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City of Illusions (1967)

by Ursula K. Le Guin

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Hainish Cycle (3), Hainish Cycle, Chronological (5)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,3582910,653 (3.57)65
He is a full-grown man, alone in dense forest, with no trail to show where he has come from and no memory to tell who or what he is. His eyes are not the eyes of a human. The forest people take him in and raise him almost as a child, teaching him to speak, training him in forest lore, giving him all the knowledge they have. But they could not solve the riddle of his past, and at last he has to set out on a perilous quest to find his true self--and a universe of danger.… (more)
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» See also 65 mentions

English (27)  Dutch (1)  French (1)  All languages (29)
Showing 1-5 of 27 (next | show all)
Read as part of 'Worlds of Exile and Illusions' omnibus ( )
  fmc712 | Feb 18, 2021 |
The last of the three early works that are loosely grouped together. It has distant ties to Planet of Exile. On a far future Earth, a man comes out of the forest with strange eyes and no memory. The small isolated community cares for him until he is ready to seek his identity on a journey across the continent. He meets with extremes of kindness and cruelty as his trip becomes more and more like a strange hallucination. His character, in itself, is less interesting than the adventure. (June 10, 2005) ( )
  cindywho | May 27, 2019 |
See combined review of this, 'Rocannon's World', and 'Planet of Exile' in 'Three Hainish Novels'

Hainish Cycle:

Next: 'The Left Hand of Darkness'

Previous: 'Planet of Exile' ( )
  ManWithAnAgenda | Feb 18, 2019 |
**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 |
Showing 1-5 of 27 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Le Guin, Ursula K.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
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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Imagine darkness.
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He is a full-grown man, alone in dense forest, with no trail to show where he has come from and no memory to tell who or what he is. His eyes are not the eyes of a human. The forest people take him in and raise him almost as a child, teaching him to speak, training him in forest lore, giving him all the knowledge they have. But they could not solve the riddle of his past, and at last he has to set out on a perilous quest to find his true self--and a universe of danger.

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Average: (3.57)
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