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Old 10-01-2018, 01:02 PM
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Default The Books of Earthsea, collected and illustrated edition, releasing October 30th

Ursula K. LeGuin's The Books of Earthsea, containing all of the books and short stories from the series plus a new story, and Illustrated by Charles Vess, is coming out on October 30th.



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Contains the short story, 'The Daughter of Odren', published in print for the first time, and the brand new story 'Firelight'.

Now for the first time ever, all together in one volume, The Books of Earthsea, contains the early short stories, Le Guin's 'Earthsea Revisioned' Oxford lecture, and new Earthsea stories, never before printed. With a new introduction by Le Guin herself, this essential edition will also include over fifty illustrations by renowned artist Charles Vess, specially commissioned and selected by Le Guin, to bring her refined vision of Earthsea and its people to life in a totally new way.

- 1,008 pages
- 56 illustrations (including seven lavishly coloured plate sections)
- maps of Earthsea
- stunningly beautiful endpapers
- Six novels
- 4 short stories
- An essay

Stories include: 'A Wizard of Earthsea', 'The Tombs of Atuan', 'The Farthest Shore', 'Tehanu', 'Tales From Earthsea', 'The Other Wind', 'The Rule of Names', 'The Word of Unbinding', 'The Daughter of Odren', and 'Earthsea Revisioned: A Lecture at Oxford University'


I've been following this for a while, and while it's a real shame that it didn't come out before she passed away, she spent a lot of time working with Vess on it and I'm glad that they'll all be collected in one volume. I read the books digitally (yeah, I somehow missed them as a kid), so I'm excited to finally have a physical version. Plus, I love the Bone Prequel, Rose, that Vess illustrated, and he seems like a great fit for Earthsea too.
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Old 10-02-2018, 08:21 AM
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I might buy this with money
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Old 10-21-2018, 03:42 PM
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I've only read the first book, and about a year ago I decided to hold off on reading the remainder until this book came out. Very excited to read it in this format.

This account of the Vess-Le Guin collaboration is wonderful.
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Old 10-23-2018, 04:52 PM
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I've been really hankering to read the original trilogy again, and this looks beautiful, but 1,000 page omnibuses are hard to read on the train...

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Old 10-23-2018, 08:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Lakupo View Post
I've been really hankering to read the original trilogy again, and this looks beautiful, but 1,000 page omnibuses are hard to read on the train...
I got an early copy today. It's as gorgeous as advertised, but it's also thicker even than I expected and quite heavy. I cannot wait to sit down and read.

You can sometimes find the paperback of the first four books (ISBN 9780241956878) in US bookstores: that could definitely be taken on a train.
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Old 10-31-2018, 07:05 PM
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I've seen some "never read it before, can't wait to read this whole series to my young children!" comments online. This is probably not a great idea for your average child, at least after the first three books.

A good chunk of the fourth book is an extended rumination on feminine domesticity and the complications of new relationships and sex for a widow in old age. And another major theme is dealing with the trauma of sexual assault.

I love that after taking a decades long break from her beloved fantasy series that she thought she was done with, she came back to basically ask, "Okay, but what's it like to be a house wife in this world?" And by thinking through those and other women's issues, in her later work she essentially writes a detailed feminist critique of her own early work. (And then, later, a critique of the portrayal of death.) I love Earthsea precisely because it's both the classic late 60s/early 70s fantasy and also the decades later critical reappraisal and feminist reimagining of genre tropes, but written by the same author. But by the time that self-directed critique starts in Tehanu the series is not exactly kid friendly.

I don't think I would have even appreciated it fully enough in my 20s, let alone as a young kid.

Tehanu is focused on adult themes, and not "adult" as in grimdark, but "adult" in that a lot of it is invested in an exploration of the complexity and mundanity of adult responsibilities and relationships.

. . . anyway, I hope I get this for Christmas. I want it totally irrationally because it looks like a beautiful object, but I read all these too recently to really justify buying it.

Last edited by estragon; 10-31-2018 at 07:24 PM.
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Old 10-31-2018, 07:30 PM
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I've never read these and bought the compilation right away. It's sitting on my reading chair, it looks like a delight. Can't wait to dig in.
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Old 10-31-2018, 09:18 PM
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I'll probably get this in another week and I'm very happy. I've only read the first three books and barely remember anything about Tehanu. I read these when I was 14 or 16 so coming back to them when I'm pushing 30 might offer more insight than before.
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Old 11-01-2018, 06:50 AM
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I also bought this. It's real pretty and heavy. I will dig in in a few months, probably.
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Old 11-01-2018, 07:22 AM
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Im going to pick this up this weekend if I can find it!
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Old 11-12-2018, 08:23 AM
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I gladly and immediately dropped money dollars on this. I lost my paperback collected copy a while ago, and it looks beautiful.
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Old 11-12-2018, 11:48 AM
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I'm reading The Farthest Shore right now. I'm enjoying it - given is themes, it is an unpleasant and lifeless read, but they are interesting themes, and i like Le Guin's prose. I'm a dumb reader! That's all i can say.

I'm curious to see why Le Guin chose Arren as a protagonist. He gives a different perspective on Ged, but there's probably more.

So far, i've loved the previous books. The second book makes you think back on the first book as a story of privilegy, and it is - but it doesn't make A Wizard Of Eartshea less interesting to me. This sort of thing is what we want everyone to have, right.

The Tombs of Atuan was quite the emotional experience. Great stuff.
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Old 12-02-2018, 07:41 AM
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Warning: poor english.

I've finished reading Tehanu yesterday. What a book! I think that The Tombs Of Atuan deals with gender issues with broad strokes - it a story in which we have a protagonist in pains to free herself mentally and physically from a society that has only oppressed her and corrupted every human relationship she has -, while Tehanu deals more with the daily life aspects about how it is like to live in this world.

It moved me a lot, and i've cried one time while reading it. But there is a balance to the book - even if the themes of the book are heavy, Le Guin guides you through it in a way that isn't unbearable, and at the same time it never achieves a serenity that is 'only a deliberate hebetude'. I really like Le Guin's writing.

Quote:
I love that after taking a decades long break from her beloved fantasy series that she thought she was done with, she came back to basically ask, "Okay, but what's it like to be a house wife in this world?" And by thinking through those and other women's issues, in her later work she essentially writes a detailed feminist critique of her own early work. (And then, later, a critique of the portrayal of death.) I love Earthsea precisely because it's both the classic late 60s/early 70s fantasy and also the decades later critical reappraisal and feminist reimagining of genre tropes, but written by the same author. But by the time that self-directed critique starts in Tehanu the series is not exactly kid friendly.
I'm really interested in The Other Wind right now (this is the book you're talking about, right?)! My thoughts about death are pretty much aligned with The Farthest Shore, so i'm interested to read what Le Guin had to say about it in later life.
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Old 12-02-2018, 05:25 PM
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I'm glad to hear you enjoyed it. It is divisive for a lot of readers who enjoyed the first three books, but if you're willing to follow Le Guin where she trying to go, it's really a wonderful book. I think the book's intimate portrait of domesticity and everydayness is in a way the culmination of her experiments with fantasy.

If you are able to get a hold of it, I would definitely recommend reading the Tales from Earthsea short story collection before The Other Wind. The last story in it especially serves as a kind of bridge between Tehanu and The Other Wind.

(Your English is very clear, BTW!)
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Old 12-02-2018, 07:03 PM
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I almost never read books anymore, I don't really do well with reading because I always space out. But these books were pretty great back in the day. I work like 12 hours a day alone so I can listen to audio books just fine. I recently went through the first book in this series again and found it to be a bit childish at first but really hit home and got cool by the midway point. I really like the friendship between Ged and Vetch, it's illustrated in a touching way. And I also like the world building LeGuin does. She goes through many locations in just the first book, and they're all pretty unique in their own right. I've read the first four of the series up to Tehanu and each one seemed to grow more and more boring. Probably because of how my interest in reading waned over time. I didn't even know there were any more of these past 'Tales from Earthsea.' I'll have to go see if they have any on auidoble as that's the only way I consume books anymore at this point in my life. This extended edition looks really cool, especially the maps. I always liked maps in fantasy books, the more detailed the better. Just something about them.
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Old 12-02-2018, 07:41 PM
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Audible has all 6 Earthsea books, including Tales from Earthsea.

re: feeling more boring

Le Guin is exploring ways to tell fantasy stories that don't just culminate in fights and wars and other violence to resolve problems.

By Tehanu, she's had break for a few decades with a new perspective and is writing something that's formally a lot more like what might be classified in the literary fiction genre. It's largely from the perspective of an older woman reflecting on her life, and for the most part she is not empowered to fix her problems with magic or swords or violence. This is probably my favorite Earthsea novel and the most she leans completely into pushing against the boundaries of what a fantasy novel should/can be. It's definitely not for kids, and it's a deliberately paced portrait of domesticity, not even trying to be a page turning fantasy adventure.

In the Tales of Earthsea stories and in The Other Wind there is more of a traditional adventure element present again and more frequent magic, but at the same time she's still continuing that formal experimentation and explicitly critiquing her earlier work, rather than just trying to spin a yarn. Even the books after Tehanu are relatively more focused on inner lives, and not about danger, dramatic confrontations, and "what happens next?" level of narrative content. (Although danger and dramatic confrontations do occur, even in Tehanu.)

This won't be for everyone. The later books are in a certain sense exactly the opposite of the early books. I loved every Earthsea book, but it's understandable why some might prefer just the earlier or just the later books.
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