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Fiction > Searoad & Changing Planes

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message 1: by Phoenixfalls (new)

Phoenixfalls | 17 comments So I haven't read this. But Jo Walton, who I love, just posted a review of it over on and it sounds wonderful.

Plus the cover is gorgeous. Probably because I'm a West Coast native and I could probably find exactly where the picture was taken, but also because it's just gorgeous. :)

So? Thoughts? Because for some reason Walton's reviews always make me think the book sounds wonderful. . .

message 2: by Tatiana (last edited Mar 05, 2011 05:13PM) (new)

Tatiana | 144 comments Mod
I liked it a lot. My other foray into UKL's mainstream stories with, Changing Planes wasn't as satisfying, but this one I enjoyed a great deal.

Edit to note the difference could have been me, and what I was expecting.

message 3: by Robert (new)

Robert (flagon_dragon) | 49 comments I am 3/4 through Changing Planes. It is odd but interesting. Not really mainstream to me, though.

message 4: by [deleted user] (new)

Interesting. Changing Planes is one of my very favorite of LeGuin's books, where Searoad was unmemorable. I admit I read Searoad a really long time ago, but some of those stories did not work for me at all. I do recall one about a woman running a motel and imagining energy beings or something, and I turn that image over in my mind again and again, how she seems to be saying something about the place of the fantastic in an ordinary life, and some of the things she's saying are very sad. The boy crying through the wall, and the utter lack of connection that occurs...I should probably re-read, of course.

I liked the orphans album feel of Changing Planes, like it was all of these little songs that never fit in any other album, and the framing device was just right for me.

message 5: by Tatiana (new)

Tatiana | 144 comments Mod
Sea Road was very sad, it's true. I thought Orsinian Tales was as well. Every one of the stories in it could have been a novel, and I wanted to know more about them and what happened.

I'll try Changing Planes again, when we get around to reading it, and maybe I'll enjoy it more. My problem with UKL can be just that I'm expecting the wrong thing. I love her speculative fiction because the worlds and societies are so real they're almost like characters in themselves. Maybe I just missed the world-building part in Changing Planes, or something.

message 6: by [deleted user] (new)

I don't know that there was much world building to miss in Changing Planes, which may be why I liked it so. It was loose, sometimes more comic than I think I expected, just these worlds and little bits of worlds. Nice.

Orsinian Tales, so sad. I want to reread everything of course, but I feel like, after my recent readings of Viginia Woolf, that there isn't something Woolfish in those stories, especially the first. Stream of consciousness for sure in that one. It may be homage.

message 7: by Tatiana (new)

Tatiana | 144 comments Mod
I've yet to read Woolf, though my Aunt Nonie left me her library which has a good bit by her in it. I suppose I should fix that right away, shouldn't I? To the Lighthouse is a good one to start with?

message 8: by Robert (new)

Robert (flagon_dragon) | 49 comments To the Lighthouse gives me the heebie-jeebies; if I tried reading it again I'd probably develop the screaming abdabs, as well.

message 9: by Tatiana (new)

Tatiana | 144 comments Mod
Robert, can you give more explanation of what causes the heebie-jeebies in that particular book? I'm trying to decide if I would feel the same way.

message 10: by Robert (new)

Robert (flagon_dragon) | 49 comments Oh, I read it when I was 17, so I don't remember much about it except that it's stream of conciousness, which drives me crazy except in small ( <1 page) doses and I also found it excruciatingly boring. What my 17 yo self found boring may or may not bore me now, but the stream of conciousness would still make me go nuts.

message 11: by [deleted user] (new)

I did love love Woolf when I read her at 19. I didn't mind it, but it didn't reach in and grab me. I did love her at *cough36cough*. Not everyone is going to groove on stream of consciousness, and I can completely understand that, but the way she moves from one consciousness to the next, this great ebb and flow - and water is probably the main metaphor of her work - completely works for my brain at this point in my life.

I won't pretend to be a Woolf scholar, but Woolfians often recommend starting with Lighthouse. Mrs. Dalloway may not be a bad starting point either. Orlando, which I've not read, is said to be much more comic and accessible. I've been told never to start with The Waves.

Anyway, I can see commonalities with the way Woolf writes to UKL: the focus on small moments, but with an eye to how society informs the experience of those moments. UKL tends to work with imagined societies, while Woolf paints her own Edwardian England, but they are breathing portraits of people as they move in such small, perfect ways. <3 them both.

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