Bonnie Shores's Reviews > The Left Hand of Darkness

The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin
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bookshelves: sci-fi, dnf

DNF 😠 This book began by lecturing me—for just about 12 minutes—on what science fiction was/wasn't and telling me that authors are liars. Said lecture, imo, came off as pompous and wholly unnecessary. Although I already thought I hated it, I magnanimously decided to continue to Chapter 1. By 7:32 into the first chapter, which was narrated by what sounded to me like a very disinterested, very old man, I was done. I had downloaded this book a while back and it fit a challenge requirement, so I was excited to finally get a chance to read (listen to) it. Here is part of the book summary:

The Left Hand of Darkness tells the story of a lone human emissary to Winter, an alien world whose inhabitants can choose - and change - their gender. His goal is to facilitate Winter's inclusion in a growing intergalactic civilization. But to do so he must bridge the gulf between his own views and those of the completely dissimilar culture that he encounters.

Embracing the aspects of psychology, society, and human emotion on an alien world, The Left Hand of Darkness stands as a landmark achievement in the annals of intellectual science fiction.

Apparently, I'm not intellectual enough to enjoy this book. 😢

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Reading Progress

November 15, 2017 – Started Reading
November 15, 2017 – Shelved
November 15, 2017 – Finished Reading
November 16, 2017 – Shelved as: sci-fi
November 16, 2017 – Shelved as: dnf

Comments Showing 1-12 of 12 (12 new)

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message 1: by Eilonwy (new)

Eilonwy I confess I only ever got halfway through this book. I keep meaning to try it again. But all the male pronouns in a book that seemed to want to turn our perceptions of gender on their heads really got to me. I seem to recall that UKG says she would have done it all differently now.


message 2: by Igor (new)

Igor Ljubuncic Stay chipper.
Igor


message 3: by Bonnie (new) - added it

Bonnie Shores Eilonwy wrote: "I confess I only ever got halfway through this book. I keep meaning to try it again. But all the male pronouns in a book that seemed to want to turn our perceptions of gender on their heads really ..."

hmmm... I’d be interested to know what she’d change. I know it’s probably unfair to DNF after such a short time, but there are so many books that I’m dying to read, I just couldn’t justify reading a book that started out (for me) so badly. This book garnered such high praise and the premise sounded so good, I’m bummed that I couldn’t read it. Do you think you’ll ever finish it?


message 4: by Bonnie (new) - added it

Bonnie Shores Igor wrote: "Stay chipper.
Igor"


lol 😂 will do, igor. thanks!


message 5: by Nazanin (new)

Nazanin Bummer! Hope your next read is much better, Bonnie! 💞


message 6: by Bonnie (new) - added it

Bonnie Shores Nazanin wrote: "Bummer! Hope your next read is much better, Bonnie! 💞"

Thank you, Nazanin! 😊 I’m 1/3 of the way through Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Much better!!!


message 7: by Diane (new)

Diane Wallace honest..


message 8: by Bonnie (new) - added it

Bonnie Shores Diane wrote: "honest.."

uh oh... is that a bad thing? 🤔


Randy Tatel Too bad, so sad...


message 10: by Bonnie (new) - added it

Bonnie Shores Randy wrote: "Too bad, so sad..."

It is sad, Randy, because the premise was very interesting. I see that you loved it! Maybe a hard copy would be a better choice? I know that the author is well-respected in this genre.


Claire I agree that the male pronouns are jarring and I wish Le Guin had come up with a different solution, but I managed to reconcile them by reminding myself that the book was written during a time when gender neutral pronouns were not really a part of mainstream society, and more importantly reminding myself that the book was supposed to be assembled by Genly Ai who is not entirely enlightened


message 12: by Bonnie (new) - added it

Bonnie Shores Claire wrote: "I agree that the male pronouns are jarring and I wish Le Guin had come up with a different solution, but I managed to reconcile them by reminding myself that the book was written during a time when..."

I appreciate your comment, Claire. With all the 5-star reviews, I'm sure I'll give it another try in the future.


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