Good short books are profitable reads, therefore great ones are greatly profitable. I am thinking of the time invested in reading the entire book and the pleasure, inspiration or education gained from them. This book clocks in at 189 pages but Le Guin made every word count.
Like most of Ms. Le Guin's works this is a thought provoking story. What happen when we introduce evil into a hitherto innocent and passive culture? The Athsheans are very vivid creations, the story of their enslavement and exploitation by humans is heartfelt and all too believable. Real life examples of man's inhumanity to man is plentiful, what would we do (or not do) if we encounter a less advanced and weaker alien race? I shudder to think of it. I suspect the movie Avatar is inspired by this book because of the similarities in the main theme. Le Guin's story is much more sophisticated of course.
This is the third Le Guin book I have read this year (2011), the other two being The Dispossessed: An Ambiguous Utopia
and The Left Hand of Darkness. Of the three The Word for World is Forest is my favorite. A book of this quality at this length ought to be read by everyone.Note
: If you are in the mood for short but great sci-fi novels have a look at this
for plenty of suggestions (and do join us at PrintSF
for sf books discussions).