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The Telling (Hainish Cycle) [Audiobook] [Audio CD]

Ursula K. Guin , Gabra Zackman
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
RRP: 14.49
Price: 11.78 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

22 Jan 2013 Hainish Cycle

There have been eighty requests to send an Observer into the hinterlands of the planet Aka to study the natives. Much to everyone¿s surprise, the eighty-first request is granted, and Observer Sutty is sent upriver to Okzat-Ozkat, a small city in the foothills of Rangma, to talk to the remnants in hiding of a cult practising a banned religion. On Aka, everything that was written in the old scripts has been destroyed; modern aural literature is all written to Corporation specifications.

The Corporation expects Sutty to report back so the non-standardised folk stories and songs can be wiped out and the people ¿re-educated¿.

But Sutty herself is in for an education she never imagined.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Brilliance Corporation; Unabridged edition (22 Jan 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1469280620
  • ISBN-13: 978-1469280622
  • Product Dimensions: 13.7 x 16.5 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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


"Like all great writers of fiction, Ursula K. Le Guin creates imaginary worlds that restore us, hearts eased, to our own.-The Boston Globe
"She can lift fiction to the level of poetry and compress it to the density of allegory-in The Telling, she does both, gorgeously."-Jonathan Lethem
"Everything that has been said about Le Guin-that she is a lush prose stylist, that she is a poet in every line, that her books make readers think and thinkers read-is here on display in her newest Hainish novel."-Jane Yolen two-time Nebula winner and author of The Books of Great Alta
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

The long-awaited new novel in Le Guin¿s acclaimed Hainish cycle. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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First Sentence
WHEN SUTTY WENT back to Earth in the daytime, it was always to the village. 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
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favourite books 6 Mar 2004
The Telling is a science fiction novel, but with little resemblance to Star Trek or Star Wars. It is a standalone book, and can easily be read without any prior knowledge about the world it takes place in. Still, technically it belongs in the Hainish or Ekumen universe, which Le Guin has returned to a number of times during her long writing career.
Millions of years ago humankind created its first advanced technological society on the planet Hain. From there humans spread over the galaxy during an era of space travel and colonisation. Our own planet was one of many that was populated that way. Then something happened to the Hainish civilisation. Maybe there was an internal conflict, or maybe they just lost interest in their great experiment. In any case, the result was that all the worlds they had visited were left to their own devices, and as the aeons went by its peoples eventually forgot their origin.
Now we swiftly move into our future. The people of Hain have once again turned their eyes towards the stars, and started to seek their lost daughter worlds. As they find more and more of them, an interplanetary organisation, the Ekumen of All Worlds, is set up. Its purpose is not to conquer and control other civilisations, but to teach and learn. To teach all of their own knowledge the authorities of a planet wish to know, and to learn the history and specific nature of that culture.
The events in The Telling take place on Aka, a world with only one great continent. At first contact some seventy years ago it was in a pre-industrial state, but amazing technological progress has been made in that short time. The first Akan spacecraft has been built when the Ekumen finally are able to set up a permanent office.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb! 3 Nov 2000
This work follows Le Guin's storytelling tradition. In it she fuses many Eastern (she is a Taoist afterall) and Native American philosophical ideals and sharply contrasts this fusion with dogmatic religion and capitalism. I couldn't put this book down. I loved the internal conflict within Sutty. Watching her mind open after her horrible past experiences, brought me to tears. Yes, there are some interesting philosophical things happening in the story, but the compeling part is the human side: we feel Sutty's pain, and we want her to heal and grow. Tak ahoj! TS Fulk
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
I would desperately love to give this book a five-star rating, being a huge fan of Le Guin, but the kindest thing that can be said about it is that it is a competent writer's work. It's in vein with the other Hainish cycles - an Earth-born envoy named Sutty, representing the Ekumen, is sent to study a world that has ruthlessly erased its entire cultural history in an overnight technological revolution. Very clearly, the historical inspiration behind this idea is the Chinese Cultural Revolution.
The Sutty character does not inspire much empathy, though one symphatises when a crucial event in her past is revealed, rather more interesting is the local officer of Aka that spies on her every move. One immediately suspects that his frightening zeal in espousing the values of his 'new' society must have some underlying personal factor, and indeed it is his character that provides the book with a much-needed emotional connection. The 'telling' of title appears to be an allegory of the art of story-making, and this forms the philosophical backdrop which is present in all of Le Guin's works.
With any other new writer on the scene this would have been a fairly laudable, though not original effort, but coming from the genius of a writer who produced the rich, incredible human complexity of The Left Hand of Darkness, The Dispossessed and the Earthsea Quartet, I was disappointed. I was also reminded of another (very different) science-fiction writer, Arthur C. Clarke, who, compared to his early works, has written frankly terrible books in his old age. Le Guin has not reached this stage with The Telling yet, fortunately. She uses the insight of advanced years to good effect, but to enjoy this book it is necessary to be supported first with a healthy respect of Le Guin at her prime.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
This book in my opinion is no match for "The dispossesed", but it is still an excellent book. The book is about search for truth by Ekumen envoy Sutty, who is Hindu and lesbian and has tragic past due to loss of partner in religious wars on earth. She is in the society where religion is supressed by corporation which negates all the old values and traditions. When she finally obtained permission to leave the big city, she has opportunity to meet people who practice and teach old "religion" (though its not really religion its just telling stories in which everyone can find his own interpretetaion and no interpretation is better than the others, maz just tell and don't explain the story). There is no happy end for everybody envolved, but this is as it should be.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Effect on an Observer 27 Oct 2002
LeGuin delves once more into her continuing theme(s) that she has dealt with so effectively in The Dispossessed and The Left Hand of Darkness, of the forces and desires that strain between anarchistic communism which requires great effort on the part of each individual and rigid stratified societies that remove the need for personal decisions. This one is told from the viewpoint of a Terran observer on a newly opened for contact Hainish world, and much of the novel is strictly her observations and thoughts on these matters, with little action and a lot of philosophy. She draws clear parallels to the Chinese cultural revolution and to the forceful subjugation of Tibet, while taking some digs at the sometimes mindless material obsessions of capitalistic societies. Being told in first person, there is little apparent development of other characters besides the protagonist, and the dry, almost academic tone and spare language of the first three-quarters of the book can make for difficult going. Somehow, though, by the end of the book, I found myself totally engaged with her protagonist, with a clear picture of not only the society but also her secondary characters. The resolution requiring action on the part of her observer seemed very appropriate, the observer affecting the observed and vice versa., becoming caught in a web of personal responsibility until she can no longer be a just an observer. In some ways this one reminded me of Pangborn's Mirror for Observers.
This is not quite at the level of The Dispossessed, and it probably should have had a greater length to allow for better character development, but still a very good exposition, with more depth than one would expect in such a short work.
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