Review for The Dispossessed

The didactic dialogue only seemed heavy-handed when it wasn't completely thought-provoking or profound (which was, amazing, uncommon). But explanatory dialogue is almost impossible, for me at least, to take seriously on this scale - a large portion of the book is deep discussion. And even though a lot of it is very interesting, I found the characters much more moving than any of the political or philosophical ideas they presented through their debates. I preferred the philosophy involved in their characterizations, how the culture shaped them. I found this was done extremely well. However, the problem with the book for me is its lack of "set pieces" or basic narrative tension. There's very little action and that bothered me, having just read The Left Hand of Darkness, which is very exciting and tense. But unlike The Left Hand of Darkness, The Dispossessed has extremely well realized characters, very subtly done, and to me that’s its one major advantage and achievement. But I’d still say it’s not quite as good.
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