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The Earthsea Quartet Paperback – 23 Feb 2012


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Product details

  • Paperback: 704 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; Re-issue edition (23 Feb 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0241956870
  • ISBN-13: 978-0241956878
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 3 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 11,257 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

Review

Rowling can type, but Le Guin can write (Guardian)

Composed sparely, shaped by narratives so basic they must be inscribed upon our cells, they read as if they were not written but found, dug out like jewels from rock (Village Voice)

A writer of phenomenal power (Observer)

About the Author

Ursula Le Guin was born in Berkley, California, in 1929, daughter of the writer Theodora Krober and the anthropologist Alfred Krober. Her published work includes twenty-one novels, eleven volumes of short stories, three collections of essays, twelve books for children, six volumes of poetry and four of translation. The Earthsea books have been translated into many languages around the world and are global bestsellers.

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Sue on 10 Feb 2013
Format: Paperback
This week, I managed to actually finish a book. It's only a little book, but since that's the first time in over a year I've been able to concentrate enough to get beyond a couple of pages, I think that's a Good Thing.

Unknown stories are still too vague to hold me so A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula le Guin is a book I've read many times before, each time for a different reason, and each time it has a different relevance.

I find it funny that the first time I came across it, in my very first week of teaching back in 1984, I dismissed it as a dull children's book (a poor Puffin cover - yes, I do judge books that way!) and put off reading it with the first years. At various points since I finally gave in a couple of years later, it's appeared in my hand again (each time with a different cover, ironically), and I've re-read it, and each time it's been the right thing to read. So when I saw a copy of the whole quartet with a nice feeling cover in a bookshop a couple of weekends ago, I knew it was time again.

The journey either to or from the shadows in our lives is one we all recognise, however fantastical the setting, and our own attitudes to readying our boat, recognising the sincerity of genuine help, and how we set our sail to face what we need to face is all enormous stuff embedded in an apparently simple archetypal tale of hubris and humility.

I've not picked up the next instalment for a couple of days; perhaps I've have hit the sand again, but since Tombs of Atuan is usually my favourite of the now 5 books in the 'trilogy', I'm expecting the tide to come back in and lift me off. I'm hopeful that at last I might have set sail in my own personal Lookfar, and shadows can be met.

Whatever the outcome, A Wizard of Earthsea is one of those books I'm grateful to, one of those books I want on the bookshelf at the end.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Tand on 15 Mar 2012
Format: Paperback
I was first introduced to Earthsea late last year by the Ghibli movie, I'm not a fan of the Miyazaki films but I loved the premise of the story (at least until it veered violently away from anything resembling the original novels) and dismayed that the animation had let down what were clearly brilliantly imaginative stories, I set out to read the tale as Le Guin intended.

There is a quote on the cover of this new edition of the book; "Rowling can type, but Le Guin can write." How true it is! Undoubtedly this masterwork, first published in the late 60s, sets the precedent for all children's (and indeed a great deal of adult's) fantasy. It's written with the most gorgeous narrative, and does not come across as naïve or simplistic given that they are children's tales - The Tombs of Atuan in particular features some of the most suspenseful and atmospheric writing I have ever read in any genre.

For those wondering about the cover of this re-vamped edition, it's the size of a standard novel - having originally read the quartet as ebooks I was surprised by how compact the collection is. It's regular matte finish and is as pictured. Unfortunately, despite being a new print of a classic collection, they did not slot "The Other Wind" in as well despite it being the most recent addition to the series and, in my opinion, one of the best. "Tales from Earthsea", the collection of short stories also remains a separate volume, sadly.

None of these books should be approached as "kid's books", they are absolutely wonderful tales for any age, masterfully written with rich characters who do not conform to any pre-set ideals of heroes and villains or of power and magic. A gorgeous collection which must be owned!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By E. C. S. Sanchez on 17 Feb 2012
Format: Paperback
I was thrilled when I read the subject heading from Amazon in my email box: "Ursula K. Le Guin's New Book". I eagerly opened the email and read:
"Ursula K. Le Guin's New Book
Releasing on February 23, 2012
The Earthsea Quartet"
I thought, 'I'm sure that title's not new', clicked on the link, and found that indeed it was a dearly beloved favourite. I was somewhat disappointed that there wasn't a new book, but thanks in part to Amazon, as the facilitator, I do have plenty still to read!

'The Earthsea Quartet' is really an original trilogy from the early 1970s with a sequel, 'Tehanu', published in 1990. The Puffin, New Edition that I have was, under the same title of 'The Earthsea Quartet: "A Wizard Of Earthsea"; "The Tombs of Atuan"; "The Farthest Shore"; "Tehanu" (Puffin Books)' published in June 1993, and if you haven't read it already, I would truly recommend it to you. It is beautifully written and will take you on some wonderful journeys in the course of the four stories. I won't give away any of the plot, that is part of the joy of discovery.

One of my favourite authors, Ursula Le Guin has written novels, poetry, children's books, essays, and short stories, most notably in the genres of fantasy and science fiction. First published in the 1960s, her works explore Taoist, anarchist, ethnographic, feminist, psychological and sociological themes, Ms Le Guin has received many prestigious literary awards down the years.
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