Best 1972 Adventures (5)

By: Joshua Glenn
October 9, 2017

One in a series of 10 posts identifying Josh Glenn’s favorite 1972 adventure novels. Happy 45th anniversary!

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Ursula K. Le Guin‘s Earthsea fantasy adventure The Farthest Shore.

In the final installment of the original Earthsea trilogy (there would eventually be four books in the series), the planet faces an existential crisis: the magic is leaking out of it, into a kind of black hole — and with the magic is going all courage and conviction, not to mention songs, craftsmanship, and joy. The archmage Ged, whose life and career as a wizard we’ve being following, is now on the elderly side; he and Arren, his young princely sidekick, head out in the Lookfar to investigate. They discover that a powerful dark mage, who has made his home among the dragons on Earthsea’s westernmost island, is promising life after death… even if that means destroying the world. A slow-moving adventure, with philosophical musings — but Le Guin is a wonderful philosopher, so the book is a page-turner.

Fun fact: Winner of the 1973 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature.

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Let me know if I’ve missed any 1972 adventures that you particularly admire. Also, please check out these additional lists. The 200 Greatest Adventure Novels of All Time. THE OUGHTS (1904–13): 1905 | 1906 | 1907 | 1908 | 1910 | 1911 | 1912 | 1913. THE TEENS (1914–23): 1915 | 1916 | 1917 | 1918 | 1920 | 1921 | 1922 | 1923. THE TWENTIES (1924–33): 1925 | 1926 | 1927 | 1928 | 1930 | 1931 | 1932 | 1933. THE THIRTIES (1934–43): 1935 | 1936 | 1937 | 1938 | 1940 | 1941 | 1942 | 1943. THE FORTIES (1944–53): 1945 | 1946 | 1947 | 1948 | 1950 | 1951 | 1952 | 1953. THE FIFTIES (1954–63): 1955 | 1956 | 1957 | 1958 | 1960 | 1961 | 1962 | 1963. THE SIXTIES (1964–73): 1964 | 1965 | 1966 | 1967 | 1968 | 1970 | 1971 | 1972 | 1973. THE SEVENTIES (1974–83): 1975 | 1976 | 1977 | 1978 | 1980 | 1981 | 1982 | 1983. The goal, eventually, is to publish a Top 10 Adventures list for every year of the 20th century.

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Adventure, Lit Lists

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