Book: Ursula Le Guinn – The Left Hand of Darkness

TheLeftHandOfDarkness1stEdIt took me two attempts to read this The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin. The first time it was among some Asimov titles. Asimov’s accessible style made Ursula’s elaborate writing quite a challenge, and I could not go past the few chapters.

Now, leaving more than two month between myself and the previous Asimov title, I decided to give it another try.

To summarise, the main theme is the classical dilemma of a society faced with the contact with a messenger from another world (real, spiritual, extraterrestrial, etc): is it ‘for real’ (a messiah, a chosen one, etc) or not (a looney, a crook, etc).

After a dull introduction, the action became more alert and this is what kept me reading.   In case you wonder, the story ends well.

For a book published in 1969, I think The Left Hand of Darkness is still a good read. The experience requires some effort, since the text is not only very elaborate, but it also makes use of lots of made up words, impossible to articulate names and describes hard to understand customs.

For those who plan to read it, one advice: try to be extra attentive during the first chapters, when new words and people are introduced, since you’ll need to remember them later.



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Liviu Ionescu (ilg)

Hi! My name is Liviu Ionescu (ilg, ilegeul or eunete for colleagues and friends) and I’m a senior IT engineer. Or should I say a real programmer?

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