The Word for World Is Forest

The Word for World Is Forest

Book - 2010
Average Rating:
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When the Athsheans, the inhabitants of a peaceful world, are conquered by the bloodthirsty Yumens, they retaliate against their captors, abandoning their rules against violence and endangering the very foundations of their society.
Publisher: New York : Tor, [2010]
Copyright Date: ©1972
ISBN: 9780765324641
0765324644
9781611293180
1611293189
Branch Call Number: SCI LEGUI-U
Characteristics: 189 pages ; 21 cm

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rixonkarla
Jul 28, 2012

This book is everything that is good about Le Guin. Lyrical, evocative, soft but with sharp edges in all the right places. This book should be required reading for anyone who wants to be a good citizen of the world.

b
beckylunatic
Jan 20, 2012

It was a fairly simplistic anti-colonialism and eco-preservation narrative (like Avatar, and like many others), not unenjoyable, but not particularly deep. The main villain was so over-the-top reprehensible, with no redeeming qualities or anything to make him a relatable or interesting figure. He's purely self-interested evil, so anyone opposing what he believes in is good, and that's the story. There are more nuanced figures, but they're all background and quite overshadowed by the giant cardboard cutout badguy standing in front of them. It surprises me a little that this was an award-winner, but it was the 70s and maybe expectations were lower. Maybe the book just suffers from brevity, as there's little room for complexity. But really, anybody who believes that clear-cutting forests and enslaving the natives is wrong doesn't need such a transparent lesson, and anybody who needs the lesson isn't going to read this book.

w
wizardlydanny
Nov 04, 2011

After reading this wonderful scifi novel I decided that Ursula K. Leguin is one of my favorite writers. If you've watched the movie 'Avatar', you'll quickly notice the similarities to this book's plot, setting and characters. The original book was written over 30 years ago, so it could have been one of the movie's inspirations. This novel plunges the reader right away into a unique world called New Tahiti, also known as Athshea. A seemingly endless forest covers all the lands on this planet of another star. A race of small intelligent humanoids who are guided by their lucid dreams dwell here, and are unfortunately used as slaves by the human colonizers. The enslaved beings are at first peaceful but then they are compelled by their new leader into an epic confrontation with their conquerers. I won't give away the ending but I'll say it is a jaw-dropper. What a gripping read this was!

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