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The Lathe of Heaven: A Novel (Perennial…
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The Lathe of Heaven: A Novel (Perennial Classics) (original 1971; edition 2003)

by Ursula K. Le Guin (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
6,6171961,473 (4.02)2 / 321
A classic science fiction novel by one of the greatest writers of the genre, set in a future world where one man's dreams control the fate of humanity. In a future world racked by violence and environmental catastrophes, George Orr wakes up one day to discover that his dreams can 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.… (more)
Member:Rydou
Title:The Lathe of Heaven: A Novel (Perennial Classics)
Authors:Ursula K. Le Guin (Author)
Info:Harper Perennial Modern Classics (2003), 176 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:None

Work Information

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

  1. 30
    Amnesia Moon by Jonathan Lethem (ahstrick)
  2. 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?
  3. 10
    The Kin of Ata Are Waiting for You by Dorothy Bryant (sturlington)
    sturlington: Alternate realities accessed through dreams.
  4. 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.
  5. 00
    Death by Dreaming by Jon Manchip White (bluepiano)
    bluepiano: Same plot: Doctor exploits a patient whose dreams overlap waking life. Unlike Le Guin's good guy/bad guy suspense story, though, Manchip White's dwells on vivid unsettling dreams and their disturbing RL parallels.
  6. 04
    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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» See also 321 mentions

English (186)  French (2)  Hungarian (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Spanish (1)  Dutch (1)  Swedish (1)  German (1)  All languages (194)
Showing 1-5 of 186 (next | show all)
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. ( )
  LaPhenix | Jul 8, 2024 |
I enjoyed this book; it really felt like a Phillip K. Dick story. Quite a few times I was reminded of the Mandela Effect, the Butterfly Effect, and the Hindu god Vishnu. ( )
  dewbertb | May 12, 2024 |
This gripping science fiction novel from Ursula K. LeGuin tells the story of George Orr, a man cursed with the unwanted ability to make some of his dreams become reality. Because George is terrified by the massive changes his dreams can produce in the world, he is afraid to sleep. He contacts Dr. Hader, a psychiatrist specializing in dreams who, instead of helping him, tries to direct George's dreams for his own purposes.

The beginning of the story is confusing, reflecting George's own uncertainty about what is happening to himself. After a few chapters things become more clear and the book turns into a real page-turner. ( )
  M_Clark | May 2, 2024 |
this is more the kind of science fiction that is up my alley - it's more philosophical thought experiment and moral argument than anything else. and she (of course) does it well. it's not a quick fun read, but it's thoughtful and smart and it was first published in 1971 but she's warning us about the climate crisis and she predicts rising oceans and battery powered cars and a plague event and the opening of protected lands for building. (she even predicts one of the cascade mountains visible from portland erupting, although she chose mt hood instead of mt st helens. it was strange to see it described as cone shaped a few times in the book. it was really fun to be in portland and to know portland when reading this, to see where she made changes, where she kept true. i bet no one not from here would think she didn't make up the towns of zig zag and rhododendron. to see each iterations changes and modifications, and to really be able to feel how different the city would be with each track she created.)

the real question she's addressing here is about playing god. even if you think you're benevolent and have the best interests of everyone in mind, what gives you the right to make those decisions, and how can you be sure that even a "positive" change doesn't have far reaching unforeseen negative consequences that you didn't predict? this is a book about science and eugenics and racism and overpopulation and eastern and/or native ways of thinking and climate change and power. and how if too much power is given to only a few people, it can so easily get out of control and turn into something unexpected and unwanted. and against the greater good. this is a really interesting read.

i do wish that heather was still a lawyer in the last iteration and i'm not sure why she demoted her. that felt decidedly un-leguin like.

"What sane person could live in this world and not be crazy?"

"Are there really people without resentment, without hate? she wondered. People who never go cross-grained to the universe? Who recognize evil, and resist evil, and yet are utterly unaffected by it?" ( )
1 vote overlycriticalelisa | Mar 15, 2024 |
A man who can change reality through 'effective dreaming' under the influence of a psychologist who wants to fix everything? Recipe for a absorbing but very short read. Written in the early 70s but set approximately around the early 2000s, recommended for fans of dystopian examinations into can humans really fix things/should we have the power to do so/etc. ( )
  Daumari | Dec 28, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 186 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (87 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Le Guin, Ursula K.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Busse, InesTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Füssi-Nagy, GézaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Goodman, TimothyCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Guidall, GeogeNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hay, ColinCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Körber, JoachimTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Masera, RubénTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Moll, CharlesCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
O'Malley, SusanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Planchat, Henry-LucTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Potter, J.K.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ress-Bohusch, BirgitTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sappinen, Jorma-VeikkoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sims, AdamNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Siudmak, W.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Suurmeijer, G.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thole, C. A. M.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Valla, R.secondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Valla, RiccardoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Winberg, WynnCover artistsecondary 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.
He never spoke with any bitterness at all, no matter how awful the things he said. Are there really people without resentment, without hate, she wondered. People who never go cross-grained to the universe? Who recognize evil, and resist evil, and yet are utterly unaffected by it? 
Of course there are. Countless, the living and the dead. Those who have returned in pure compassion to the wheel, those who follow the way that cannot be followed without knowing they follow it, the sharecropper's wife in Alabama and the lama in Tibet and the entomologist in Peru and the millworker in Odessa and the greengrocer in London and the goatherd in Nigeria and the old, old man sharpening a stick by a dry streambed somewhere in Australia, and all the others. There is not one of us who has not known them. There are enough of them, enough to keep us going. Perhaps.
A person who believes, as she did, that things fit: that there is a whole of which one is a part, and that in being a part one is whole: such a person has no desire whatever, at any time, to play God. Only those who have denied their being yearn to play at it.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (1)

A classic science fiction novel by one of the greatest writers of the genre, set in a future world where one man's dreams control the fate of humanity. In a future world racked by violence and environmental catastrophes, George Orr wakes up one day to discover that his dreams can 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.

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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)

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