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“As the daughter of a King, and an only child, it is Lavinia's duty to marry. Although presented with many suitors, there seems to be only one choice; Turnus, a neighbouring King who is both youthful and handsome. However an oracle foretells a different choice of husband for Lavinia; a choice that...”see full review » see other reviews »
Didn’t Like It
“Having not read an Ursula Le Guin book for years I was desparate to enjoy this but just couldn't find my way into it.”see full review » see other reviews »
“Having not read an Ursula Le Guin book for years I was desparate to enjoy this but just couldn't find my way into it.”Ann T wrote this review Saturday, December 15, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I will always be a romance reader. I believe everyone should have some kind of recreational reading that does not tax their brain and entertains them. For each of us that type of reading is different. I read romances when I am tired and my brain is full, especially if I am stressed. For talking book entertainment, I listen to mysteries.
However, that does not mean that I don't like to stretch my brain and my reading interests. It is just that there is always the right book for a time or place and you have to find it. This weekend I found time to finish Lavinia by Le Guin. What a wonderful book. Only a marvelous writer like Le Guin could take a character from someone else's book (The Aenead) and write a 200+ page novel that is not a rip-off, but a fully formed, wonderful idea of her own.
I spent last Saturday living in a land that has never existed except in book. A homage from Le Guin to Virgil that took me away from modern day Virginia. I could barely remember where I was because her writing, her narrative kept me enthralled. Lavinia gave me ideas to think about, characters to love and hate, places to visit and a culture to explore. All more than enough from one book.
I recommend that the following people try to meet Lavinia for themselves: readers of the Aenead no matter if they liked it or not, readers of Le Guin who is always wonderful, historic fiction lovers, feminists, and anyone who is looking for a book that may take them away from all this and to another world entirely.”
“Not my favorite Ursule K. LeGuin and not SF either but well written and interesting - would have been better to read Aeneid first.”lizzardego wrote this review Tuesday, August 21, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I'm going to admit right now, I'm not very familiar with Virgil's Aeneid. It's not exactly "light" reading, and I'm feeling good for having just conquered Beowulf for the first time. That said, I was still insanely interested in Lavinia by Ursula Le Guin when I saw that it was on a list for one of the best books based off of literary classics.
In language that, for all it's strange names and odd places, is quite simple to read, Ursula Le Guin takes us through the poet's (Virgil's) vision of Latinum and Lavinia. Lavinia's voice is quiet and thoughtful, dictating very precisely her love of the truly pious, which she defines toward the beginning of the book so you are made very aware of what she is looking for. There is fighting, but second-hand retelling of the fighting so the book does not focus on the sensation of it. There's intrigue and love and desire. There's a story of respect between fathers and daughters and wives and husbands. And most of all - this book tells a side of a story that doesn't get told by Virgil, and does it well.
Le Guin did a beautiful job with her research and the writing is really spectacular. This was the first book I've read by her and I'll be seeking out her fantasy novels - if this is any indication, I'll gladly live in any world she has designed.”
“This book ended up being an ok "read". I will warn you that the beginning is extremely slow. And it was actually confusing as an audiobook because there are jumps in the timeline, and sometimes I couldn't figure out what was happening. But the overall story was very good. The novel is the fleshed out story of Lavinia, briefly mentioned in Virgil's Aeneid. It's worth a read.”Kristin S wrote this review Wednesday, June 20, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I loved the story, the heroine, the sense of what it could have been like to live the. Had troubles keeping the names of the characters straight, but that's a minor quibble.”Yonda wrote this review Sunday, May 6, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“This is a odd compelling story set in the era between the fall of Troy and the founding of Rome. The details of daily life ring true, as does the geography of a part of ancient Italy. The characters, in a tribal, savage world, are fully human and various and Lavinia herself is an unexpectedly strong, idiosycratic and interesting heroine. Made re-reading the Aeneid a pleasure.”MizLoo wrote this review Monday, February 13, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“It never really grabbed me. Characters were not memorable. Would rather have spent the time reading Homer.”Andrew Levkoff wrote this review Friday, November 4, 2011. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“So far this is the most beautifull written novel I have read by LeGuin. It is touching, haunting, fittingly poetic, and post-modern without being irreverent. A wonderfully provocative work.”Gribshnobler wrote this review Tuesday, October 4, 2011. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“This was my first LeGuin and I have mixed feelings. One one hand, the woman knows how to create a fictional world. She has well-rounded characters with fully fleshed out personalities. Also, how brilliant is it to take one supposedly unremarkable person from an epic poem and bring her to life? The downside, no matter how I try, I don't think I'm a sci/fi fantasy person, which is where the bulk of LeGuin's writings falls. I will certainly leave myself open to reading her again. ”Blue Cypress Books wrote this review Saturday, April 30, 2011. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No