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Earthsea

BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramatisation
Narrated by: Toby Jones
Length: 2 hrs and 44 mins
4.0 out of 5 stars (97 ratings)

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Summary

A BBC Radio full-cast dramatisation, based on the first three books in Ursula Le Guin's best-selling Earthsea cycle.

Set on a vast archipelago of islands, where magic is a central part of life, Earthsea tells the intertwined stories of Ged and Tenar.

Ged is a boy from the island of Gont, born with innate magical talent and a reckless nature, who tampers with long-held secrets and releases a terrible shadow into the world. He must risk everything in order to restore the balance.... Meanwhile, Tenar, a girl from the island of Atuan, is taken from her home and family to become Arha, the Priestess Ever Reborn, guardian of the ominous Tombs of Atuan.

Deep within the Tombs, Ged and Tenar encounter one another and seek a way of bringing peace to the troubled archipelago.

Ursula Le Guin's Earthsea series have sold millions of copies and been translated into 16 languages, and this epic dramatisation of 'A Wizard of Earthsea', 'The Tombs of Atuan' and 'The Farthest Shore' will take you deep into a rich fantasy world of sorcery, wizards and dragons. Among the cast are Shaun Dooley (Broadchurch) and Toby Jones (Dad's Army). Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes approx.

©2016 BBC Worldwide Ltd. (P)2016 BBC Worldwide Ltd.

What listeners say about Earthsea

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Awful, unless perhaps you know the story already

If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

Folk who know the story already...hopeless to follow otherwise..confusing..tried twice but still confusing

Would you ever listen to anything by Ursula le Guin again?

Yes, very much. I'd just choose a more 'straight' version where l might just follow the text.

What didn’t you like about Toby Jones’s performance?

I just got confused about who was who, the plot, the characters.....just lost it. So difficult to follow and hard work.

What character would you cut from Earthsea?

Hard to say, didn't really get any of them

Any additional comments?

I know this is a well known, liked, and respected book. Maybe l just need to try a different version or actually read it myself

6 people found this helpful

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Excellent. Fans of the books will love it.

It's a very well told, well acted and superbly produced rendition of this classic series of books from master writer Le Guin. My only concern is that it is very short in comparison to the books, pretty much just a summary of events with some skipped. I worry that for a new reader / listener they will not get a sense of the depth of the idea of magic as speech, and the metaphor of that for the real world, nor the power of dragons, Ged's deep regret and weakness, or the social commentary. However it's such an enjoyable experience.

2 people found this helpful

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Fantastic

What did you like most about Earthsea?

It's a great audiobook for people who are already familiar with the Earthsea material, simply because there are less explanatory passages and more action. However, this does not detract from the quality and I highly recommend it for fans of the series.

1 person found this helpful

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not narrated by Toby Jones.

that's the first thing. Toby Jones actually plays the part of Cob in the part of this dramatization relating to The Farthest Shore. the second thing that I find it very irritating when British regional accents are given to characters from fantasy novels. I'm originally from the north of England and am sure Ged didn't come me from there. Also tell the story in a straight line, anyone who hasn't read the books will get no sense of chronology from this.

2 people found this helpful

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Listen on this after the original

You need to read the original first to like this listen I think. Otherwise it’s a bit hard to follow.

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dissatisfied, left wondering what I'd listened to

struggled with this and I love audio books. had to re listen to a few bits to make sure I hadn't missed something. left me feeling like I'd missed something

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Great audio

really good story superb voice acting really worth a listen. 5 Stars out of 5

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A great story but not as I remember

I remember reading all the books years ago. I loved this dramatisation but it does mix up the stories especially from the first two book which might confuse new readers. I loved the sound of the magic and the dragons voices but I did feel that it was too episodic. Yes the books themselves are huge and you cannot fit everything into 6 half hour chunks. What has been done is fabulous. I just miss the huge scope of the written version.

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didn't bother finishing.

just because its bbc doesn't mean its great. I wish it was a straight read of the book.

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Not too bad...

As other have said, it is slightly confusing and tricky to follow. I'm still not quite sure what happened altogether But it passed a couple of hours.

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  • gander
  • 08-07-16

Anxiously awaited!

What made the experience of listening to Earthsea the most enjoyable?

I hove long loved this series and now can listen to it in a new way.

What did you like best about this story?

It is a well-done adaptation. As such it condenses the overall story into a presentation worthy of the long cherished series.

Have you listened to any of Toby Jones’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

While I had not previously heard Toby Jones perform, I will be looking for more of his works.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

While you could enjoy this in one sitting, it matters not for you will enjoy it nonetheless.

Any additional comments?

Chapter 6 will awe you!

3 people found this helpful

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  • Axxton Southwick
  • 12-05-19

Life changing parable in the beginning.

Wonderful story. With a life changing, perception shattering parable in the first chapters. Personally I struggled with a problem my whole life, and the story took that burden from me in one breath. The performance was wonderful, Master Hawk is very meditative to listen to.

2 people found this helpful

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  • theamazingcatherine
  • 13-02-17

The adaptation of Earthsea I never thought I'd see

I liked this very much. The voices were lovely; I could hear the affection between Ged and Tenar. Despite some (heartbreaking) cuts of content, I felt they got to the soul of the books and the simplicity of the last few lines was beautiful.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Eli
  • 09-07-16

disappointing

pacing poor. highly abridged. narrative not straight foward enough. lacks the punch of the bbc's previous Earthsea adaptation.

1 person found this helpful