The Dispossessed

An Ambiguous Utopia

Paperback, 341 pages

English language

Published Aug. 11, 1999 by Gollancz.

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5 stars (5 reviews)

Shevek, a brilliant physicist, decides to take action. He will seek answers, question the unquestionable, and attempt to tear down the walls of hatred that have isolated his planet of anarchists from the rest of the civilized universe. To do this dangerous task will mean giving up his family and possibly his life. Shevek must make the unprecedented journey to the utopian planet, Anarres, to challenge the complex structures of life and living, and ignite the fires of change.

1 edition

I suppose I have to figure out my missing old reviews

5 stars

Walls beyond walls.

Re-read 2020: Upped to 5 stars. Still a bit of a slow start and interspersed philosophical explainers, but I appreciate the complexities of this "evolving utopia" more than before, the human and social and intergenerational tensions she walks through in making the case complicated.

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5 stars
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4 stars


  • Life on other planets -- Fiction
  • Communal living -- Fiction
  • Physicists -- Fiction
  • Anarchism -- Fiction
  • Utopias -- Fiction