The Lathe of Heaven
George Orr is a man who discovers he has the peculiar ability to dream things into being -- for better or for worse. In desperation, he consults a psychotherapist who promises to help him -- but who, it soon becomes clear, has his own plans for George and his dreams.
The Lathe of Heaven is a dark vision and a warning -- a fable of power uncontrolled and uncontrollable. It i...more
I've read it three or four times since then, and each time I've appreciated it more. One could imagine a book with a similar plot...more
(¹ Of course, when it comes to Morgan Freeman there is NO question.)
You have to help another person. But it's not right to play God with masses of people. To be God you have to know what you're doing. And to do any good at all, just believing you're right and your motives are good isn't enough.Who would you normally root for? A guy with the power to change the ugly dystopian world² but is unwilling to do so? Or a guy who acti...more
Would you like to shape the world to your liking? Maybe to rid it of war, overpopulation, hunger, racial prejudice, decease? To make it into your own idea of Heaven?
Well, the two main characters of The Lathe of Heaven have different opinions on this subject. George Orr, who possesses a unique ability to change the world by dreaming about, seemingly, the most mundane things, wants this power to be gone, he is sure the events should take their natural course, no matter h...more
As a disclaimer of sorts, I have to admit that these kind of wackadoo premises ar...more
That's what I was asking Le Guin (or, rather, myself) as I read the first half of this book. You have this guy, George, who is ordinary -- literally median, in fact -- except that when he dreams, reality changes to match his dreams. It does this by changing the past so that whatever new thing he dreams of has always been that way so as far as everyone else is concerned nothing has happened. I read a lot of fantasy and science fiction and am willing to make some pretty damn suspensions t...more
This review contains overall spoilers, I've only hidden specific ones. It's a 40+ year old book & has had 2 movies based on it, so unless you've been living under a rock [as far as the SF genre goes], you'll probably know most of it.
This is a tough review to write because there are just so many threads running th...more
Taking one of the most drastic hypotheticals, the most direly destabilizing of test cases, LeGuin sets about addressing the ambiguous and subjective nature of reality (in many ways, she out-PKDs her contemporary Phillip K. Dick, here) in direct but subtly calibrated ways, spinning off deep and troubling tangents worthy of their own stories as barest afterthought. Then she uses her sanely-...more
I read this book during a flight to Central America, where I was going to spend the summer before my second year of medical school doing HIV/AIDS education. The contrast could not have been more striking: the purpose of my summer and my career was to interf...more
The story begins with a brief description of George:
"His eyelids had been burned away"
"He could not turn his head, for blocks of fallen concrete pinned him down"
"he felt deathly sick, and knew it was the radiation sickness." (a nuclear war is in progress)
"the wall turned into the floor." (he is waking up)
And thus the stra...more
Nominee: Hugo Award for Best Science Fiction Novel (1972)
Nominee: Nebula Award for Best Science Fiction Novel (1972)
Winner: Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel (1972)
The understated humor that ran through out the book was just perfect! It wasn't a funny book, but had it's moments, enough to lighten the overall depressing world & main character.
It was an eclectic bl...more
My second Ursula Le Guin read, almost right after A Wizard of Earthsea (five stars), The Lathe of Heaven made me feel like I bit more than I could manage at some point in my reading. I have never encountered a novel quite like this.
The kernel of the story is ambitious: George by dreaming can create and re-create reality with his "effective" dreams. He doesn't want to, that's why he's been taking some drugs to prevent...more
I have to point that out specifically because I did not want to read this, and if it weren't for my book...more
Bearing witness to the experiences, dreams, nightmares and shifted realities of the characters within this vivid piece of science-fiction was extremely unsettling for me - and I love being unsettled by Le Guin! Her characters are written with great skill; their relationship to each other utterly fascinated me. This...more
The protagonist George Orr has the power to change reality by dreaming "effectively". He can not only change the future but he can also change the collective past of the whole universe. He is afraid of his power and he believes that he has no right to change things.
Dr.Haber is an intellectual and a kind of a utilitarian. He learns about George's power wants to use it to make the world a "better" place....more
I read this on the plane from east to west. Apocalyptic Portland, identities awry... captivating brain powers, power hungry, narcissistic shrinks. I loved this so mu...more
The Lathe of Heaven is the story of George Orr, whose dreams have a nasty habit of coming true. Fearful of the implications, George ends up in therapy to stop his "effect...more
La falce dei cieli è un piccolo adorabile gioiello di quella fantascienza psicologica che cominciò a prendere forma negli anni Settanta. Leggendo questo breve romanzo, forse un po' oscurato dalla più ingombrante fama dell'autrice di scrittrice fantasy, ho pensato a Silverberg e un po' anche a Dick: partendo da un presupposto fantascientifico, il potere onirico di George Orr, l'autrice si getta subito nell'introspezion...more
|Beyond Reality: THE LATHE OF HEAVEN - Finished Reading *SPOILERS*||17||38||Feb 24, 2014 11:00PM|
|Beyond Reality: THE LATHE OF HEAVEN - Roll Call and Initial Impressions *NO SPOILERS*||13||37||Feb 21, 2014 06:05PM|
|I saw the movie||16||148||Sep 09, 2013 10:55PM|
|Sci-fi and Heroic...: The Lathe of Heaven||44||63||Apr 29, 2013 06:09AM|
|Sci-fi and Heroic...: April 2013 Classic Novel nominations||8||50||Mar 26, 2013 07:18PM|