Always Coming Home

Ursula K. Le Guin
Always Coming Home Cover

Always Coming Home


Writing this almost seems like blasphemy. I understand that Ursula K. LeGuin is a giant of the SF genre and an important writer of the 20th century. I understand that this book is considered a tour de force. While I appreciate the work that went into it, I cannot recommend it.

I found the book to be meandering, tedious and dull. The Stone Telling sections are enjoyable but the narrative falls flat much of the time and the world that is fleshed out simply isn't very interesting. It takes place in a future, radically changed Northern California, long after an apocalyptic event wiped out our current civilization. The Kesh, the inhabitants of this world, have a deep connection with nature and regard "us" as nothing less than monsters since we spoiled our land. That is understandable, especially since they are still suffering the effects of our destruction.

LeGuin went all out to craft a believable world for the Kesh, from songs, poems and recipes to excerpts of their fiction. I just didn't find it interesting or compelling. I respect the effort but I didn't enjoy the book.