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The Lathe of Heaven by Ursula K. Le Guin

The Lathe of Heaven (1971)

by Ursula K. Le Guin

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
4,4631251,588 (3.99)2 / 249
  1. 20
    Amnesia Moon by Jonathan Lethem (ahstrick)
  2. 10
    The Dream Master by Roger Zelazny (paradoxosalpha)
    paradoxosalpha: Science fiction about the technological control of sleeping dreams. They're just dreams, right? What could go wrong?
  3. 33
    Lord of Light by Roger Zelazny (storyjunkie)
    storyjunkie: Both books carry a philosophical weight to their world-saving. A similar atmosphere to their protagonists, worlds, and occupancy of a more soul-searching lot in the science fiction spectrum make them nicely complementary to each other.
  4. 00
    The Kin of Ata Are Waiting for You by Dorothy Bryant (sturlington)
    sturlington: Alternate realities accessed through dreams.
  5. 03
    The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff (The_Kat_Cache)
    The_Kat_Cache: The Lathe of Heaven is chock-full of Taoist principles. This book elaborates on the philosophy in an easily accessible manner.

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English (117)  French (2)  German (1)  Swedish (1)  Dutch (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (123)
Showing 1-5 of 117 (next | show all)
An interesting book to read before going to sleep. It's pretty standard science fiction, although you can totally see the Le Guin anthropological touches with the culture of the aliens and their concept of dreaming. (Perhaps influenced by "the dream-time" of Australian aboriginal people?) I like it, and I would recommend it to sci-fi and/or Le Guin fans -- it's just not particularly outstanding compared to some of her others. ( )
  xiaomarlo | Apr 17, 2019 |
A wonderful book. SciFi at its best. The plot and the characters rise above the details of the science and technology, so that after almost 50 years, the book remains readable and relevant - and enthralling. Sadly, so many other SciFi hits from that era have become anachronisms. ( )
  mbmackay | Apr 16, 2019 |
An outstanding and imaginative work. I can easily see myself coming back to this one. ( )
  jakebornheimer | Mar 27, 2019 |
I'm glad I gave this a second attempt six years later - from DNF to 4 stars. What seemed slow and dry back then was deliberative and intriguing this time. I do remember that the copy I read the first time was a beat up, dirty hardcover with scratchy yellowed pages, while the second time around it was a new paperback with a lovely cover - I'm sure that made a difference in my wilingness to engage. While it doesn't quite rise to the level of [b:The Dispossessed|13651|The Dispossessed (Hainish Cycle #6)|Ursula K. Le Guin|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1353467455s/13651.jpg|2684122], [b:The Left Hand of Darkness|18423|The Left Hand of Darkness (Hainish Cycle #4)|Ursula K. Le Guin|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1488213612s/18423.jpg|817527] and her wonderful short story, [b:The Fliers of Gy|42263837|The Fliers of Gy (The Unreal and the Real, #2)|Ursula K. Le Guin|https://s.gr-assets.com/assets/nophoto/book/50x75-a91bf249278a81aabab721ef782c4a74.png|65879435] (Levar Burton reads it brilliantly on his podcast 'Levar Burton Reads'), it's still a little gem. It's best to go into this without a clue about the plot, so all I'll say is it felt like an old Twilight Zone episode in the best possible way.

2013 review:

I really liked The Dispossessed and The Left Hand of Darkness, but this one was just too slow and dry for my taste. The other two books also had a hint of that, but the alien cultures she created in them were so fascinating to me it more than made up for it. Her aliens are so similar to humans in some ways - what we might have been if evolution zigged and zagged just a hair differently. Maybe this book was less interesting to me because the characters were humans in a dystopian future Portland - of 2003! Reading some of the reader reviews here, it sounds like aliens do show up, but I was too bored to wait for them. ( )
  badube | Mar 6, 2019 |
Enough with the perfection already! 'The Lathe of Heaven', like much of Le Guin's work, is brilliant. After reading more and more of her work and being blown out of the water by 'The Dispossessed' I am still at a loss for words when it comes to my reactions.

'Lathe' is quick, to the point, and outpaces even Philip K. Dick at rapidly constructing and deconstructing a near-future society and exposing the failures of humanity when we reach too far. With Le Guin, however, there is always hope. Even if the journey there isn't easy.

I never, ever, ever, want my dreams to come true. Never. ( )
  ManWithAnAgenda | Feb 18, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 117 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (61 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Le Guin, Ursula K.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Guidall, GeogeNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Körber, JoachimTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Moll, CharlesCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sappinen, Jorma-VeikkoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Confucius and you are both dreams, and I who say you are dreams am in a dream myself. This is a paradox. Tomorrow a wise man may explain it; that tomorrow will not be for ten thousand generations. — Chuang Tse: II
First words
Current-borne, wave-flung, tugged hugely by the whole might of ocean, the jellyfish drifts in the tidal abyss.
'Hello,' he said again.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
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Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
The plot revolves around a character whose dreams alter reality.
Haiku summary
His dreams are made real
for all time, for all places.
Please don't dream of death.

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0060512741, Paperback)

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

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:33 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

"In a future world racked by violence and environmental catastrophes, George Orr wakes up one day to discover that his dreams have the ability to alter reality. He seeks help from Dr. William Haber, a psychiatrist who immediately grasps the power George wields. Soon George must preserve reality itself as Dr. Haber becomes adept at manipulating George's dreams for his own purposes."--Publisher description.… (more)

» see all 10 descriptions

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