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The Lathe of Heaven (Millennium SF…
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The Lathe of Heaven (Millennium SF Masterworks S) (original 1971; edition 2001)

by Ursula K. LeGuin

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
4,2041101,189 (4)2 / 228
Member:Amaroid
Title:The Lathe of Heaven (Millennium SF Masterworks S)
Authors:Ursula K. LeGuin
Info:Gollancz (2001), Taschenbuch, 192 pages
Collections:Your library
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Work details

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

  1. 20
    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?
  2. 20
    Amnesia Moon by Jonathan Lethem (ahstrick)
  3. 00
    The Kin of Ata Are Waiting for You by Dorothy Bryant (sturlington)
    sturlington: Alternate realities accessed through dreams.
  4. 23
    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.
  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 (103)  French (2)  German (1)  Swedish (1)  Dutch (1)  Spanish (1)  All (109)
Showing 1-5 of 103 (next | show all)
2.5 stars

Meh for Le Guin. I just couldn't get into this one. It might need a reread at some point, since I think I missed the point. ( )
  natcontrary | May 21, 2018 |
Amazing book, stands up there with Left Hand of Darkness and The Dispossessed on the "books I freaking love" shelf. Both my husband and I literally gasped out loud at several points in this book. Speculative fiction at its best. ( )
  gabarito | May 13, 2018 |

And we’re on to the third book in my Women of Genre Fiction challenge. I’ll spoil my review right now and tell you that it’s my favorite of the three.

As a lot of you already know, Ursula K. Le Guin‘s The Lathe of Heaven is the story of George Orr, a man whose dreams can change reality. He tries to prevent this by drugging himself dreamless, but that doesn’t work and he ends up in “voluntary” therapy. His therapist, Dr. Haber, is at first suspicious of Orr’s claims, but when he experiences what Orr’s dreams can do first hand, he chooses to use George instead of help him, claiming he’s working for the greater good of humankind. We all know how that kind of thing usually plays out, don’t we?

Concerned about how Dr. Haber is treating him, George seeks out the assistance of an attorney, Heather LeLache, who then becomes involved in his life and his dreams.

What do I love about this book? Not sure where to begin. I fell in love part way through the first paragraph and was sad when it ended. Now, I just want to start over and read the book again and again until I memorize it.

There isn’t just one thing that stands out. Le Guin’s prose is delicious: heartwrenching, beautiful, and sharply funny.I love the way she plays with language, the words she makes up, the ones she borrows from other works, and the humor she finds in language itself. (Oh, the French diseases of the soul.)

The story itself is strong: dark and creepy, a mix of George Orwell and Philip K. Dick (I know I’m not the first person to come up with that combination). The characters Le Guin creates are wonderful and stick with me, the two I adore and the one I detest, as well. Orr himself is such a strong person for all his quiet fear and insecurity. At one point in the novel, LeLache describes him as such:

It was more than dignity. Integrity? Wholeness? Like a block of wood not carved.

The infinite possibility, the unlimited and unqualified wholeness of being of the uncommitted, the nonacting, the uncarved: the being who, being nothing but himself, is everything.

…He was the strongest person she had ever known, because he could not be moved away from the center.

And then there are the turtles. I won’t say anything more of them, but they are a special part of the book.

Crossings in mist…

I do wonder at the changes that happen to one character’s persona as the book progresses, and Le Guin even brings this up at the end of the story. Why does George change this one person in his dreams and not the other person who’s truly hurting him, and what do those choices mean, if they are his choices?

So much to think about. One of the many reasons I need to reread The Lathe of Heaven. Brilliant book. I love it. 5/5 ( )
  MFenn | Apr 22, 2018 |
€ 5,63
  plivo | Apr 21, 2018 |
Just bloody fantastic. That is all. ( )
  gossamerchild88 | Mar 30, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 103 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (12 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Le Guin, Ursula K.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Körber, JoachimTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Moll, CharlesCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sappinen, Jorma-VeikkoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
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
Dedication
First words
Current-borne, wave-flung, tugged hugely by the whole might of ocean, the jellyfish drifts in the tidal abyss.
Quotations
'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.

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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.
(LeBoeuf)

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)

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.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 8 descriptions

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