I must start with a confession: this book has always scared me. Having read quite a lot about it, I guess in my head it just started growing out of proportion. Will I be able to grasp it, I couldn’t help but wonder.
The other day though, having just finished a book by Rainbow Rowell, I felt brave. I thought the time had come to see for myself what everyone else kept talking about. It was… not quite what I was expecting, but interesting nonetheless.
I found The Left Hand of Darkness to be quite easy to read. The writing has a rather enchanting rhythm to it and moments of true beauty. You can tell, right from the introduction, that there’s something really special about Ursula K. Le Guin – and it’s pretty visible, if not almost palpable, throughout the text.
About the storyline, I must say that I was expecting something a bit more… groundbreaking. The discussion of gender and androgyny is indeed curious, but it’s far from being the sun around which this novel orbits. It’s certainly a piece of the main puzzle, but I do believe if you go out of our way to find it you will end up missing quite a lot of curious details.
“Yes. There’s really only one question that can be answered, Genry, and we already know the answer… The only thing that makes life possible is permanent, intolerable uncertainly: not knowing what comes next.”
At the end of the day I would say that The Left Hand of Darkness is a novel about acceptance… and quite a beautiful love story.