Changing Planes, Ursula K. Le Guin (Harcourt, 2003/Audible Audio Edition) Narrator – Gabrielle De Cuir

Cover of "Changing Planes: Stories"

Cover of Changing Planes: Stories

Α  — Great book, must read regardless of what Genres you enjoy.  Makes you think of things beyond the scope of the book

 In brief:

Changing Planes is a delightful collection of vignettes bound tightly together by the premise of a travel book for those who want to visit alternate planes of reality. These alternate planes can be readily reached by anyone who is waiting in an airport lounge between flights.

Written with the lyrical prose that marks so much of Ms. Le Guin‘s work (and beautifully read by Ms. de Cuir), this book is alternately funny, upsetting and thought-provoking.  I have no hesitation in recommending it to anyone who enjoys any kind of literature.


This world and others.  The basic premise of this book is that one can become a sort of Astral tourist by shifting planes while waiting in airport lounges.  How funny is that?  Yet in true Le Guin style, as the story progresses, we come across touching and upsetting tales that cause one to think about ourselves.

 In Depth:

I enjoyed listening to this book. Each chapter provides a separate description of a different plane of existence bound together by the narrator who experiences each of them.  There is a general over arching story arc, but it is a delicate one.  Similarly each chapter has its own arc, but each delivered in a travelogue kind of a style rather that as a story per se. 

 Beyond that, and the fact that it is beautifully written and delightful, there’s really not much to say other than read this book if you like good writing that makes commentary on different levels (or even planes) of understanding. 

 Notes About Audio Edition:

Gabrielle De Cuir narrates this series of tales in an authentic voice that does justice to the writing.  There are some books that can be read by either men or women, but as that this tale is told in the first person (like any good travel book must be), it required a female voice talent who could read with the gentleness of Le Guin’s writing.  De Cuir pulls this off beautifully, adding a personal touch a human feel that pulls one more deeply into the text.

About Thomas Evans

I'm a writer of mysteries, espionage, and speculative fiction. In my previous incarnation I was an archaeologist specializing in gender and identity in Iron and Bronze Age Europe. Mostly, however, I was known for my works with the use of geomatics, multiscalular spatial analysis and landscape theory within archaeology.
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4 Responses to Changing Planes, Ursula K. Le Guin (Harcourt, 2003/Audible Audio Edition) Narrator – Gabrielle De Cuir

  1. Joachim Boaz says:

    Have you read her collection, The Birthday of the World? There some wonderful stories in there…. ‘Paradises Lost’ is my favorite (a generation ship!).

  2. Thomas Evans says:

    I haven’t read the collection, but I’ve read a huge number of her short fiction pieces, and particularly enjoyed Paradises Lost. One of my absolute favorite short stories of all time is “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas.”

  3. Joachim Boaz says:

    I seem to remember that title: “The ones…” But, not what it was about….

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