Sarah's Reviews > Always Coming Home

Always Coming Home by Ursula K. Le Guin
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Jan 09, 2012

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Read from November 26 to December 30, 2011

I have to admit -- I didn't finish it. I did enjoy what I read. It felt like getting to look through a viewfinder at a future tribalistic society. The trouble is, I always hated seeing Native American museum dioramas and glass cases full of spears and pottery. In some ways, this book gave me that same sense of ennui. Why? Because it takes a mostly anthropological approach to the fictional world she's created. While I believe LeGuin aims to celebrate this culture, she ends up creating something rather dry and distant. There's a stiltedness that prevents the reader from really connecting with these people and I think that's a mistake. It's almost like she would be better suited as a historian or anthropologist -- though this wouldn't allow her to study the future. She doesn't let herself feel the characters. It seems like a very strict allegory to the people of our times, but it won't reach many because of its dryness and intricacy. I respect LeGuin and what she's done, but I wouldn't recommend this book to the average person. I think it's very intelligent, but without beauty or joy.
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