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If there were a canon of classic science fiction, The Left Hand of Darkness would be included without debate. Certainly, no science fiction bookshelf may be said to be complete without it. But the real question: is it fun to read? It is science fiction of an earlier time, a time that has not worn particularly well in the genre. The Left Hand of Darkness was a groundbreaking book in 1969, a time when, like the rest of the arts, science fiction was awakening to new dimensions in both society and literature. But the first excursions out of the pulp tradition are sometimes difficult to reread with much enjoyment. Rereading The Left Hand of Darkness, decades after its publication, one feels that those who chose it for the Hugo and Nebula awards were right to do so, for it truly does stand out as one of the great books of that era. It is immensely rich in timeless wisdom and insight.
The Left Hand of Darkness is science fiction for the thinking reader, and should be read attentively in order to properly savor the depth of insight and the subtleties of plot and character. It is one of those pleasures that requires a little investment at the beginning, but pays back tenfold with the joy of raw imagination that resonates through the subsequent 30 years of science fiction storytelling. Not only is the bookshelf incomplete without owning it, so is the reader without having read it. --L. Blunt Jackson --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.
This novel transcends the science fiction genre.
At the same time, the story and characters are fully involving, with the book's themes enriching rather than dulling the reader's experience.
It took me for-ever to get through it and I read about 8 other complete books between the first and last page of this one.
This is the "Opus Magnus" of Ursula K. Le Guin. Nobody before or after has written on such a topic woven into a sci fi masterpiece. Read morePublished 22 days ago by Christian Berger
I first read this book when I was in my early teens, and I've come back to it now over four decades, always finding something new to appreciate. Read morePublished 25 days ago by Janine G.
I loved this book. It was the most different science fiction I've ever read. She created a world that was alien and yet parallel to our own. Read morePublished 26 days ago by Paula Sisson
I've been a devoted reader of science fiction since discovering Heinlein in my elementary school library in the early `50s, and, like most SF fans, I have a short list of authors... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Michael K. Smith
This is one of those novels that comes down off my shelf every two years or so, just to clear my mind and refresh my spirit. Read morePublished 1 month ago by bridgecross