The Dispossessed

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Gollancz, 2006 - Anarchism - 336 pages
69 Reviews
The Principle of Simultaneity is a scientific breakthrough which will revolutionize interstellar civilization by making possible instantaneous communication. It is the life work of Shevek, a brilliant physicist from the arid anarchist world of Anarres. But Shevek's work is being stifled by jealous colleagues, so he travels to Anarres's sister-planet Urras, hoping to find more liberty and tolerance there. But he soon finds himself being used as a pawn in a deadly political game.

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Intelligent writing with no tired good-vs-evil. - LibraryThing
The result is fascinating, if a little devoid of plot. - LibraryThing
LeGuin is perhaps a writer's writer. - LibraryThing
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One man's initiative combined with his abstract intellectual brilliance disturbs the political stasis in two planets and may be a seed of change even beyond. The book sensitively explores the social organisation and personal experience of the anarcho-communist world in which Shevek lives. He gradually realises that the price of freedom is eternal "initiative" - opposing the 'vigilance' of those who protect the status quo. His power to influence events comes from the value of his work in theoretical science. All worlds share a quasi-religious belief that theory is the first step to technology and thus to power.
The strength of the book is the complex and convincing shades of grey in which both characters and social systems are portrayed. There are no easy solutions and even the motivation of villains is complex.
A enthralling and satisfying philosophy text presented through fiction.

Review: The Dispossessed (Hainish Cycle #5)

User Review  - Althea Ann - Goodreads

Re-reading for book club! (August 2015) I first read this book in middle school, and was blown away by it. It introduced so many new (to me) ideas - brilliant ideas! - but then, rather than just ... Read full review


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About the author (2006)

Ursula K. Le Guin has won many Nebula and Hugo Awards, as well as a National Book Award, a Pushcart Prize, the Harold D. Vursell Memorial Award of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Newbery Honor and the World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement.

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