The Dispossessed, Paperback
4 out of 5 (12 ratings)


The Principle of Simultaneity is a scientific breakthrough which will revolutionize interstellar civilization by making possible instantaneous communication.

It is the life work of Shevek, a brilliant physicist from the arid anarchist world of Anarres. But Shevek's work is being stifled by jealous colleagues, so he travels to Anarres's sister-planet Urras, hoping to find more liberty and tolerance there.

But he soon finds himself being used as a pawn in a deadly political game.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 336 pages, maps
  • Publisher: Orion Publishing Co
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Science fiction
  • ISBN: 9781857988826



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Showing 1 - 5 of 12 reviews.

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Review by

Alien anarchists. My favourite Le Guin novel.

Review by

This is the book that made me go "aha!" with regard to my favoured political philosophy. There is LeGuin's usual sparse but elegant prose, some of the best characters for one of her earlier works, and I love the fact that the anarchist society is not represented as some perfect utopia. There are "good" and "bad" people on both the anarchist and the capitalist worlds - another echo of LeGuin's Taoist philosophy.

Review by

Classic Ursula le Guin sci-fi, distinguished both by the quality of her writing and the power of her imagination. Humour is not her forte, but the strenghth of her ideas more than compensates for that lack.

Review by

I found this a thought-provoking exploration of an anarchist society eking out a marginal existence on a desert moon. Shevek, a theoretical physicist, is researching a theory of time counter to the prevailing orthodoxy. Le Guin uses his struggle to explore some of the ways in which anarchism can lead to conformity and a suppression of individual freedom. That said, I was left with the distinct feeling that there were levels to this book that I didn't comprehend or simply missed entirely. That's the sign of a good book to me!

Review by

This is a subtle exploration of how the individual operates in various political contexts, how disillusionment sets in, and how hard it is to adapt to new surroundings and systems. It is one of the best Sci-Fi novels I’ve read in a long time.

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