wychwood's Reviews > The Telling

The Telling by Ursula K. Le Guin
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Nov 20, 2011

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bookshelves: feminism, feminist-sff, fiction, queer-elements, sff
Read in November, 2011

Not my favourite Le Guin, nor even close - I tried to re-read this a few months back and couldn't get into it at all. I picked it up again, though, and enjoyed it a lot more the second time around. Nothing especially memorable, but... I do like Okzat-Ozkat, and Sutty's ambivalence around her own history, and the complexity of Dovsan society under the surface.
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message 1: by Moira (new) - added it

Moira Russell Yeah, it just....was no good. Le Guin herself talks about ax-grinding in her work, and it's there even in The Dispossessed, and it made this book just about unreadable for me. I finished it, but not happily. I think a reviewer said it wasn't a bad book because they think Le Guin couldn't write one, and....I don't know. I don't think I've ever reread it once (and I reread Tehanu, which shocked me on first reading, at least three or four times). I thought Four Ways To Forgiveness dealt with political issues much more deftly, and was a much better-written book. I did like the guard who dies, whatever his name is (a clear sign of how I didn't like the book: I don't remember his name and don't care enough to look it up).

wychwood To be fair, his name for most of the book was Monitor! So "the guard" isn't far off.

I did quite enjoy this on the second attempt; the world-building is as gorgeous and evocative as always. I thought FWtF was amazing, though - I was enormously impressed by it. This definitely isn't as good, but it does have good elements; even bad Le Guin has beautiful prose and descriptions, generally.

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