Sutty is an observer, a listener, a historian. Escaped from Earth and the fanatical, book-burning Unists, she has been sent to Aka to learn about the Telling. But by the time she crosses space (over 100 years) the Telling has been burned, buried, destroyed, much like her own culture was. Sutty’s journey to knowledge leads her not only to the Telling, but also to the dreadful tragedy of human contact with the Aka.
A classic science fiction by one of the best in the genre. This is not space opera. This is the view through a window to another world, another culture.
Le Guin’s prose is beautiful and evocative in the true sense of the word – there’s not a cliched phrase in the entire book. I found it slightly confusing at first, as Le Guin really drops you right in the middle, but I quickly got into the rhythm of the story and then just flew through it to the end.
A beautiful book, and told on a much deeper level than a simple story. And how nice to see a non-white, non-heterosexual protagonist. Le Guin doesn’t make a statement of it. She just writes Sutty’s story. I appreciate that.