Book: The Lathe of Heaven: A Novel

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Book:

The Lathe of Heaven: A Novel

Author: Ursula K. Le Guin
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Publisher: Harper Perennial Modern Classics

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 is a truly prescient and startling view of humanity, and the consequences of playing God.

Reviews

Amazon.com

Ursula K. Le Guin is one of science fiction’s greatest writers. She is also an acclaimed author of powerful and perceptive nonfiction, fantasy, and literary fiction. She has received many honors, including six Nebula and five Hugo Awards, the National Book Award, the Pushcart Prize, the Newbery, the Pilgrim, the Tiptree, and citations by the American Library Association. She has written over a dozen highly regarded novels and story collections. Her SF masterworks are The Left Hand of Darkness (1969), The Dispossessed (1974), and The Lathe of Heaven (1971).

George Orr has dreams that come true—dreams that change reality. He dreams that the aunt who is sexually harassing him is killed in a car crash, and wakes to find that she died in a wreck six weeks ago, in another part of the country. But a far darker dream drives George into the care of a psychotherapist—a dream researcher who doesn’t share George’s ambivalence about altering reality.

The Lathe of Heaven is set in the sort of worlds that one would associate with Philip K. Dick, but Ms. Le Guin’s treatment of the material, her plot and characterization and concerns, are more akin to the humanistic, ethically engaged, psychologically nuanced fiction of Theodore Sturgeon. The Lathe of Heaven is an insightful and chilling examination of total power, of war and injustice and other age-old problems, of changing the world, of playing God. —Cynthia Ward

Related Works

Film:The Lathe of Heaven

The Lathe of Heaven

David R. Loxton, Fred Barzyk

“Antwerp!” For science fiction fans, the long-awaited VHS and DVD release of The Lathe of Heaven is a dream come true. This haunting adaptation of Ursula K. Le Guin’s genre-classic novel was broadcast but once on PBS in 1980 before rights and other legal snafus relegated it to the archives. Reportedly PBS’s most requested program, the made-for-TV film was at last rebroadcast in 2000. Set in Portland, Oregon, in the near future, The Lathe of Heaven stars Bruce Davison as George Orr, who, to put it mildly, has a dream problem. Not only do his dreams…

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