The lathe of heaven

175 pages

English language

Published Nov. 8, 2003 by Perennial Classics.

ISBN:
9780060512743

View on OpenLibrary

4 stars (29 reviews)

“The Lathe of Heaven” ; 1971 ( Ursula Le Guin received the 1973 Locus Award for this story) George Orr has a gift – he is an effective dreamer: his dreams become reality when he wakes up. He is aware of his past and present, two or more sets of memories, although the people around him are only aware of the current reality. This science fiction story is set in Portland, Oregon, in/around the late 1990s - early 2000s. Orr begins to take drugs to suppress dreams but eventually he is sent to a psychotherapist, Dr. William Haber, who has developed an electronic machine, the Augmentor, which records the brain patterns of a person as they dream. When Haber realizes that he can use Orr's unique ability to change their world, the consequences are both beneficial and frightening, both locally and globally. Orr seeks out the help of a civil …

17 editions

Weirdest thing I've read by Le Guin

4 stars

It's funny how of all the books I've read by Le Guin, the one that's set on a baseline plausible Earth-in-my-lifetime would turn out to be the weirdest. Also funny how in what starts as a pretty reasonable extrapolation from 1971 to ~2000 has one repeated glaring error: multiple references to the perfect cone of Mount St. Helen's.

Against that background, we get a story of a man running away from his dreams because they give him a power he doesn't understand and can't control. And another man who wants to channel that power, setting up a modern Daoist fable about the hubris of trying to control too much.

Review of 'The lathe of heaven' on 'GoodReads'

5 stars

De novo a Ursula Le Guin faz uma ficção cientifica muito maneira, divertida e ilustradora de ideias filosóficas. O tipo de livro que dá vontade que todos os livros de filosofia fossem ficções bem escritas.

Esse livro é meio que um Inception ao contrário, o personagem principal tem sonhos que afetam a realidade de volta, e um médico que trata ele quer usar esses poder para resolver os problemas do mundo. É muito legal, por que mostra como certos problemas fazem parte do que nos faz humanos, e que talvez certas utopias (sonhos) não necessariamente fossem boas soluções.

Mas o mais legal é a forma como a realidade e os sonhos do personagem principal se misturam, e como com mudanças graduais, o mundo cada vez mais absurdo do livro é facilmente aceitável.

Muito legal.

Review of 'The Lathe of Heaven' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

The first book I’ve read by Ursula Le Guin and what an impressive book this was. There was no reason to start with this one, I wanted to read one of her books and this was the only one at the library. If there is one thing guaranteed to give me a headache it is books about time-travel and trying to figure out how timelines can be affected, this book was just as bad. George Orr’s dreams can change reality, people can be wiped out in the blink of an eye and nobody would realise, it’s crazy, who’s to say this doesn’t happen in real life…have I always existed or have I just been created whilst reading this book? Have the 4 people who will read this review only have existed because I dreamed they’d read it? And why didn’t that dream about an endless supply of Whiskey not come …

Review of 'The lathe of heaven' on 'GoodReads'

5 stars

There's a lot to like here. The language is great - some of the imagery is really fantastic, and there are some spots of cute wordplay. The plot is interesting and zips along, but it doesn't dominate the book. I found it easy to identify with both George and Dr. Haber, which is a nice trick that helps me think about the central conflict between them. I thought the contrast between "use this power for good!" and "don't use this power at all!" was fresh and very relevant to me as a tech worker.

There's a lot more to think about, but I haven't thought it yet! This is definitely one to reread.

Review of 'The lathe of heaven' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

L'idée de départ de ce court roman est excellente : un homme consulte un thérapeute car ses rêves deviennent réalité, au sens littérale puisque la réalité se transforme véritablement en fonction des rêves qu'il fait. Dommage que l'exécution ne soit pas tout à fait à la hauteur, avec un récit brouillon qui ne m'a pas totalement convaincu.

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Subjects

  • Dreams -- Fiction

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