Hugo & Nebula Awards: Best Novels discussion

The Dispossessed: An Ambiguous Utopia
This topic is about The Dispossessed
28 views
Monthly Reading: Discussion > May 2018 "The Dispossessed" Discussion <No Spoilers>

Comments Showing 1-37 of 37 (37 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Art, Stay home, stay safe. (new) - rated it 4 stars

Art | 2546 comments Mod
May 2018 "The Dispossessed" Discussion


message 2: by Bryan, Village Idiot (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bryan | 480 comments Mod
Luckily I have this book already, so I started with this one. I should be able to get Six Wakes around the 15th!

I'm about 1/6th through it and I'm really loving the philosophy. I have a minor in philosophy, so this is a refreshing read for me. Also, I can't help but notice a Buddhist philosophy and it has a bit of a Siddhartha feel to it.


message 3: by Oleksandr, a.k.a. Acorn (new) - rated it 5 stars

Oleksandr Zholud | 3992 comments Mod
I plan to start it next week, have to finish 2 other books first but I'm anticipating a great novel


message 4: by Bryan, Village Idiot (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bryan | 480 comments Mod
I'm about 1/3rd through it now and I'm still get a Sci Fi Siddhartha feel. Less obvious, but still there. Also, I don't know why, but I don't see anyone as human. I know they are, but my brain just doesn't see it. If anyone is a South Park fan, I kind of see everyone as Joozians. I think my brain is just screwing with me now.

Really though, I am enjoying the book. I hope everyone else is too or will be when they start!


message 5: by Kateblue, 2nd star to the right and straight on til morning (new) - rated it 2 stars

Kateblue | 4070 comments Mod
I gave up waiting at the library . . . just bought it and the postman

I hope to catch up soon!


message 6: by Art, Stay home, stay safe. (new) - rated it 4 stars

Art | 2546 comments Mod
Kateblue wrote: "I gave up waiting at the library . . . just bought it and the postman

I hope to catch up soon!"


I've read about 10 pages total in the last week or two, glad to hear I am not the only one who's got catching up to do!


message 7: by Bryan, Village Idiot (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bryan | 480 comments Mod
It seems like it is just a slow month so far. I feel like I'm not doing much yet.


message 8: by Bryan, Village Idiot (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bryan | 480 comments Mod
I'm about 85% through this book now. I am still enjoying it. I'm looking forward to some others starting and finishing it so we can talk about some of the concepts in the book.


message 9: by Oleksandr, a.k.a. Acorn (new) - rated it 5 stars

Oleksandr Zholud | 3992 comments Mod
I started in yesterday, just 5% in but I still hope to finish it in a few days


message 10: by Bryan, Village Idiot (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bryan | 480 comments Mod
I finished it last night. I did some post reading research and this book was written in 1974. There appears to be another 6 books before it, but it's not a "proper" series. Just 6 other books in this universe and they provide more history. I enjoyed the book, I'm not sure if I'll go back to the other 6, but I may...one day.


message 11: by Art, Stay home, stay safe. (new) - rated it 4 stars

Art | 2546 comments Mod
Still haven't started on this book, trying to fit another novel in between. All the slacking off in the beginning of the month is coming back to bite me on the behind.


message 12: by Kateblue, 2nd star to the right and straight on til morning (new) - rated it 2 stars

Kateblue | 4070 comments Mod
If The Left Hand of Darkness is one of the Hainish (I think it is), it won the Hugo. So you WILL return, like it or not! MWAH HA HA!


message 13: by Oleksandr, a.k.a. Acorn (new) - rated it 5 stars

Oleksandr Zholud | 3992 comments Mod
Kateblue wrote: "If The Left Hand of Darkness is one of the Hainish (I think it is), it won the Hugo. So you WILL return, like it or not! MWAH HA HA!"

Yes, it is, #6 of the cycle. This one is great on the idea how sex/gender affects our thinking but the author blundered a bit with her linguistics - she says that some nouns are masculine in all languages while in truth some of her examples are feminine in several Slavic languages


message 14: by Kateblue, 2nd star to the right and straight on til morning (new) - rated it 2 stars

Kateblue | 4070 comments Mod
Wow! Interesting!

How many languages do you speak?


message 15: by Oleksandr, a.k.a. Acorn (last edited May 18, 2018 10:47AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Oleksandr Zholud | 3992 comments Mod
Kateblue wrote: "How many languages do you speak?"

Native - Russian and Ukrainian, very good English (I hope), medium-level Polish and a bit of Latin. Knowing three Slavic languages allows me to grasp meaning in most other Slavic languages, especially in reading, where you have time to sit and think what this or that word means, seeking its etymological roots.


message 16: by Kateblue, 2nd star to the right and straight on til morning (last edited May 18, 2018 05:46PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Kateblue | 4070 comments Mod
Wow! I only speak English and enough French to sometimes understand what they are saying if there are no English subtitles.

And yes, I think your English is very good.

Sorry, not more off topic here . . .


message 17: by Art, Stay home, stay safe. (new) - rated it 4 stars

Art | 2546 comments Mod
Way too late to the party myself, just starting to read the book now. Hope to make it till the end of the month, got some exciting reads coming up next month.


message 18: by Art, Stay home, stay safe. (new) - rated it 4 stars

Art | 2546 comments Mod
I am beginning to see what Oleksandr meant by the author's weird perceptions of the linguistics. This is my first book by Ursula K. Le Guin (go ahead, judge me!) and I must say I am enjoying it so far the story as well as the writing style.


message 19: by Bryan, Village Idiot (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bryan | 480 comments Mod
Art wrote: "This is my first book by Ursula K. Le Guin (go ahead, judge me!)..."

lol, If I was to judge you, I'd have to judge myself as well. This was my first one as well. Also...I've started teaching myself coding, and I now know that the format this sit uses is HTML5...So, if you guys see weird stuff in my posts, just know it's because I'm messing around...


Ritchie Valentine Smith (ritchievalentinesmith) | 4 comments 'The Dispossessed' = masterpiece... (In my probably far from humble opinion!)


message 21: by Art, Stay home, stay safe. (new) - rated it 4 stars

Art | 2546 comments Mod
What did everyone think of the word "egoizing"? Personally I loved it, there's a nuance to it that is very particular and I can imagine a few situations where it would apply.

Not as much as excited about the "decad" though. The word itself is alright, when speaking Japanese I often use the word "touka" which means 10 days. But in the book it seemed a bit overused, grew tired of it by the end of the book. Second, minute, hour, day, DECAD, year. Nothing between a year and 10 days, what is the cycle on that planet and how long is a year then?


message 22: by Oleksandr, a.k.a. Acorn (new) - rated it 5 stars

Oleksandr Zholud | 3992 comments Mod
Art wrote: "Not as much as excited about the "decad" though."

I guess it is a nod to the French revolution - they introduced 10-day weeks in 1792


message 23: by Art, Stay home, stay safe. (new) - rated it 4 stars

Art | 2546 comments Mod
Oleksandr wrote: "Art wrote: "Not as much as excited about the "decad" though."

I guess it is a nod to the French revolution - they introduced 10-day weeks in 1792"


That's a nice piece of info, I never drew the parallel there.


message 24: by Oleksandr, a.k.a. Acorn (new) - rated it 5 stars

Oleksandr Zholud | 3992 comments Mod
Art wrote: "That's a nice piece of info, I never drew the parallel there."

The USSR in 1929 also introduced 5-day weeks (half-decads) with the idea that you work 4 days and rest 1 day, but all workers are divided so that on each day 20% of workers had the day of rest. It supposed to boost labor productivity (no halts in production) but appeared to be quite a cumbersome system, replaced in 2 years by 6-day week and then returning to the 'normal' 7-day


message 25: by Art, Stay home, stay safe. (new) - rated it 4 stars

Art | 2546 comments Mod
Finished reading the Dispossessed tonight, enjoyed it up to a certain point though. Four stars, because it clearly is a rather significant work and not only in relation to sci-fi. I will try expanding on the subject in the spoiler thread.


message 26: by Kateblue, 2nd star to the right and straight on til morning (new) - rated it 2 stars

Kateblue | 4070 comments Mod
I have abandoned it, alas! Too many books, so little time.


message 27: by Kateblue, 2nd star to the right and straight on til morning (new) - rated it 2 stars

Kateblue | 4070 comments Mod
I just belatedly wrote a review.

I know that you, Art, and Bryan and Oleksandr really liked it. Sorry.
So I'm shallow and only read stuff that's fun. It's just me.

Here's the review.
_______

Recommended For those who love social commentary disguised as fiction
Review Abandoned at 15%

I don't care how thought-provoking it is, or how well written it is, I found The Dispossessed to be boring. Nothing was happening. I never could figure out why the guy thought he had to go to the other planet anyway.

Too many books, so little time.


message 28: by Oleksandr, a.k.a. Acorn (new) - rated it 5 stars

Oleksandr Zholud | 3992 comments Mod
Kateblue wrote: "I know that you, Art, and Bryan and Oleksandr really liked it. Sorry.
So I'm shallow and only read stuff that's fun. It's just me. "


First of all I never think that anyone who actively reads anything from philosophy to mysteries is shallow, in my experience most shallow people don't read at all.
I am sure that the current needs and goals affect reading preferences. Just a few years ago over 90% of books I've read were non-fiction and now it is the other way round. Earlier I enjoyed a lot of books that now I don't particularly like (for example I have a multi-volume collection of Conan the barbarian adventures, which I liked) and vice versa, now I enjoy books I didn't like


message 29: by Kateblue, 2nd star to the right and straight on til morning (new) - rated it 2 stars

Kateblue | 4070 comments Mod
:-) me too


message 30: by Art, Stay home, stay safe. (new) - rated it 4 stars

Art | 2546 comments Mod
Kateblue wrote: "I just belatedly wrote a review.

I know that you, Art, and Bryan and Oleksandr really liked it. Sorry.
So I'm shallow and only read stuff that's fun. It's just me.

Here's the review.
_______..."


Kate, there's one thing I totally agree with you on: "Recommended For those who love social commentary disguised as fiction"

There was too much of random pondering and musing on author's part and it kinda ruined a beautiful story for me. It was worth reading it still, the final few scenes and speeches given by the main character really resonated in me.


message 31: by Kateblue, 2nd star to the right and straight on til morning (new) - rated it 2 stars

Kateblue | 4070 comments Mod
I think LeGuin may have done this often--social commentary disguised as fiction. There are a couple others of hers I didn't like years ago (can't remember which now) but I think it was a "Bored Now" thing for me, and social commentary with do it for me every time.

But the Earthsea books are not disguised social commentary. Reading them after The Postman.


Emrah Erdirik | 1 comments Just finished today, and i like how it suggested anarchism along with how it also offered that system could be corrupted as well. I was having the criticism that the anarchism actually looked like communism which later book itself also defined it as "communism without authority".

P.S: I have read the book in Turkish, therefore terms that i have used in this review might be different than the original English text.


message 33: by Oleksandr, a.k.a. Acorn (new) - rated it 5 stars

Oleksandr Zholud | 3992 comments Mod
Emrah wrote: "Just finished today, and i like how it suggested anarchism along with how it also offered that system could be corrupted as well. "

Yes, the system described in the book is anarcho-communism, which is different from anarcho-capitalism more common in Western SF (e.g. The Moon is a Harsh Mistress). It is corruptible, just like any other system and the author pointed on some such ways, e.g. how hard for the protagonist was to publish his works or how his flat was envied by another person.

p.s. Welcome to the group!


message 34: by Cynthia (new)

Cynthia Wheaton | 169 comments I just finished reading The Telling and The Lathe of Heaven. I love Ursula Le Guin's social commentary in her novels. She was one of the first women to be taken seriously for doing that... but certainly not one of the first women to write SF.
She pioneered SF novel commentary on gender expression, gender roles, and feminist topics through looks at the cultures in her Hainish books, most famously The Left Hand of Darkness. In those books, observers from the Ekumen study newly found planetary cultures and practice the opposite of Star Trek's Prime Directive.
In The Telling, a planet's literary and religious culture has been nearly destroyed by use and veneration of the advanced knowledge and technology they have received from unscrupulous Terrans.
The Lathe of Heaven is written in a totally different style, set on Earth, and explores the fairy tale trope of the unwise wish and it's unintended consequences in a SF setting.
The Le Guin book I have struggled with and never finished is Always Coming Home. I have started it 3 times... maybe now that I am more mature, as she was when she wrote it, I should try it again.
Soon I will be reading a novel by the great Argentinian writer Angelica Gorodischer that was translated by Ursula Le Guin. Apparently they became great friends.


message 35: by Oleksandr, a.k.a. Acorn (new) - rated it 5 stars

Oleksandr Zholud | 3992 comments Mod
Cynthia wrote: "I just finished reading The Telling and The Lathe of Heaven. I love Ursula Le Guin's social commentary in her novels. She was one of the first women to be taken seriously for doing that... but cert..."

Yes, she was great and her passing earlier this year is the loss not only to the SF&F but to the literature and society. Our group had read her Earthsea cycle earlier this year and if you wish you may comment there as well.


message 36: by Art, Stay home, stay safe. (new) - rated it 4 stars

Art | 2546 comments Mod
Emrah wrote: " I was having the criticism that the anarchism actually looked like ..."

I think the reason I failed to enjoy the novel and give it 5 stars (which many aspects of the novel more than deserve) was because some of the ideas weren't thought exactly through. There were some inconsistencies which could've been explained away by saying that Le Guin was being contrarian on purpose, but I failed to find the proof for that.

I think it undoubtedly is a novel with equally important and curious social commentaries, but the lack of focus and concise thought was a bit of turn off for me.

Still all that being said I will probably reread it at some point of my life and will definitely read more of Le Guin, with great deal of pleasure if I may adf.


message 37: by Oleksandr, a.k.a. Acorn (last edited Nov 21, 2018 04:57AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Oleksandr Zholud | 3992 comments Mod
Art wrote: "the ideas weren't thought exactly through."

Real life anarchism is rare. There were anarchist societies during civil wars (see Makhno in Ukraine in 1917-22 or Confederación Nacional del Trabajo in Spain 1936-39), but it is hard to say whether they ultimately failed due to the war or not. One of the drawbacks of Le Guin's version is that it discourages innovation and thus limits progress, thus they remain equally poor


back to top

unread topics | mark unread


Books mentioned in this topic

The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress (other topics)

Authors mentioned in this topic

Ursula K. Le Guin (other topics)