Here are signs that I won't like a book:
- Everyone and everywhere has made-up sounding names.
- There are tankards of ale.
In other words, I don't like fantasy books.
But because I am...what? A jackass? I am trying to submit to this book and cast away my prejudices and just enjoy what this is, and it's...oh, whatever, it's fine I guess. It's very fantasyish. And it's got a little to say about feminism, of course: the big idea here is that the protagonist is a stranger in a strange land where everyone is, uh...ambisexual? They're sexless unless they're in heat and then they take on either gender, depending on either chance or something that I wasn't paying attention to. So, y'know, one person might have fathered three kids and mothered three others. And Le Guin is exploring traditional gender roles.
Side note: sometimes Jo and I do something like "Okay, I'm gonna take out the trash and you vacuum," and then we shriek "Gendered!" at each other and giggle. Just kidding, of course, boys don't giggle. Jo giggles. I chortle.
And then I'm like "High five!" and she's like "No."
Animal geek that I am, I've been derailed by Le Guin's statements that humans are the only animals who rape, and also the only animals who wage organized war. We may not have known better at the time, but we do now. So, y'know, whatever her point was with those two things, it's out of date.