The Dispossessed

{5/5} “The only security we have is our neighbors’ approval. An archist can break a law and hope to get away unpunished, but you can’t ‘break’ a custom; it’s the framework of your life with other people. We’re only just beginning to feel what it’s like to be revolutionaries… And it isn’t comfortable.”

The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin, published in 1974

Shevek travels from Anarres to Urras. Although the people on the two planets have the same ancestors, their societies are very different. Shevek meets a group of physicists he’d been corresponding with, and he’s happy to see them in person. He’s also interested in finding out what Urras is like now, with its people who use money and own property.

It’s an astonishing examination of sexism, capitalism, and anarchism. It’s about advantages and disadvantages of different ways of living.

Shevek is a remarkable character. Alternate chapters tell the story of Shevek’s life and how he got to be where he is today.

Like Isaac Asimov and Robert J. Sawyer, Le Guin has mastered the art of interesting conversation.

It’s a classic — if you haven’t read it lately, it’s time to read it again.

This is the 2nd time I’ve read it.

I’ve read 19 of Le Guin’s books. I previously reviewed her novella The Word for World Is Forest.

This entry was posted on Friday, November 10th, 2023 at 8:29 pm and is filed under Reviews of books. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply