This was fantastic, although I found some of the physics a bit hard going.
I loved the style, structure and ethics of the book. I have seen a range of Ursula Le Guin’s books in stores but had never been convinced enough to pick one up. This book is a great intro to her writing.
I really like the world she created, the possibility of a section of humanity splitting from the capitalist and creating a quasi communistic lifestyle on a planet so harsh that it is a struggle to survive and luxury is considered a fruit juice or a room to share with a partner. The society is certainly not simple, not farmers and still corrupt, unfair and unjust but decidly human and decidly anartchistic. I found it interesting as an exploration of of their anarchistic society. The details, social norms and the structures that the society has had to create after a few hundred years being anarchistic, isolated and to survive in a barren wasteland. Very believable, very intricate and logical.
I like the untraditional story style, the flashback style chapters. Definitely worth a read. Another one of Gollancz’s top ten.
I was suprised to read this comment (Review by Nicholas Whyte) that Ursula Le Guin described it as “a heavy, argumentative book”, I’d struggle to find it either. Yes for the time probably a radical critique on someone from the West writing against capitalism, but apart from some of the physics I wouldn’t call it heavy. I found it pretty fast paced and easy to read myself. Certainly compared with the massive tomes that are the norm for spec fic today.