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Publisher's Summary

He is a full-grown man, alone in dense forest, with no trail to show where he has come from and no memory to tell who or what he is. His eyes are not the eyes of a human. The forest people take him in and raise him almost as a child, teaching him to speak, training him in forest lore, giving him all the knowledge they have. But they could not solve the riddle of his past, and at last he has to set out on a perilous quest to find his true self - and a universe of danger.
©1967 Ursula K. Le Guin (P)2007 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Cathy on 09-22-09

A Quest For Falk, A Discovery For Me

I normally do not read science fiction or fantasy, but this book sounded different. I have read a few Asimov and Bradbury novels and enjoyed them, so when I discovered this novel from a multiple winner of Hugo and Nebula awards and a Library of Congress "Living Legend" I decided to chance it, and I'm glad I did.

The language Ms. LeGuin uses is deceptively simple, but fully paints a picture of an earth I never imagined. I'm a big fan of Barbara Kingsolver, whom I also think can paint an electric landscape with tiny little English words, and I found myself appreciating Ms. LeGuin's writing for much the same reason.

There was enough mystery in this quest story to keep me hooked, and enough intrigue to make me sorry to end the day's listening. I seldom had to "rewind" to re-establish my understanding, although there are a couple of places where great leaps are taken.

The narration was excellent, simply excellent. His voice carried her story. It ended up to be a fairly fast read for me, and that speaks well for the book. It is an adult book, and when I say it is a bit earthy, I am not referring to its science fiction base. I tend to be a bit conventional in my reading choices, but found this stretch from the conventional, for me, to be rewarding.

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15 of 15 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Darwin8u on 04-30-18

Truth, as ever, avoids the stranger.

"There's always more than one way towards the truth. Strap yourself in."
- Ursula K. Le Guin, City of Illusions

"Truth, as ever, avoids the stranger."
- Ursula K. Le Guin, City of Illusions

'City of Illusions' is the third book in LOA's Ursula K. Le Guin: Hainish Novels and Stories, Vol. 1. It was originally published in 1967. It has two main narrators Falk and Ramarren. It is infused with anthropology, philosophical speculations on the nature of truth, time, lies, patterns, knowledge, mortality, isolation, the alien and the self. It is also heavily influenced by Taoism (Thurro-dowism; the Old Canon).

The book started off probably a 3-star book. A bit slow, heavy, unwieldy. But the last couple chapters were definitely 5-stars. Perhaps, it is just my preference for the philosophical twistings and lint-picking that happens at the end: the explanation and unwinding of the story. Who knows? I also rather liked the taoist chessplayer aspects; mind-against-mind, playing for worlds.*

*I'm being purposefully opaque here not wanting to give away the ending.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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