For what its worth, below is the Guardian's and Le Guin's take on Harry Potter
Q: Nicholas Lezard has written 'Rowling can type, but Le Guin can write.' What do you make of this comment in the light of the phenomenal success of the Potter books? I'd like to hear your opinion of JK Rowling's writing style
UKL: I have no great opinion of it. When so many adult critics were carrying on about the "incredible originality" of the first Harry Potter book, I read it to find out what the fuss was about, and remained somewhat puzzled; it seemed a lively kid's fantasy crossed with a "school novel", good fare for its age group, but stylistically ordinary, imaginatively derivative, and ethically rather mean-spirited.(less)
The Folio Society edition is superbly illustrated by David Lupton.
The boy is born on the island of Gont in the archipelago of Earthsea. This is a world infused with magic. Not everyone can control this magic, but those who know the right words and have a wizard soul can learn to utilize the power of the Earth to manipulate obje ...more
Because clearly, CLEARLY this is a fantastic book that deserved to be finished. Ursula K Le Guin is a phenomenal writer and whilst this book (up to what I read) wasn't absolutely perfect, it was enchanting. It was different, it was QUALITY.
Yet I didn't finish it because, thanks to the aforementioned reading habits, my ability to concentrate and enjoy quality literature has slipped to the point that ...more
"It is very hard for evil to take hold of the unconsenting soul."
This seemingly simple statement actually says a lot about the human nature - just as all the Ursula Le Guin's books that I've read so far seem to do.
A Wizard of Earthsea is a simple but beautiful and magical coming-of-age story of a young wizard Ged, who starts out as a brash and cocky boy who in his arroganceclass="gr-hostedUserImg">A ...more
First published in 1968, it has clearly influenced many fantasy novels since. Orson Scott Card, with his 1980s era Alvin Maker series, stated that he wanted to make an American fantasy, and escape or at least distinguish his work from the inherently English Tolkien sub-genre of fantasies. This is not quite such a departure from the Tolkienesque fantasies, but a difference can be seen and enjoyed.
Another Goodreads reviewer made th ...more
* To know a thing's true name is to know its nature.
* Don't fuck with dragons (unless you know their true names).
* Summoning the spirits of the dead is a bad idea, especially on a schoolboy dare.
* Truly changing your form is dangerous, because you can become lost in the aspect you assume.
* If you find yourself hunted, turn it around and become the hunter.
* Above all else, know yourself.
I don't know how I acquired this particular copy of A Wizard of Earthsea. It's an old, 1977 reprint that is, aside from its yel ...more
How come Harry Potter is the publishing sensation of the century, and this is only a moderately popular cult novel? Life seems unfair sometimes, but I suppose that in a few hundred years it will all have sorted itself out. The ending is one of the best I know in any book.
Though she isn't the first to explore the Bildungsroman-as-Fantasy (Mervyn Peake precedes her), he was an author who ...more
And yet, right after reading A Wizard of Earthsea, I'm gonna have to say I think A Wizard of Earthsea is better. Not only better, but a lot more enjoyable, fascinating, and exciting!
Not by a lot, mind you, but enough that I can easily say that this Le Guin's classic is s ...more
My wife has taken to reading to our very disabled daughter (now 13) while I make up her medicines before bedtime (it takes a while, there are 8 drugs that need to be counted out between a 1/3rd of a pill and 4 pills, crushed, mixed with water, sucked into a syringe and administered through a tube that goes through the wall of her stomach!).
Anyway, A Wizard of Earthsea was a recent rea ...more
Three years ago I picked up my first Ursula K. Le Guin novel, The Left Hand of Darkness. I did so as part of a challenge to read a science fiction book, a genre in which I was not at all well-read. I didn’t real ...more
I enjoyed the book. I was pulled in at the beginning but it let some slack in a little later. I’m going to keep on with them because I do like it!
Nowadays any fantasy book that features a school of wizardry can not help but bring up Harry Potter comparisons (I can't help it anyway). A Wizard of Earthsea wa ...more
Frankly, I only enjoyed the very beginning and the very end of this story. What's in between is excruciatingly boring. A Wizard of Earthsea is an introspective book. What I mean is, it's all about one wizard's personal quest to overcome the dark entity - Shadow - that he unleashed during a youthful boasting about his magical powers. Ged spends th ...more
I love fantasy and the overall story was good, the writing was beautiful (definitely helped me practice my english!) but I was so bored. Like REALLY bored. I ended up skimming a bit..
It reminded me of Uprooted - which I also didn't like! Also couldn't get attached to the main character due to the third person narration and how often months or years of his life were described in one sentence.
Will not continue the series.
There are an infinitude of ways to reflect upon, analyze and understand our life experiences. But LeGuin provides a framework that is just right for me. Her te ...more
I can tell that's what UKLG was goin ...more
The nudging began in class with a LeGuin short story. I remember sterile white homes that were pre-fab pods, I remember odd, sci-fi-ish flora and a girl as the protagonist. I also remember not liki ...more
“Back then, in 1967” Ursula Le Guin once commented, “wizards were all, more or less, Merlin and Gandalf. Old men, peaked hats, white beards. But this was to be a book for young people. Well, Merlin and Gandalf must have been young once, right? And when they were young, when they were fool kids, how did they learn to be wizards? And theresky.’”“Back ...more
NB: read originally in the 80's. Project re-read.
“Only in silence the word,
Only in dark the light,
Only in dying life:
Bright the hawk’s flight
On the empty sky”
Yin & Yang?
I honestly don't remember a time when I wasn't obsessed with reading and collecting books. I'd define childhood as a never-ending vacation. A weekend withou ...more
Earthsea is, on its face, a fantasy saga along the lines of Tolkien ...more
- Ursula K Le Guin, A Wizard of Earthsea
I rarely venture into YA fiction. Less often still do I pick up and read a book of fantasy. There are exceptions. When I trust the author, we I think there is art/beauty/originality lurking there, I will often venture into spaces and ...more
A Wizard of Earthsea is only 180 long but it doesn't does feel short neither do I find story lacking as anything and it doesn't leave story unfinished.This book is just as long as it needs to be.
Written in an amazing mythic style, this book initially blew me away. The societies depicted weren't just modern Western cultures with bronze/iron age furniture - the setting felt like a truly ancient place shaped by geography and history, and where lack of technology actually mattered. The magic and metaphysics were freakin' sweet too.
The second half of the story really dragged, probably for a few reasons. The mythical style certainly keeps the reader at arm's length (not i/>The ...more
The plot is nice and simple, straightforward and entertaining.
The writing style is superb, impressive in the simplicity of the delivery. Yet, the words used tend to be of a refined palate; it is pure gold.
I dare saying this is felt as a family tale, a book to share with your loved ones; it also feel ...more
Ged, a young inhabitant of the island of Gont and one of the mageborn, is gifted with great powers but his gifts make him arrogant and impatient and the pride that he takes in his power precedes an inevitable fall: a duel of magic with a rival mage and the release of a terrifying shadow creature, unrelenting in its pursuit of Ged. And so begins an epic journey of growth ...more
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She w ...more