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Four Ways to Forgiveness [Paperback]

Ursula K. Le Guin
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

22 May 1997
A collection of four linked novellas. Two planets - Werel, a slave-owning oligarchy and Yeowe, its colony - are destined for revolution after contact with the sophisticated Ekumen civilization. But one form of oppression can too easily give way to another, and so a new fight for equality begins.


Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz; New edition edition (22 May 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575601752
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575601758
  • Product Dimensions: 17.4 x 11.2 x 2.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 205,824 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Ursula Le Guin has won many awards, including a National Book Award, a Pushcart Prize, the Harold D. Vursell Memorial Award of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Newbery Honor and the World Fantasy Award For Life Achievement.

Product Description

About the Author

Ursula K. Le Guin is one of the finest writers of our time. Her books have attracted millions of devoted readers and won many awards, including the National Book Award, the Hugo and Nebula Awards and a Newbery Honor. Among her novels, The Left Hand of Darkness, The Dispossessed and the six books of Earthsea have attained undisputed classic status; and her recent series, the Annals of the Western Shore, has won her the PEN Center USA Children's literature award and the Nebula Award for best novel. She lives in Portland, Oregon.

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First Sentence
"On the planet O there has not been a war for five thousand years," she read, "and on Gethen there has never been a war." Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Over the past threethousand years the dark people of the planet Werel have surpressed and enslaved the lighter peoples. Even the colonisation and exploitation of the neighbour planet Yeowe was carried out with reckless usage of assets (the ligth skinned people). But things have come to a change lately. The assets on Yeowe started an uprising and finally won a long and bloody war and their freedom. And while things are changing slowly on Werel under the influence of Yeowe, the society on Yeowe itself is being rearranged dramatically. Still there's a similarity between the two social systems: the surpression of women.
The story is the story of six different humans: four of them are members of the Werel/Yeowe society and two are aliens from the Ekumen of the Hainish universe. Everyone of them tries hard to find his/her place in this world of change. And this is how they do it.
This is how to do. Mrs. Le Guin gives us a very realistic picture of human feelings and human behaviour. The paralleles between the society in the book and the society of real planet earth are fascinating. Mrs Le Guin proves once again, that she's a real artist, a painter of feelings and realities. At the end of the book there's a chapter with notes on the plot. For a better understanding I recommend to read this one first. The entire book is like a lecture on how to be human. And still it is very thrilling, a real pageturner. I loved it and so will you.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good stuff, though somewhat familiar ground. 2 Sep 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
"Good stuff, but somewhat familiar ground." Perhaps a bit churlish, as it's ground that UKLG is expert in, and what we expect to find: conflict and resolution of conflict between classes, ideologies and genders played out via different planets' societies and histories, seen through (very) personal stories. What is a bit different here is the interweaving of four life stories (some mingle closely, some only touch briefly) to paint a broader picture of the struggle for equality played out on two neighbouring planets. I'll now need to read them again to pick out more of the nuances. Very good: 4 rather than 5 stars because it doesn't really break any new ground, but subtly and affectingly well-written as always from Le Guin.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars hope and redemption 23 Feb 2003
Format:Paperback
Le Guin, with her masterful use of seemingly simple and fluent prose, tells us the stories of how four very different people find hope after terrible ordeals. The background to the stories --and also the main source of hope-- is the need to fight: against slavery, against enormous social inequalities and brutal sexual segregation... in short, against most of the worst injustices that we can find in our world, but that Le Guin transports to the imaginary planets of Yeowe and Werel. We see in these two planets, thanks to the author's mastery, an example of nightmarish distopias whose consequences are analysed in the four main characters. However, Le Guin is always more convincing when describing a society with defects (any kind of defect), and the reactions these defects provoke in the individual, than when describing highly evolved, almost perfect societies. These latter may be better to live in, but they sure are more boring to read about, since the author has to keep within the limits of the politically corect, and that shows.
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3.0 out of 5 stars grown up sci fi 11 April 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As usual the author skillfully introduces some big ideas in this science fiction book. Feminism and Anarchism take centre stage but am I alone in sometimes finding Ursula le Guins' novels a little over elaborate?
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5.0 out of 5 stars Four ways to forgiveness 20 Jan 2013
By Pete
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This author is one of my favourites and I really enjoyed this book. I expected an exploration of different ways of forgiving. This was not exactly how it was - I should have known! - but the stories were very enjoyable nonetheless.
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