The Lathe of Heaven Paperback – Feb 1995
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Ursula K. Le Guin is one of science fiction's greatest writers. She is also an acclaimed author of powerful and perceptive nonfiction, fantasy, and literary fiction. She has received many honors, including six Nebula and five Hugo Awards, the National Book Award, the Pushcart Prize, the Newbery, the Pilgrim, the Tiptree, and citations by the American Library Association. She has written over a dozen highly regarded novels and story collections. Her SF masterworks are The Left Hand of Darkness (1969), The Dispossessed (1974), and The Lathe of Heaven (1971).
George Orr has dreams that come true--dreams that change reality. He dreams that the aunt who is sexually harassing him is killed in a car crash, and wakes to find that she died in a wreck six weeks ago, in another part of the country. But a far darker dream drives George into the care of a psychotherapist--a dream researcher who doesn't share George's ambivalence about altering reality.
The Lathe of Heaven is set in the sort of worlds that one would associate with Philip K. Dick, but Ms. Le Guin's treatment of the material, her plot and characterization and concerns, are more akin to the humanistic, ethically engaged, psychologically nuanced fiction of Theodore Sturgeon. The Lathe of Heaven is an insightful and chilling examination of total power, of war and injustice and other age-old problems, of changing the world, of playing God. --Cynthia Ward --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
"A brilliant novel about the future." -- --Pensacola News
"A rare and powerful synthesis of poetry and science, reason and emotion." -- --The New York Times
"A very good book...A writer's writer, Ursula Le Guin brings reality itself to the proving ground." -- --Theodore Sturgeon
"Gracefully developed...Extremely inventive...What science fiction is supposed to do." -- --Newsweek --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
The story is set in the near future and revolves around one man, George Orr, who's dreams can affect reality. He is greatly troubled by this because he cannot control his dreams, thus he tries to stop himself from dreaming through misuse of prescription drugs. He is sent to counseling with a dream therapist, Dr. William Haber, who quickly learns the truth about George's "effective" dreaming. George just wants to be cured of this ability, but Haber sees its potential and decides to manipulate it to turn their troubled world into a better place. As Haber tries harder and harder to manipulate George's uncooperative dreams he becomes the victim of his own good intentions. This leads him down a dark road where he eventually discovers the truth of "the world after April".
The Lathe of Heaven works on many levels. Simply as a story of a man wrestling with his therapist to find a cure to his ills it is an engaging tale. But it is more interesting as a parable of how one person's attempts to do good can go awry. Dr. Haber sees the power that George Orr possesses and understands the good it can do. The world they live in is plagued by war and overpopulation and he believes that he can use George's power to rid the world of its ills. The problems with this become apparent early on, however.Read more ›
Some of the social issues that interested me the most as incorporated in Lathe:
1. Science for the sake of science -- just cause we can, should we? And the value of scientific gain over an individual's life and freedoms -- is it ever worth it? (this has been done before, granted, but was beautifully executed in the relationship between doctor and patient)
2. Self faith/trust/confidence
3. Outsider/Loner phenomonon...haven't we ALL been THERE before.
I confess, many of these things I got from the mood I was in when reading, my roomate picked up on a few others (the surest sign of a great book -- you could write whole papers..And I did for my Fem. Sci-Fi class)
...and about the end, no spoiler here I promise, the roomie didn't like it ("where the [heck] did that come from")-- I did ("Yup, makes total sense") You be the judge.
Most recent customer reviews
I loved Ursula's sci-fi and fantasy books, and this book was no disappointment.Published 1 month ago by Julio Sagatorios
Got what I expected! Shipping was fast and book is in good quality.Published 7 months ago by Barry grant
Classic portrayal of the 'butterfly effect', with the meekness of George Orr constrasting to the hubris of Dr. Haber. The aliens are my favorite part.Published 11 months ago by law
Le Guin's, The Lathe of Heaven had lots of sci-fi hype and a provoking idea. What happens if what you dream whether unintentional or suggested become real? Read morePublished 16 months ago by Cindy Beverly
This is quite possibly one of the most unusual books I have ever read. The main character, George Orr, initially seems colourless and limp until the layers begin to be revealed. Read morePublished 17 months ago by BookloverJen
Ishi awakens the last survivor of his race, the Yahi, and begins a journey of change. Along the way, noble minded scientists try to help him but, in the end, use him for their own... Read morePublished on March 21 2004
Great book!! This is the first Ursula K. Le Guin novel I've read, and I think it's fantastic. I'm not much of a sci-fi fan, but Lathe of Heaven avoids the lamer tendencies of the... Read morePublished on Jan. 23 2004
George Orr has a problem, at certain select time, he dreams dreams that change the very nature of reality itself. Placed in the care of psychologist Dr. Read morePublished on Nov. 25 2003 by Kurt A. Johnson