The Telling

  • by Ursula K. Le Guin
  • Narrated by Gabra Zackman
  • 6 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Once a culturally rich world, the planet Aka has been utterly transformed by technology. Records of the past have been destroyed, and citizens are strictly monitored. But an official observer from Earth will discover a group of outcasts who still practice its lost religion - the Telling.
Intrigued by their beliefs, she joins them on a sacred pilgrimage into the mountains...and into the dangerous terrain of her own heart, mind, and soul.


What the Critics Say

Locus Award, Best Novel, 2001
"In this virtually flawless new tale set in her Hainish universe, Le Guin...sends a young woman from Earth on her first mission, to the planet Aka as an Observer for the Ekumen....This is a novel that aficionados of morally serious SF won't want to miss." (Publishers Weekly)
"Gabra Zackman's steady and grounded narration lays the foundation...." (AudioFile)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

disappointingly dull

As always, Le Guin’s language is beautiful, but The Telling has a heavy-handed Message and it's plotless. If this had been written decades ago, it might have had more meaning, but for a book written in 2000, it’s disappointingly dull.
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- Katherine "I'm the managing editor of the Fantasy Literature blog. Life's too short to read bad books!"

Tough read

I am a long time Le Guin fan. The Telling is a very slow introspective examination of a society and culture through the eyes of a visitor from earth. There is very little action and with the exception of the main character, the listener really does not get to know the other characters in the book very well. The text concentrates on an examination of a planets society that has been perverted by exposure to off world technology and has turned technological progress into a religion of sorts, repressing the worlds native history and culture. Typical to Le Guin, her writing is fluid and poetic. I thought this story was wonderfully narrated. In the end, I struggled to get through this book. It never captured my full attention and I found myself wishing for something to happen or for the plot to move forward. I am hesitant to recommend it.
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- Gregory "Say something about yourself!"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-01-2009
  • Publisher: Audible Studios