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City of Illusions by Ursula K. Le Guin
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City of Illusions (original 1967; edition 1967)

by Ursula K. Le Guin, Jack Gaughan (Illustrator)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,1452510,439 (3.61)58
Member:konallis
Title:City of Illusions
Authors:Ursula K. Le Guin
Other authors:Jack Gaughan (Illustrator)
Info:Ace (1967), Edition: First Edition, Mass Market Paperback
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:science fiction, post-apocalyptic, read 2010, reread 2018

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City of Illusions by Ursula K. Le Guin (1967)

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» See also 58 mentions

English (24)  Dutch (1)  All languages (25)
Showing 1-5 of 24 (next | show all)
**City of Illusions** is part of the **Heinish Cycle**, and a good one (3.5) at that! This book starts out slow, and then meanders, and then reaches a pretty good ending – that is cut way too short, in my opinion. As is common with Ursula K. le Guin, we see the protagonist on a not-quite-intentional journey. The large time gaps in the beginning helped to keep the story moving, and made me feel invested in the protagonist's search for his past, without feeling that I was just seeing a common trope. The resolution was typical of le Guin, who rarely shies away from difficult discussions and decisions.
If only the ending hadn't been so short! I'd love to read a book on the last 20% of the story plus what came after. ( )
  _rixx_ | Aug 30, 2018 |
A man with amnesia appears in the forest but his eyes are not human eyes. The forest people took him in and taught him everything they know but he wants or needs to find out about his past. So he sets out for Es Toch, the City of the Shing. ( )
  gypsysmom | Aug 17, 2017 |
LeGuin is quite a writer. She takes the reader on a journey of discovery that plumbs the depths of the human condition while exploring the meaning of 'truth'. When someone tells you they are a liar, are they lying or telling you true? This is at the crux of the dilemma in which Falk, our protagonist, finds himself. The fate of humanity hangs in the balance and every action or reaction seems to lead toward disaster. The storylines of the preceding two Hainish Cycle books also dovetail nicely into this one. ( )
  ScoLgo | Jan 11, 2017 |
Best book by Le Guin yet. At least as good as left Hand of Darkness a post-galactic empire apocolyptic earth. The hero moves from barnarism to futuristic city across a modified North American Landscape. Enough hints at localities and references to the Hainish cycle all in a coherent and philosophocal read. Very enjoyable. ( )
  JBreedlove | Feb 14, 2016 |
"City of Illusions" follows Le Guin's "Planet of Exile." This is almost like two different books patched together. I really liked the first half of the book. It is set in a dystopian future of earth, at least 1,000 years in the future and probably several thousand. Human settlements are small and widely scattered. There are reasons for this which the reader is told, but we really don't understand. Much of history has been lost. Much has been preserved. Some of it may be not a true history. There is a big mystery here. The first half of the book is primarily a journey across the North American continent of the future and how it has reverted and the odd settlements and peoples that live sparsely across it. We follow a man named Falk who is in search of his own personal history in the far west. Exactly where I was never sure. Somewhere past the Rockies and before California. California is no more, apparently now only remnant islands with flooded valleys post-earthquake. The second half of the book takes place after Falk arrives at the place he sought, "Es Toch."

I was caught off guard by what is revealed in the second half of the novel. I as the reader certainly knew something was up and we are given clues, but the big reveal still surprised me more than it should have. Although I enjoyed the latter half of the book and liked how it tied in to elements of the preceding novel, it didn't really have my interest like the early part of the novel did. Still, overall I liked this story and appreciate how the first three novels fit together here.

I probably liked this one the best of the first three novels ( )
  RBeffa | Jul 23, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 24 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ursula K. Le Guinprimary authorall editionscalculated
Foss, ChrisCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gaughan, JackCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Molinari, MargheritaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Segrelles, VicenteCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Valla, RiccardoForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0586037551, Paperback)

1st Panther edition paperback, vg

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:25 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Earth, like the rest of the Known Worlds, has fallen to the Shing. Scattered here and there, small groups of humans live in a state of semi-barbarism. They have lost the skills, science and knowledge that had been Earth's in the golden age of the League of Worlds, and whenever a colony of humans tries to rekindle the embers of a half-forgotten technology, the Shing, with their strange, mindlying power, crush them out. There is one man who can stand against the malign Shing, but he is an alien with amber eyes and must first prove to paranoid humanity that he himself is not a creature of the Shing.… (more)

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