Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
The Word for World is Forest Mass Market Paperback – March 21, 1991
|New from||Used from|
|Mass Market Paperback, March 21, 1991||
Comic-Con Deal: Up to 50% off select Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Comic books
Featured titles are up to 50% off for a limited time. See all titles
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Top Customer Reviews
Despite its seemingly formulaic premise, "The Word for World is Forest" is a thought-provoking and somewhat disturbing short novel written in Le Guin's usual poetic prose.Read more ›
It doesn't help that the Athsheans embody just about every romanticized stereotype of the native primitive. Like the most Disneyfied take on Native Americans, they live amongst the trees, perfectly in balance with nature. They're deeply spiritual, with a strong, aboriginal-like connection to the dream time. And, in the book's most groan-inducing conceit, they're completely peaceful, never having even conceived of murder until it's introduced to them by humans.
The humans, on the other hand, exemplify the worst habits of colonialism to a degree that strains believability. Despite the fact that the Athsheans have learned English, only one scientist, Lyubov, sees them as intelligent beings with a worthwhile culture. The rest of the colonists treat them with disdain and virulent racism, casually beating, enslaving, and raping them (or turning a blind, indifferent eye to those who do). This never quite makes sense; the humans complain that the Athsheans aren't any good as slaves (or anything else that they use them for), and the Athsheans themselves would happily avoid the humans if left to their own devices. The humans seem to be enslaving the Athsheans purely out of spite.
As polarized as the characters' views are, Le Guin does a skillful job of getting inside the head of each. Still, though she fleshes them out well and makes them believable characters, they're not particularly engaging or likable.Read more ›
Unfortunately, I think Le Guin picked a title that prompts ordinary folk to go: huh? "The Word for World Is Forest," however, is a Le Guin masterpiece. It is charged with the best in her, the energy of her earlier days.
At her worst, Le Guin's writing can be pedantic and sleep-inducing. Yet she has written so much that is excellent that I cannot help but have a great deal of respect for her. This novel is one of the quickest jolts of science fiction fun that I have yet to experience. It moves swiftly, and its meaning stays with you for a long time.
* * *
Eleven years later, let me add: much of her newer stuff is great too. I just read some of the stories in The Birthday of the World. Wow. I need to read more. She'll always be one of my all-time favorites.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Good book, well written, interesting premise. It's been a little slow for me as compared to other books. Read morePublished 18 days ago by Steve
The overall plot is described as predictable by some reviewers. Yes, as predictable of human history of the world. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Eloise Hamann
Selver's parting words to the Hainish emissary left me depressed. I loved the whole book though. It had a Left Hand of Darkness vibe to it.Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
A very nice creation of the world and society. I wish there were more connections with the Dispossessed. After all it is supposed to be one cycle. Maybe next partPublished 2 months ago by A. Jonca
I like how the story was told, but the villain in this story is two dimension only. It makes little sense sometimes.Published 4 months ago by §ù«a¿o
Ursula Le Guin is a more than fabulous author. Her writing is absolutely beautiful and her story lines are unique. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Talor
The Terran colony of New Tahiti was sent out with the mission to harvest lumber for a deforested earth; due to that time dilation, communication between the colony and Earth takes... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Chris
I started reading this book and stopped a little less than halfway through because it's INCREDIBLY depressingly, dark. Trigger warning should be the title of this book. Read morePublished 7 months ago by J. Randolph
Le Guin is as always an excellent story teller. One of the best 20th century English language writers.Published 8 months ago by Gabi