for Tombs of Atuan, but I think she does interesting, original stuff.

message 8: by j (last edited Feb 14, 2011 09:20PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

j i want to like her more than i do. i respect her though. the dispossessed was fascinating and dull at the same time. i still need to read the left hand of darkness.

Miriam fascinating and dull at the same time. i still need to read the left hand of darkness.

I found it fascinating. And dull. Kind of like academic books. "Wow, that's fascinating! I'll read the rest of it... later. Maybe after this graphic novel."

message 6: by j (last edited Jun 27, 2012 08:44AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

j exactly. i described in book club like, she has all these ideas but her prose has more poetry than warmth.

i feel bad about ragging on her because she is awesome but i had trouble even with the lathe of heaven, which i thought was brilliant, conceptually.

Miriam I haven't read that one, although I think I have it somewhere. My mother gave it to me in high school.

I'm not sure it is a lack of life or joy in her, more that they are somehow different from how I feel them and therefore don't resonate for me. I know many people who feel strongly pro- or anti-UKL (prosewise, that is; I don't think I know anyone who thinks she's evil or anything like that) but I'm not one of them.

Tatiana Ha, we basically feel exactly the same about this novel.

Alexa Segur I'm about halfway through the book right now and I feel like I'm still waiting for the story to start. I don't love nor do I hate (in a good way) any of the characters. I find the world Le Guin created interesting, but the plot evolves way too slowly for me in this story. Honestly, I'm struggling just trying to get past the halfway mark. Hopefully, once the dragon appears I'll like the story a bit more.

Christina Johnston I seriously couldn't agree more. This story and its characters are seriously underdeveloped and the action sequences are incredibly short and underwhelming.

Helka Ermala I'm so glad I'm not the only one liking her writing less than I probably should! It's interesting and different and beautiful, but I just can't feel it...

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