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Lathe of Heaven (Sf Masterworks 44) by…

Lathe of Heaven (Sf Masterworks 44) (original 1971; edition 2001)

by Ursula K Le Guin

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
3,896951,318 (3.99)2 / 203
Title:Lathe of Heaven (Sf Masterworks 44)
Authors:Ursula K Le Guin
Info:Millennium Paperbacks (2001), Paperback, 192 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:fiction, science fiction, dystopia

Work details

The Lathe of Heaven by Ursula K. Le Guin (1971)

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    The Dream Master by Roger Zelazny (paradoxosalpha)
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    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.
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    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 (88)  French (2)  German (1)  Swedish (1)  Dutch (1)  All (93)
Showing 1-5 of 88 (next | show all)
The solipsistic nightmare of a man desperately trying to stuff the genie back in the bottle.

A few notes:
* Until the end of the book, George is a draftsman. Someone who acts as an interface between someone's idea and the realisation of the idea.
* With his median psychometric scoring George is the ultimate "Everyman".
* Dreams as reality.
* Absolute power, even if it is for the greater good, corrupts, absolutely.
* There is Nietzschean subtext throughout. Will to power. The destruction of god by Haber trying to become an Übermensch. The void, "The eyes looked straight forward into the dark, into the void, into the unbeing at the centre of William Haber". ( )
  LiveAndrew | Feb 21, 2017 |
After reading and loving another of LeGuin's books ([The Left Hand of Darkness]), I looked forward to this one. I was not disappointed. Sci-Fi - Psychology - Dreams - Dystopia = weird, very weird! I probably should not have chosen this as my bedtime book though... led to some strange dreams on my part.
So, the main character dreams - and those dreams come true changing his dystopian world. Insanity, mind control, aliens, time shifts... ( )
  -Cee- | Jan 30, 2017 |
George Orr is a dreamer. But his dreams have material effects on the real world. After being sprung for drug abuse, he is assigned to therapy. But the therapist soon realises the power he can wield, and the therapy takes an increasingly ominous turn as the world becomes weirder. How will it end? Nobody seems to know, not George and not the therapist. Maybe the aliens George dreamed have the answer? The moral of the story seems to be "Be careful what you wish for" or perhaps it should be "Be careful what you dream". This is an engaging story with an Alice in Wonderland feel and beautifully executed. I give it 5 stars. ( )
  Bruce_McNair | Dec 16, 2016 |
The Lathe of Heaven is a standalone science fiction story by the same author that wrote the Earthsea series. The writing style seemed so different to me that it felt like it was written by a different author. The premise was great, the ideas and questions were thought-provoking, and the execution was… well, I don’t know. It never really grabbed me. I would get interested for a short period of time, then my attention would wander and I’d have to put the book down to do something else.

The book is about a character who can literally change the world with his dreams. Occasionally, he has a dream that is particularly vivid and powerful and, when he wakes up, he has two sets of memories: the memory of what existed before his dream, and the memories of a past that he never lived through. The rest of humanity only remembers the new set of memories. What would happen if this power could be harnessed? Could you get rid of famine, plague, racism, and war? Would it be moral to do so? What would the consequences be?

I really liked the premise, and the story was interesting. I liked the main character pretty well, although his passivity annoyed me at times. The other main character in the story annoyed me to no end, as intended I think, with his arrogance and his inability to see beyond his own narrow perspective. And his incessant monologues. I think those monologues were one reason why I kept losing interest in the book.

This is one of those books that doesn’t give you all the answers, ever. There are unreliable characters interpreting what’s happening, so you’re never quite sure if what they say is accurate, mistaken, or an intentional deception. The ending is also pretty fuzzy in terms of how (or if) anything was resolved. ( )
2 vote YouKneeK | Dec 11, 2016 |
George Orr is a dreamer. The only problem is his dreams can change reality. Referred to Dr Haber for treatment, George finds himself the subject of the doctor's experimental machine, The Augmentor, once the doctor realises the power Orr posseses. Haber tries to use George to remake the world as a better place, a utopia of sorts. But Orr's dreams never come out the way Haber intends and the world is made and unmade over and over until the very fabric of reality begins to tear. LeGuin's seminal novel is both powerful and moving as she explores what utopia might mean and how the best of intentions can lead to frightful outcomes. One of the great Science Fiction novels. ( )
  David.Manns | Nov 28, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (13 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Le Guin, Ursula K.primary authorall 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.)
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Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.

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)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 4 descriptions

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