I completed The Left Hand of Darkness with about 7 days left in the month to go, achieving my first goal of finishing the epic sci-fi novel before the end of May.
As I mentioned before, the book is slightly dense, and the hardest yet most endearing part of the book dealt with the journey of the two main characters, Genly and Estraven, across this massive ice land. I didn’t think I would make it through, much like the characters. But I did. And when I made it through with them, it was a quick succession of events that ended with me being very teary-eyed. I may have shed a tear or two.
So … what did I take from the book?
1. To Push Beyond the Envelope
If it’s one thing that Ursula definitely does throughout most of this novel, it’s making you think. From the introduction to the end of the book, this woman had my brain working overtime. First she gives me an an androgynous/sexless/hermaphroditic society, then he poses questions about the consequences of equality, and then she talks about the duality of a person, while weaving in all these sociological and political undertones. It was like:
2. To Make a Story Rich
TLHOD had a lot of vocabulary. At one point I thought I was straight out stupid because I didn’t know half of the words in this book. Then I realized that she made them up! And used them so flawlessly in between actual words that I couldn’t tell the difference. And of course, her story was made all the richer for it because her world was complete with its own words to describe its culture
and last but not least…
3. Don’t Be Afraid of a Long Tale
As I previously mentioned before, I only got into TLHOD after hearing it mentioned in a movie I watched a while back. It was only after I started reading the book, did I learn that it was a part of a larger tale. One of my fears it to have a story that’s really now and not interesting, but sometimes it does take several tales (sometimes even different ones that interweave in and out) to tell a story, or make it more interesting. Not to mention, I loved the way Ursula changed her narration between scientific findings, to the point of view of one character to the legend of a group people to the point of view of another character for the same event.
That’s about it for now. Oh, I’ve also started on book 12 of 13 in the Sookie Stackhouse Novels (aka the True Blood books) called Deadlock.
After this book, it’s Dead Ever After and then we can say goodbye to all the characters that I’ve grown to hate, dislike, loathe, can’t stand, and love. However, I did read somewhere that we can apparently expect an epilogue novel with a follow-up of all the main characters. *shrugs*