In a future world racked by violence and environmental catastrophes, George Orr wakes up one day to discover that his dreams have the ability to alter reality. He seeks help from Dr. William Haber, a psychiatrist who immediately grasps the power George wields. Soon George must preserve reality itself as Dr. Haber becomes adept at manipulating George’s dreams for his own purposes. The Lathe of Heaven is an eerily prescient novel from award-winning author Ursula K. Le Guin that masterfully addresses the dangers of power and humanity’s self-destructiveness, questioning the nature of reality itself. It is a classic of the science fiction genre.
And now for something completely different. At least, to me. Of course. I’ve read 1984 bij George Orwell and Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. Most avid readers have, I think. But nowadays I never read SciFi. I just don’t feel attracted to it.
Well, now I did. Recently I joined a reading club and one of the members had chosen this SciFi-book by Ursula Le Guin. And….I really enjoyed reading it. The book is written in 1971 and it is set in Portland, Oregon, 2002. I think that’s quite funny. When Le Guin was writing the book 2002 was the future. Now we’re reading it and it’s history. But she was right about some of today’s problems. Overpopulation for instance. On the other hand, in the book is a massive war, Israel and Egypt together, against Iran. I don’t see that happen in the near future. And, if you’ve been reading 1984 as well, you’ll like the name of the protagonist, George Orr. I love the idea of a man whose dreams can retro-actively change reality. It could be the solution to make this place a better world. But it isn’t. On the contrary.
The book is easy to read, it effortlessly flows from one point to the next. It’s a short book. So, if you’ve never tried SciFi before, it won’t be that long to finish if you don’t like it. Give it a try. I did and it was worth it. Four stars!
You can find the official Ursula K. Le Guin’s website here.