The Lathe of Heaven
'Her worlds have a magic sheen . . . She moulds them into dimensions we can only just sense. She is unique. She is legend' THE TIMES
'Le Guin is a writer of phenomenal power' OBSERVER
George Orr is a mild and unremarkable man who finds the world a less…
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Why read it?
5 authors picked The Lathe of Heaven as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?
This is a book about the power of dreams. What would you do if you realized that whatever you dreamt became reality when you woke up? And what would you do if you had the power to control that dreamer? Like so many of LeGuin’s amazing novels, this one is both pure entertainment and a deeply thoughtful exploration of the consequences of power (as well as some fascinating thoughts about what an ideal world might look like). I find the concept of responsibility as it relates to power super intriguing, and I appreciate how using “magical” elements to explore the…
From Carolyn's list on that mess with time.
This is another novel I’ve read five times. In only 46,000 words, Le Guin doesn’t just build one world, she builds several. After three paragraphs of poetic introduction, Le Guin gives us three sentences that allude to an entire saga that happened just before the novel began, with the world decimated by some unspecified nuclear catastrophe. This pre-saga is never mentioned again, and every time I reread this book, I linger over those three sentences and try to imagine what went down.
Le Guin’s imagination knew no bounds. This book delivers aliens, sentient sea turtles, an ironic cure to racism,…
From Dave's list on short sci-fi no one needs 1100 pgs of worldbuilding.
George Orr's dreams are more than just dreams—they affect reality directly. Any idea prompted in his dreams becomes the new reality for everyone else. He's guided by his ambitious therapist William Haber, who seeks to use George's strange power for his own ends, which as you can imagine, never works out quite the way he wants.
Highly imaginative and deeply terrifying vision of what power can do in the hands of the unscrupulous—and IMHO one of the greatest book titles of all time!
From T.R.'s list on speculative fiction about authority and its abuses.
My uncle introduced me to The Lathe of Heaven. He explained the concept and I just had to read it. Set in the future, George Orr wakes up to discover his dreams can alter reality and he needs to understand why. Where the story goes from there, I will leave for new readers to discover, but it’s an incredible novel, with a particularly brooding Seattle atmosphere of endless rain. Living in Southern California most of my life, we never got much rain, but when we did, it usually came in autumn. Therefore, my memories of autumn are triggered by…
From Benjamin's list on atmospheric books for autumn.
This is a novel I have read several times. George Orr, the protagonist, has the power to alter the past and his present reality via his dreams, which gives him an unwelcome God-like advantage. The skillfully descriptive narrative explores psychological and philosophical threads of what George does with this power compelling the reader to think about the moral dilemmas and consequences. I think this is one of my favourite novels because it analyses the morality of how George and others use his “gift”. Ursula K. Le Guin is one of my favourite sci-fi authors and this novel was nominated for…
From Matt's list on fiction incorporating dreams.
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