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The Beginning Place Mass Market Paperback – February 24, 2005


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Michael Vey 4
Featured New Release in Teen Science Fiction & Fantasy

Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Teen (February 24, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765346257
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765346254
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 5.1 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,193,235 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Magical...lyrical...an uncommonly graceful fantasy-romance."--Time Magazine on The Beginning Place

"Like all great writers of fiction, Ursula K. Le Guin creates imaginary worlds that restore us, hearts eased, to our own."--The Boston Globe on The Beginning Place


"Magical…lyrical…an uncommonly graceful fantasy-romance." (Time Magazine)

"Like all great writers of fiction, Ursula K. Le Guin creates imaginary worlds that restore us, hearts eased, to our own." (Boston-Globe)

About the Author

Ursula K. Le Guin is the author of more than three dozen books for children and adults. She was awarded a Newbery Honor for the second volume of the Earthsea Cycle, The Tombs of Atuan, and among her many other distinctions are the Margaret A. Edwards Award, a National Book Award, and five Nebula Awards. She lives in Portland, Oregon.

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Customer Reviews

I was rapidly taken in by the story and mesmerized, I could hardly put it down.
J. Wilson
Ursula K. Le Guin it one of the truely great fantasy writers, and this story of young people coming to grips with life and themselves is one of her best.
Agawam Hunt
It's a very good book although I would only recommend this book to 9th graders and up, because it does contain some sexual contents.
the chicken

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By J. Wilson on March 5, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I found this book accidentally, a few years ago (as an adult) and read it based on my previous reading of the 'standard' Le Guin (read in college): "The Dispossesed" & "The Left Hand of Darkness".
This is a story of a young person growing up -or fighting against growing up in the conventional societal sense.
I was rapidly taken in by the story and mesmerized, I could hardly put it down. Somehow this book touched my soul.
Maybe because I also was once a grocery clerk... .

It seems to be a polarizing book, some other reviewers were lukewarm or disliked it, I guess that makes it special if it can speak in different ways to different people.
I recommend reading "The Beginning Place", and see for yourself.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By the chicken on May 23, 2003
Format: Paperback
In this book, Hugh is the main character. He is a 20 year old man who lives with his mom. His mom verbally abuses him. One day he gets mad and runs out and tumbles going through a gate. It transports him into another dimension. In the dimension, he learns what love is all about. He also finds a girl who is just like him. The girls world is in darkness and they need to kill a beast to help them. Will he survive or die trying? Read and find out.
I did like this book because it relates to other realms. I love fantasy and this book contains a lot. It's a very good book although I would only recommend this book to 9th graders and up, because it does contain some sexual contents.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 20, 1999
Format: Paperback
The Beginning Place appeals to those of us who have ever felt desperately the need to get away from the mundanities and fears in our lives. Le Guin is extraordinarily skillful in showing Hugh and Irene's search to break free of restraints and fears; and she does it with a very complicated yet compact metaphor for their maturation. The book is beautifully written, lyrical... it is literature for those science fiction/fantasy fanatics who have forgotten what good writing is really about. It begins with a modern world and rapidly takes you into the alternate reality world, about which you really learn only enough to wish there were more detail. It is a short book, but so full of meaning it's best read several times. One of my all-time favorites.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By J. Bunting on May 7, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The Beginning Place is classic Le Guin and you either love her writing or you hate it. I love it. First consider this book was published in 1980 and then consider how fantasy has changed in 26 years.

At least she writes a book that has a beginning, middle, and end. She doesn't expect you to hang with her for a decade to find out the end of the story...all the while hoping she doesn't croak before it is complete.

Ursula K LeGuin is the ONLY author who I can compare with the master Theodore Sturgeon when it comes to telling a story that is the story. She doesn't bore you with long histories, detailed descriptions of the Queen of Zunderlund's dress or the poor street rat's rags. In fact you might acccuse her of being parsimonious, but if you read her story you will see the faces, the shapes, the dresses, the trees and all the other details in that theatre of your mind and you will see it in richer detail than any "Wheel of Time" book. Why? Because she doesn't force you to see it her way. She isn't building the Ark of the Covenant, she is giving you just what you need to spark the old imagination.

Try this book. You won't regret it.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 9, 1999
Format: Paperback
When I read this as an adolescent, I felt like someone else knew how I felt. Adolescents hardly ever feel this way. This is a great book for anyone who just wants to get away from his life. The end surprises you by showing you the only way to really escape.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Buttercup on July 25, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
For me, very little can equal the impact of Ursula Le Guin's "Left Hand of Darkness" upon me as a child--it taught me that we are all human, regardless of gender. I had an epiphany at the end about what it truly means to struggle for what you believe in. I read on one of the reviews that the reviewer was forced to read it in a Literature class ... that is not the beauty of that book. It is picking it and first being surprised that it is any good (and nothing like the cover) and secondly, being unable to put it down because of the rich characters.

This book's descriptions and prose are just as rich, if not more ... and so much more poignant, because it is set in our own world, our own time. The protagonist is a heavy boy, a stocky adolescent with a 9-5, without a car and has a paranoid and controlling mother. Not yet realizing her as a fully-developed person, he still takes her for granted.

I found a lot of the development in this book not to be with the other main character, Irene (a touching love story) but in his relations and epiphany about the modern world. Don't all of us want to escape at one point or another? Yet, in the end, isn't this where we truly belong?

Yet, it's written with a touch of darkness, a "mature" book without including hardly any detailed sex or violence. Truly a novel for the intellectually-graduated who enjoy a high level of diction. If you're looking for a short but fulfilling short story, don't hesitate to pick it up.

But, like the Eye of the Heron, it is not her best work. Though the dialogue, plot, and writing all seem to be fit ... why does the female lead here also come off as bland and unlikable, written by a female author? It's strange.

Does it have the beauty of Lathe of Heaven or Left Hand of Darkness?
Read more ›
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