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The Lathe Of Heaven (S.F. MASTERWORKS) Paperback – 9 Aug. 2001

4.5 out of 5 stars 860 ratings

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Product details

  • Publisher : Gateway; New Ed edition (9 Aug. 2001)
  • Language: : English
  • Paperback : 192 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 1857989511
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1857989519
  • Dimensions : 19.8 x 1.8 x 13.1 cm
  • Customer reviews:
    4.5 out of 5 stars 860 ratings

Product description

Amazon Review

First published in 1971, Ursula Le Guin's SF novel The Lathe of Heaven combines a sheaf of future possibilities--including an early evocation of global warming--with a parable about wishes that has the terrible clarity of a fairytale.

The uncomfortably gifted George Orr is desperately drugging himself to avoid sleep, because he knows his dreams can change the world. Psychiatrist Dr Haber begins with good intentions of curing Orr, but when he finds he can shape Orr's "effective dreams" and force his own wishes into reality, the lure of power is too much. Though Haber believes he wants only to do good, he's also quick to upgrade himself from obscurity in a windowless office to Director of the prestigious Oregon Oneirological Institute.

During his flawed attempts to create an earthly paradise, we see that each sweeping change makes matters worse. Let's fix over-population: suddenly there's a new past in which humanity was almost destroyed by plague, billions of people are written out of existence, and Haber drinks a toast--"to a better world". Let's fix war: the hapless Orr's dreaming mind can only imagine and create a new threat that unites Earth against outside foes. Let's fix racism: the result is even more painful. As Orr broods:

The end justifies the means. But what if there never is an end? All we have is means.

In this mad round of poisoned wishes, it becomes necessary to stop. But power-crazed Haber refuses to stop....

Beautifully written, jolting in its moral force, The Lathe of Heaven is one of Le Guin's finest SF excursions. --David Langford


Le Guin is a writer of phenomenal power ― OBSERVER

Ursula Le Guin was able to reimagine many concepts we take to be natural, shared, and unalterable - gender, utopia, creation, war, family, the city, the country - and reveal the all-too-human constructions at their center ... Literature will miss her. There's no one like her -- Zadie Smith

She is unparalleled in creating fantasy peopled by finely drawn and complex characters ― GUARDIAN

Le Guin is one of the singular speculative voices of our future, thanks to her knack for anticipating issues of seminal importance to society ― TLS

Her worlds have a magic sheen . . . She moulds them into dimensions we can only just sense. She is unique. She is legend ― THE TIMES

I'd love to sit at my desk one day and discover that I could think and write like Ursula Le Guin -- Roddy Doyle

[Le Guin had] the heart of a poet who knew all too well the difference between miracle and eureka, revelation and revolution ― PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

Le Guin's storytelling is sharp, magisterial, funny, thought-provoking and exciting, exhibiting all that science fiction can be ― EMPIRE

Ursula Le Guin is a chemist of the heart -- David Mitchell, author of CLOUD ATLAS

When I read The Lathe of Heaven as a young man, my mind was boggled; now when I read it, more than twenty-five years later, it breaks my heart. Only a great work of literature can bridge - so thrillingly - that impossible span -- Michael Chabon

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