Well, it had been sat on my shelf for ages, and I knew I should really give it a go. After all, it’s one of those classics. It won both the Hugo and Nebula Awards when it came out in 1969. Mention its title to scifi fans and they nod sagely and say, ‘Ah, yes, LeGuin.’ And I’m a big fan of the Wizard of Earthsea.
I’d picked it up a few times and then put it straight back on the shelf. The write-up on the back is somehow drab and uninspiring in its description of the plot: an alien arrives on a planet of bigendered people and seeks to persuade them to join an alliance of planets that they don’t believe exists. The opening page is typified by dense text that is tough going.
It was only when I’d read everything else in the house and finished writing the last book in the Flesh & Bone Trilogy that I finally had no other choice than to pick up The Left Hand of Darkness again and give it a proper and committed go.
Well, I’m now on chapter 5 and really struggling. It’s just so slow and dull. Rambling. Someone said it was worth persevering cos it gets better, but at the mo I’ve lost so much will to live that I don’t even care if it does get better. In desperation, I’ve now started writing my new novel(!): The Book of St George. Maybe I should thank LeGuin’s novel for that then. Maybe I will persevere after all.