Tuesday 1 May 2007

7. Gifts

So, I'm still marking exams which means I still can handle only very light reads outside of work. I bought Gifts by Ursula K. Le Guin for something like $3 at one of those apparently totally illegal GIANT BOOK SALEs that have been popping up all over Toronto and thought this was the time to give it a shot.

I'd tried to read Le Guin's most famous novel for adults, The Left Hand of Darkness, when I was in high school, but found it unbearably dull and never finished it.

But I thought I'd give her another chance with this one - she is one of the world's most famous sci-fi/fantasy authors after all.

Gifts, which is for teens I'm guessing, is just okay. I found it hard to get through the first 50 pages - something about the writing style was bugging me. It's getting better now, mostly I suspect because I like the idea of the book - the so-called gifts of the title are really different small clans' respective abilities to maintain territory and/or livelihood in usually terrible, kind of supernatural ways.

Some can erase everything in other people's minds, some can call animals to them for the hunt, some can unmake things (i.e., kill or destroy them). The narrator is of the family of unmakers and I'm hanging on because the dust jacket tells me he's going to blind himself in order to be unable to use his gift - I want to know what happens then. But so far, it's pretty slow going.

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