Though I was a huge science fiction fan in my teens, I never became a Le Guin fan (aside from her brilliant Left Hand of Darkness). Though a skilled writer, Le Guin’s plots are too complex to be great storytelling.
Heinlein was better.
I still feel that way. This book has a terrific plot: Shevek (a physicist) is the first from his planet in ages to travel to the supposedly utopian mother planet, Urras, in order to share an astonishing discovery.
It does not go well. Nor does the book. It’s too wordy, too complicated.
It achieved a degree of literary recognition unusual for science fiction works due to its exploration of many themes, including anarchism and revolutionary societies, capitalism and individualism and collectivism. …