Huge Review: The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin
It took me almost a full month to read The Dispossessed and it is not all that long of a book, or even one that is difficult in any real fashion. It was simply that I did not like this book. I didn’t care and even when I sat down to try to push myself through the book I found myself falling asleep or my mind drifting. The problem is that in general I do not like Ursula K. Le Guin’s style and liked this book even less than others of hers that I have read.
The story is about a scientist from a small moon world which is a anarchist socialist society. They are strongly against the idea of possessions including possessing people, ideas or things. This goes so far as to discourage ideas such as marriage. This is an interesting idea, the problem is that all this book is, is an examination of that idea. Unlike someone like Heinlein who examines an idea while having interesting things happen or Arthur C. Clark in Rendezvous with Rama in which the story is pushed forward by events this has almost nothing happen.
The story begins with the scientist leaving his world to go to the world that it orbits. There he works to solve a theoretical physics problem while learning about their society. Discovers he doesn’t like it and returns home to his own world. He does figure out his problem, but nothing is done with that. There are aliens, but they are really very little different from the humans in how they act and there are even revolutions, though you don’t see them.
There are ideas in this story that I was glad to be exposed to, though many of the feminist ideas felt a bit dated mostly by the attitudes of the men and the society really didn’t feel like it would work at all. Still, it does not have to work to make the ideas worth exploring and so while I would not recommend this book to anyone who feels like me that a good book to have a story that moves forward, but for those who like character and idea and don’t mind pages where little or nothing happens but the discussion of characters and ideas I can understand the value of this though through most of the book it felt too much like it had an agenda to really appeal a lot to me as an idea book so I would have to recommend The Left Hand of Darkness long before this book, and I don't recommend that all that highly.