The Dispossessed by Ursula Le Guin

the dispossessed ursula le guinThe Dispossessed by Ursula Le Guin

Paperback, 387 pages
Published October 20th 1994 by Harper Voyager (first published May 1974)

Shevek is part of an anarchist society called the Odonians living on the moon. The original Odonians came to the Annares (the moon) after a revolution on Urras, their mother planet. A hundred or so years later, the physicist Shevek has a temporal theory he thinks would be beneficial to all people, but there seems to be too much red tape to get it out.

This leads to him to questioning the functionality of their society, because it seems like they are becoming again like the “properatarian” people on Urras. To further develop and spread his important theory, he makes the controversial decision to go to a university on Urras. Shevek feels that his calling is to tear down the walls between the societies and make a true utopia.

Ursula Le Guin is a great story teller. This book was pretty weird, but all in all I liked it. My one comment is that sometimes I found the layout a little confusing. As you go through the book, you’re on two different timelines in Shevek’s life: one is in the past leading up to him going to Urras, and one is the present while he is on Urras. The concept is simple enough, but the chapters were often so long that sometimes when it would switch back to the other time I’d have forgotten what was going on. However, I thought that the story itself was pretty unique, compelling, and thought provoking. I would recommend it to lovers of sci-fi and philosophy!