43 Down 9 Left (52 Books, 52 Weeks)

George Orr dreams. Much like the rest of us, except he dreams things into being. Despite what you’re thinking, The Lathe of Heaven is not a wish fulfillment fantasy. Nothing as vulgar as that.

What George dreams, becomes reality when he wakes – whether or not he wants it to be. And nobody has any clue that the world has irrevocably changed, whether in as insignificant a way as creating previously non-existent painting or a nightmaring a devastating plague that wiped out most of the human race years earlier. To everyone else, the world is as it should be, as it always has been.

When he runs afoul of the law when using drugs to suppress his dreams, George is sent to a dream researcher, Dr. Haber – who discovers his talent and attempts to use George’s talent to shape reality to the betterment of all mankind, sometimes with horrific results.

The Lathe of Heaven first seemed to me like a interesting enough combination of Kafka and Philip K. Dick, with a hapless protagonist enmeshed in a ludicrous alter-reality. A bit of research yielded Le Guin’s embedded political allegory – how world-changing power concentrated in one man (or an elite) might yield results less than ideal. Set within a dystopian context, The Lathe of Heaven is a fascinating philosophy piece with political undertones.

The Lathe of Heaven
(ISBN No: 0060512741) Check NLB Catalogue for item availability.

My next book will be Fine Prey by Scott Westerfeld.

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