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Summary

One of the very best novels of all time - with a new introduction by Roddy Doyle  

'There was a wall. It did not look important - even a child could climb it. But the idea was real. Like all walls it was ambiguous, two-faced. What was inside it and what was outside it depended upon which side of it you were on...'  

Shevek is brilliant scientist who is attempting to find a new theory of time - but there are those who are jealous of his work, and will do anything to block him. So he leaves his homeland, hoping to find a place of more liberty and tolerance. 

Initially feted, Shevek soon finds himself being used as a pawn in a deadly political game. With powerful themes of freedom, society and the natural world's influence on competition and co-operation, The Dispossessed is a true classic of the 20th century.

©2019 Ursula K. Le Guin (P)2019 Orion Publishing Group

What listeners say about The Dispossessed

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As relevent now as then

This book was written 2 years beforemi was born. It strikes me as utterlymrelevent to our times and our struggles....Ursula k let Guin weaves so much humanity into this book. She displays such a great understanding of what motivates us and what stops us from being our truest selves. It is a little dry at the begining but persevere it is worth it.

12 people found this helpful

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Story is great, audio mostly great.

I've always wanted to read this novel but find Le Guin's style very dense, so this really helped me to finally read the book.

Treloar is a great, emotive reader and performer. I especially liked his giving the characters different British regional dialects, to enhance the effect of the dialogue. It helped the book come alive for me.

There are a couple of moments where Treloar misreads a line of dialogue or narration, or puts the wrong stress on a word (I read the book while listening), but this wasn't too distracting. In all, a very solid audiobook.

9 people found this helpful

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Skip Doyle's Introduction

An interesting read but almost completely ruined by Roddy Doyle's self centred, virtuous polemic of an introduction.

Skip the Doyle introduction, and revisit after you have listened to the book.

5 people found this helpful

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anarchism for dummies

A brilliant exposition of how anarchism leads (inevitably?) to the tyranny of socialism. Great characters. Vivid descriptions of other worlds, their polarised societies (capitalist/socialist; rich/poor), and the inevitable politics of human life. Excellent performances. I will read it again.

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I only wish there were more chapters!

At the beginning I wasn’t sure about the voice since I was expecting a woman but I grew fonder and fonder of it. Truly a masterpiece in all its formars

3 people found this helpful

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The only book on anarchy you ever need to read!

From the viewpoint of the world post-revolution, this book is a revolution in itself. The characters and plot are not what's important here, it's a book to be studied

3 people found this helpful

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Breathtaking

I will think about this book for a very long time. What a stunning creation!

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This is what Stranger in a Strange Land should have been.

LeGuin is a masterful world builder (universe builder?) and The Dispossessed is excellent as usual. It uses a science fiction framing to comment on gender, government, anarchy, beliefs, war, discontent, and the nature of human relationships. If I’m being critical, it’s not fast-paced or plot driven. LeGuin takes her time examine and telling about hundreds of aspects of life on this pair of planets. But if you take it as a study in classic sci fi of the best kind, and social commentary, it’s well worth reading.

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Gruelling

Great narration but the story is more like a political lecture which I found unengaging.

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Didn't like that part when it ended

Amazingly refreshing view on the human experience. I'm very happy there are more books written by the same mind.

1 person found this helpful

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  • A. B
  • 20-05-21

Wow. So relevant to today. An insightful foretelling, hopeful and yet depressing future for mankind.

Better than Orwell’s 1984. I wish this was a standard text studied in all high schools.
A very detailed and insightful observation of man’s inhumanity to man, even if most have an inner wish to do the right thing by all.
I have no answers to the problems of humanity, I think Annares have solved a lot of problems in society.
However it is apparent that whichever societal structure one lives in the individuals desire to control or rise above their fellow human may creep back in... so although it fills me with hope it’s left me with with some despair.
I can only wish all good men and women step up to be counted - and not presume the right thing will be done if we don’t keep our ‘democratic’ governments on the straight and narrow.
Highly recommended sci-fi that comments on society today.

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  • Lee Ruthenberg
  • 26-06-20

Insightful and Modern beyond its time.

Conceptually as pertinent today as in the 70s. Le Guin astutely delves into possible societies, at once improbable and yet completely belivable. My criticism is only that the plot does not have the adventurous dynamic of Left Hand of Darkness, and Shevaks interpersonal relationships are not as revealing as Genly Ai's. At times sections feel like scifi text book of the planets socio systems, and Shevaks personal story is just a little less compelling.
Still, passages are so pertinent that it must embarrass a 21st century reader that we, our governments and our systems have adhered so thoroughly to the worst of Le Guin's societies and aspired so little to the best of them.
The reading performance is solid, not detracting from the book, though I would suggest regional british accents do not lend well to Le Guins goals to extract readers from our world and our stereotypes. Perhaps not as thoroughly engrossing as The Left Hand of Darkness.