The Dispossessed

The Dispossessed

A Novel

Book - 2015
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"A bleak moon settled by utopian anarchists, Anarres has long been isolated from other worlds, including its mother planet, Urras--a civilization of warring nations, great poverty, and immense wealth. Now Shevek, a brilliant physicist, is determined to reunite the two planets, which have been divided by centuries of distrust. He will seek answers, question the unquestionable, and attempt to tear down the walls of hatred that have kept them apart. To visit Urras--to learn, to teach, to share--will require great sacrifice and risks, which Shevek willingly accepts. But the ambitious scientist's gift is soon seen as a threat, and in the profound conflict that ensues, he must reexamine his beliefs even as he ignites the fires of change." -- taken from Harper Collins website.
Publisher: New York :, Olive Editions,, 2015.
Edition: First Harper Perennial Olive Edition.
Copyright Date: ©1974
ISBN: 9780062421074
Characteristics: 386 pages : maps ; 18 cm


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Oct 26, 2017

part of a series

JCLEmilyD Aug 30, 2017

This scifi is about two planets with drastically different cultures and societies. Shevek travels from his world Anarres to Urras, the first traveler since the colonization of Anarres. Shevek is trying to find his utopia, but it isn't where he thinks it is. Excellent scifi read.

Apr 25, 2017

Although first published in 1974, this is a book relevant in 2017. Wrapped in science-fiction, this novel presents a capitalist and an anarchist/communist world, with the problems of each. Like the physicist's theory of time, the chapters alternate between the two worlds. Recommended.

Mar 11, 2017

I loved this book. Years ago I bought her Left Hand of Darkness and read a few times.
The Dispossessed fascinates me. The science is good; I'm only an amateur physicist but Shevek's ideas hang together well so I enjoyed the philosophy and physics. Incidently faster than light travel is theoretically possible, we just don't know yet how to engineer it. The sociology of Anarres is fascinating and feasible. Our capitalist system is way past it's sell-by date and not working for an increasing majority. Some Anarres ideas are reflected in our increasing dependence on volunteers, often retired people. The guaranteed basic income idea where we would all have enough not to starve without food banks reflects the domicile and commons provision of Anarres - nobody eats while another starves. Highly recommend this book.

Oct 01, 2016

I love the cover art! This book is more philosophy & sociology than sci fi, but I did like the sci fi portions about space travel, encountering alien cultures, etc. The action moves slowly, but the end is exciting, so it's worth it to stick it out and finish the book.

Jun 30, 2016

“You cannot buy the revolution. You cannot make the revolution. You can only be the revolution. It is in your spirit, or it is nowhere.” -From "The Dispossessed"
An imaginative treatise on anarchism, gender roles, the ego, societal value systems, definitions of freedom and revolution, quantum mechanics and conceptions of utopia. A very quotable book with a very impressive protagonist in Shevek, a masculine/philosopher/traveler/genius/with a good work ethic. A creative and impressive book.

TSCPL_ChrisB Jun 05, 2016

There are moments when Le Guin lets the story get away from her and become a discourse on government. Characters step out of character and discuss politics in a manner that doesn't seem organic. But these moments are few and far between. Overall, Le Guin keeps to the story and the story is a good one. Not only is Shevek's journey to Urras and his subsequent understandings interesting, but the worlds Le Guin has created here are wonderfully built; careful attention is given to ecology, topography, etc., and especially to society.

Feb 21, 2015

This is just about my favorite book. I call it Utopian Science fiction. The culture on the moon is not perfect, but it seems so real, so human. Yes, it is somewhat didactic, but it is honest, inspiring and moving. I love the scenes, the characters, the plot, the whole concept. Ursula LeGuin is my favorite science fiction writer by far.

Apr 08, 2013

Le Guin knows how to get you thinking. She has a pretty complex world built on Anarres, but then the book gets kind of heavy in the philosophizing. I think a lot of it didn't even need to be said because she did such a good job of showing the differences between the twin worlds. Even though this is chronologically the first of the Hainish Cycle, nothing is learned about Hain, which is a little disappointing after hearing about it so much in The Left Hand of Darkness and City of Illusions.

Mar 05, 2010

An interesting look at modern society through the eyes of a member of a subanarchist society long removed from thier home world. Very cool story.


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Jan 18, 2015

...the competition for scholarships was stiffer every year, proving the essential democracy of the institution..."You put another lock on the door and call it democracy."

Aug 25, 2014

"Change is freedom, change is life."


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