Scott's Reviews > The Lathe of Heaven

The Lathe of Heaven by Ursula K. Le Guin
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's review
Jul 23, 10

bookshelves: sci-fi
Read in November, 2007

This book presents a different take on the "dreams influencing reality" theme - what if a person's dreams not only affected future reality, but resulted in a "continuum change" that retroactively changed the past as well? What are the implications? George Orr is the "average man" who is afflicted with this problem, and becomes a drug abuser to sedate himself to the point of not dreaming at all. Dr. William Haber is Orr's assigned psychologist for his Voluntary Therapeutic Treatment to avoid the insane asylum. Once Haber finds out that Orr's talent is real, he uses hypnotism to manipulate Orr's dream state to try to eliminate problems of the human condition, like overpopulation, racial strife, cancer, and war. Haber's work has disastrous consequences for the world, while enabling his ego. I found the book by turns engaging and challenging. Particularly challenging were the shifts in reality upon Orr awaking from a dream, and his communication with the Aliens from Aldebaran. Ultimately, I found the book a satisfying meditation on the limits of the human condition.
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