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You kids get off my lawn. 

A Wizard of Earthsea - Ursula K. Le Guin [You can find a sound recording of me reading this review here.]

I've read this at least twice since I signed onto GoodReads, and I haven't worked up the nerve to review it. I don't review some of what I read, for a variety of reasons. There's the things I abandon too fast to say I've even read them, like What Would Jane Austen Do?. (I'll tell you what she'd do: she'd put her own eyes out with a damn spoon, that's what.) There's things I get out from the library thinking they are something else, like The Lover. (Just fyi, NOT the semi-autobiographical novel by Marguerite Duras. No. Not that.) There's stuff related to my work that's just too boring, even to someone in the trades, to work up much energy about. (I'm not even going to link to anything, but you don't care, trust me.)

I haven't reviewed A Wizard of Earthsea because I love it too much. I can see its failings. There are long, boring sections about sailing. The plot skips around haphazardly with too many coincidences and overtly symbolic actions. But...but...but...even now I struggle to define why this story keeps me coming back, year after year, almost always keeping me up late into the the night, the house silent but for the noise of my sleeping family breathing, the tectonic hum of the furnace, the muffled chime of the clock marking out the hours and half hours as I read and read and read. Reading is a private art. Sometimes I cultivate its craft as a shield against strangers as I move from here to there: the bus, the coffeeshop, the plane. Sometimes I read as a ward against the crush of people I love, when I visit family and need a half hour of not-family-togetherness. Sometimes I read because inside books is a blossoming world that transmits from the author's mind to mine, and Earthsea is this kind of book for me, almost always undertaken in those odd times where I tuck in the edges of my life: too late, too early, at the hem of things.

The rest of this review can be found on Soapboxing.net.


Look, I totally get how annoying it is to find these teaser reviews that send you off site to read the rest of them. But given how Goodreads management has been insanely delete-happy about reviews that are "potentially off-topic", I'm not trusting my content to this site any longer.