The dispossessed

a novel

387 pages

English language

Published Aug. 16, 2003 by Perennial Classics.

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5 stars (13 reviews)

E-book extra: In-depth study guide.Shevek, a brilliant physicist, decides to take action. He will seek answers, question the unquestionable, and attempt to tear down the walls of hatred that have isolated his planet of anarchists from the rest of the civilized universe. To do this dangerous task will mean giving up his family and possibly his life. Shevek must make the unprecedented journey to the utopian planet, Anarres, to challenge the complex structures of life and living, and ignite the fires of change.

52 editions

Slow start, and good book with a major detractor

4 stars

This was a slow starter, but I quite liked it when it got going, it's a really fun exploration of an anarchist communist and a plutocratic capitalist society meeting.

There is only one bad thing, a rape scene a bit before the half way point that felt gratuitous and not needed, and it served very little purpose in the story, apart from that I really liked the book :)

Uno dei libri più belli che abbia mai letto

5 stars

Un libro di fantascienza geniale, avvincente e al tempo stesso ricco di significato. Negli ultimi anni ho tratto grande piacere dallo studio del pensiero anarchico e delle sue differenze con il comunismo autoritario (e chiaramente con il capitalismo). Penso che il pensiero anarchico sia criminalmente escluso dagli studi scolastici e che moltissime persone, per questo motivo, non sappiano realmente cosa sia. I reietti dell'altro pianeta immagina un'utopia anarchica, dandole però sostanza: è bellissimo vedere come funzionerebbe una società anarchica secondo Ursula Le Guin, anche perché ne presenta anche le possibili criticità. La critica feroce alla concezione del lavoro e dello sfruttamento nel capitalismo sono da pelle d'oca. Ho imparato più sull'anarchia leggendo lei che leggendo Kropotkin!

I only had one problem with it

4 stars

Content warning Spoliers

Le Guin is a fucking genius

5 stars

This book blew. My. Mind. I'm serious, for this alone Ursula K Le Guin became my fav sci-fi author, leaps and bounds above anybody else. She showed me what you can do with science fiction, how you can break the limits of the imagination. It is the first time I actually managed to picture a non-hierarchical society and it is so real, so visceral, that things clicked and I realized that "wait, this is possible!?" And she does that with a completely made up story set in two completely made up societies, both fleshed out with their greatness and infamy, their ideologies and contradictions.

It is NOT an easy read: Le Guin happily forces your brain to do some mental gymnastic, where things don't make any sense until a few pages later when they suddenly, perfectly do, things click in place and your mind is blown.

It is the book …

Review of 'The Dispossessed' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

Speculative fiction at its finest.
Great society & world building, shown through a lens of a single life.
Two timelines nicely intertwine & support each other.
The scenes of hardship & revolution resonate deeply.
* Evokes the feeling of classic Sci-Fi without any problematic elements often associated with it.

Bad: ∅

For a depiction of a similar theme check out John Kessel's [b:The Moon and the Other|30753686|The Moon and the Other|John Kessel||51302140].

Review of 'Los desposeídos' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

Una obra que vuelve a usar la ciencia ficción como entrada pero que es un análisis y una reflexión sobre la sociedad, desde la luna Anarres, donde la sociedad se organiza en un modo anarquista/socialissta al planeta Urras, donde tras un conflicto estos últimos fueron expulsados y donde el planeta se organiza en base a oligopolios y un capitalismo salvaje. Como nexo entre ambos mundos el protagonista intenta establecer un diálogo, intentando propiciar el desarrollo de ambas sociedades con la colaboración científica. Un libro que no deja de ser una reflexión y un golpe sobre la mesa sobre la política, la sociedad y el papel de la ciencia y los científicos.

One of the books I want to keep returning to

5 stars

I first read this book 20 years ago in a German translation and liked it a lot, but I didn't get a lot of it. Now, reading the English original and having had more of a political education, at first I was: "Is this book as good as I remember it?", but then, I enjoyed it even more.

I love that it's not an unbroken utopia and the ending leaves some things open. I also liked how it shows how power-laden relationships and positions can inadvertently creep back into a society that's not supposed to have them.

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rated it

4 stars
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rated it

2 stars


  • Life on other planets -- Fiction
  • Communal living -- Fiction
  • Physicists -- Fiction
  • Anarchism -- Fiction
  • Utopias -- Fiction