The Beginning Place

August 4, 2008

Ursula K. Le Guin has been one of my favorite authors. Her writing is sensible, in good taste, and the story always draws me in. She completely disdains the gooey in fantasy and forces her characters to act as honestly as they can.

The Beginning Place is the story of two disaffected young people, a lumbering ox of a boy and a small bird of a girl, each of whom separately finds the same gateway to a fantasy world. Although they don’t get along at first, circumstances force them to rely on each other.

The story is fairly short, barely 6 hours of audio (obtained from the library), and Rob Inglis is an excellent reader except for two things: he has a British accent and he is required (twice) to sing a short song in the girl’s voice. Fortunately, the bit of song is short. To his credit, he completely masters the fact that half of the
story is told in the sleepy-dull boy’s voice and the other half in the urgent and irritable girl’s.


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