The Lathe of Heaven

The Lathe of Heaven

Book - 1971
Average Rating:
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George Orr is a man who discovers he has the peculiar ability to dream things into being -- for better or for worse. In desperation, he consults a psychotherapist who promises to help him -- but who, it soon becomes clear, has his own plans for George and his dreams. The Lathe of Heaven is a dark vision and a warning -- a fable of power uncontrolled and uncontrollable. It is a truly prescient and startling view of humanity, and the consequences of playing God.
Publisher: Cambridge, Mass. : R. Bentley, c1971
ISBN: 9780837604640
0837604648
Characteristics: 184 p. ; 22 cm

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SCL_Justin Aug 05, 2017

Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Lathe of Heaven is an awesome bit of science fiction. There’s a man named Orr who sometimes changes reality in his dreams. No one else knows that anything has happened, but the guilt over the responsibility of shifting reality is too much for him, so he does too many drugs to stop sleeping, is caught and put into therapy. This is in the first few chapters. Then it gets interesting.

His therapist has a machine that makes Orr’s dreaming more regularized and controllable and then starts using him to radically reshape the world to better fit his idea of what would be better.

It’s an amazing Dickian conceit but less madly written. Highly recommended.

t
Tdruid
Dec 02, 2015

Fantastic book, SOOOO much better than the movie, which I loved. I always felt Heather's character in the movie was off, but blamed the actress, who was frankly, awful, but now I know her character had been drastically altered. They really should have left the story as is. By far her best I have read.

l
LaPhenixa
Nov 21, 2013

Leagues away from what I typically pick up, I can’t pretend to grasp all the ideas broached in this dystopian novel. Though the writing style I’ve come to associate with dystopias is unvarying, the beautiful imagery, often lucidly symbolic, make this book more accessible. Written 40 years ago, the themes and setting don’t feel dated, and indeed the ideas addressed are ones society still weighs today. Le Guin’s choice to set the novel in a real location makes the city’s state in the different continua seem more realistic and plausible. Le Guin’s novel is a stirring and engaging read.

jjd1986 Jun 04, 2012

It made me think of Inception, only more wild and less difficult to follow. Le Guin is a masterful writer and I find this book fun and fast. I read it only in a couple days. devoured it.

g
Gordo81
Jun 27, 2011

Wonderful book, great characters and an interesting way to approach sci-fi. I think this would complement anyone studying Taoism or thinking about the world today.

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