Book Review: The Telling

The Telling by Ursula K. Le Guin
The Telling
by Ursula K. Le Guin

2 out of 5 stars

Sutty is an Observer visiting an alien planet to escape the political and religious unrest on Earth. But she arrives at a planet in the middle of their own religious upheaval where the old religions are illegal, and only small pockets of people in the countryside practice their beliefs in secret.

I DNF’d this book after page 63, because I was upset at the themes and attitudes behind the moral worldview of this book. Sutty is homosexual, and I didn’t like how that was approached and handled in this book.
Le Guin’s books are always deep and philosophical, making the reader think carefully and question everything, so I had a certain expectation about how certain ideas of religion and morality would be explored in this book. I was very disappointed in the overall themes and ideas that are presented in this book. Religious people are looked down on as if they are unintelligent or insanely fanatical without reason or common sense. The whole thing just got on my nerves and made me angry to see these harmful ideas being celebrated.

Maybe if I had continued to read the book, I would have seen some of those ideas being overturned or explored in a more healthy manner, but I don’t have the inclination to continue.
I’m done with this book, and possibly with this author. I have loved some of her other books, but sometimes I don’t like the direction her books take.

I will say, her writing style is beautiful. Compelling and entrancing as her writing is, it makes it that much more of a shame that she can’t turn her talents to better subject material.

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