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Extended Audio Sample City of Illusions Audiobook, by Ursula K. Le Guin Click for printable size audiobook cover
2.9986575562701 out of 52.9986575562701 out of 52.9986575562701 out of 52.9986575562701 out of 52.9986575562701 out of 5 3.00 (1,244 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Ursula K. Le Guin Narrator: Stefan Rudnicki Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Hainish Cycle Release Date: November 2010 ISBN: 9781455191963
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He is a full-grown man, alone in a dense forest, with no trail to show where he has come from and no memory to tell who or what he is. His eyes are not the eyes of a human. The forest people take him in and raise him, teaching him to speak, training him in the knowledge and lore of the forest, but they cannot solve the riddle of his past. At last, he sets out on a perilous quest to find his true self—and discovers a universe of danger.

City of Illusions is a part of the acclaimed Hainish Cycle, set in a galaxy colonized hundreds of thousands of years ago by a variety of humanoid species. Since the golden age of the League of All Worlds, Earth, like the rest of the known worlds, has fallen to the Shing, who rule through subtle mind control. Scattered groups of humans endure in a state of paranoia and semibarbarism. Is there one who can stand against the Shing?

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Le Guin writes in quiet, straightforward sentences about people who feel they are being torn apart by massive forces in society—technological, political, economic—and who fight courageously to remain whole.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “The writing…has the generous ardor and judiciousness which mark Le Guin as the rara avis she is: a sci-fi novelist writing for grownups.”

    Kirkus Reviews

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 itpdx | 1/23/2014

    " This book is classic LeGuinn--"what would human society's response be if...?" It is an interesting story but the ending is a little disappointing. I did not know enough about Ramerren's world on Ching society to not feel that the ending was "pulled out of the hat". "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Erik Graff | 1/21/2014

    " This may be the first novel I ever read by Ursula K. Le Guin. It left little impression. Her Nebula Award Winner, The Left Hand of Darkness, is what brought her to consciousness soon thereafter, constituting her as one of my favorite sf authors. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 James Quirk | 12/16/2013

    " I don't think Le Guin knew what to do with this story as it progressed. The idea of this "alien" who, in the end, might be a spaceship pilot whose mind was erased...it doesn't really make much sense toward the end and then just ends abruptly. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Larry | 12/4/2013

    " Didn't finish, I got tired of the odd,annoying writing style and gave up. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Laramort | 10/30/2013

    " I didn't finish this. It was too weird. Maybe some day... "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Erika | 10/8/2013

    " Maybe it's partially because this was an audiobook, but I had a hard time getting into this one. Once it got started, the plot was pretty interesting, although it got a little too sci-fi in parts for my taste. I don't regret reading it but I probably won't recommend it to anyone else. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jen | 7/1/2013

    " Fabulous science fiction that still makes me think today. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Franklin | 1/20/2013

    " As far as Ursula K. Le Guin goes I think this book is right below "The Left Hand of Darkness" and "The Disspossessed". It was very enjoyable and had a lot of interesting ideas, but there wasn't as many of the larger more serious ideas of the other two novels I've mentioned. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sarah | 10/9/2012

    " Really good. Part of her Hainish cycle of books, this one continues the story started in Planet of Exile. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jack | 6/13/2012

    " Not quite the complete and magical world of The Left Hand Of Darkness, this novel is nonetheless better than most Sci Fi or Imagined Future writers because of its strong characterization and emotional connections between the characters and their fluxing, difficult environment. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Austin | 3/3/2012

    " Very interesting universe created by Le Guin. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Magdalena | 9/8/2011

    " Fascinating book. Illusions in illusions, labyrinths of lies, traps of memory. Still not so good as "Left Hand of Darkness", but close. ;) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ryan | 4/28/2011

    " The three books are VERY losely connected. They can be read seperatly with no issues. Great job on the characters. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ashe | 1/7/2011

    " I enjoyed all three of the short stories and also how she tied the three together. I thought this book was a great introduction to the Hainish series and to Ursula Le Guin's style of writing and I can't wait to read Left Hand of Darkness. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 diana | 9/23/2010

    " Phenomenal! This is what science fiction should be. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mike | 5/10/2010

    " Three related stories by Ursala K. LeQuin - well crafted and each carrying a theme inherent with the well-chosen titles. I'm glad to have found this book collecting all three novels together! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Juliet | 5/6/2009

    " First Ursula Le Guin book I ever read. Hooked for life. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amanda | 3/31/2009

    " I read this years ago. I am re-reading it. It is excellent. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Karena | 1/19/2009

    " A well-written, wild adventure trilogy. "

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About the Author
Author Ursula K. Le Guin

Ursula K. Le Guin is widely recognized as one of the greatest science fiction writers in the history of the genre. She has won both the Hugo and Nebula Awards on several occasions, as well as many other honors and prizes.

About the Narrator

Stefan Rudnicki first became involved with audiobooks in 1994. Now a Grammy-winning audiobook producer, he has worked on more than three thousand audiobooks as a narrator, writer, producer, or director. He has narrated more than three hundred audiobooks. A recipient of multiple AudioFile Earphones Awards, he was presented the coveted Audie Award for solo narration in 2005, 2007, and 2014 and was named one of AudioFile’s Golden Voices in 2012.