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The Lathe of Heaven by Ursula K. Le Guin

Review: 4 / 5

The Lathe of Heaven is about a man, George Orr, whose dreams change reality, and a psychiatrist who wants to use George’s dreams to change the world for the better, but the plot isn’t particularly important. The story is told with Le Guin’s exceptional skill and it is compelling, wonderfully written, and slightly terrifying.

When I was younger, I probably would have breezed through this book in a day and stopped thinking about it instantly, but now that I’m a little older and slower, I read it as a philosophical text about the dangers of change, even with good intentions, and the strength and courage it takes to accept and endure the world as it exists. I’m not a Taoist, or a scholar on eastern religions, so I’ll hold off on saying more about the philosophy behind the book, but it inspired me to go back to Le Guin’s translation/interpretation of the Tao Te Ching with fresh eyes and 18 months removed from the depths of a job that made it impossible for my brain to sit peacefully with texts like the Tao Te Ching.


Title: The Lathe of Heaven
Author: Ursula K. Le Guin
Published: 1971
ISBN: 9781416556961
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