The Dispossessed

30 Apr 2018

Category: book

Tags: book, fiction, great, scifi, society

Taya recommend another Ursula K. Le Guin book, The Dispossessed, which is set roughly in the same scifi universe as The Left Hand of Darkness. The planet is different, the characters and story are different, but there is a feeling of similarity to everything that is comforting. Overall the book was fantastic, both in execution and idea.

Similar to her other book that I have read, this book creates a world where the normal experience of the people is drastically different from our experience. Not only that, but there is a crossover between this foreign world and one which is more similar to what we know. And it is in this comparing and contrasting of viewpoints that we really understand the details of how and why we live. The plot device of a physicist who has the secrets of time in his head is used to allow for the examination of how we perceive what is important.

This book is not pro-Anarchy or pro-Capitalism or pro-Communism. It is pro intellectual curiosity. It is in favor of being critical about what seems important by viewing it from the perspective of an alien. If you sit down and explain something in detail to an alien and it starts to sound wrong or silly, maybe that just means you have been blinded by the normal. This book makes you re-examine your own choices to see if they are just a product of society inertia or if you are really acting in a way that you deem righteous.

I highly recommend reading this book, regardless of whether you have read The Left Hand of Darkness. There is certainly a possibility that I might add some more of her books to my list.

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