12 September 2012

The Lathe of Heaven

I just finished reading The Lathe of Heaven by Ursula K. LeGuin. She's one of my favorite authors. He science fiction is always a very profound look at humanity.

I reccommend all of her books, but this one was quite something. That is not to say it's my favorite, but it's good. And it's important. And it's short.

The premise is that in the future there is a guy (George) whose dreams come to pass. A therapist takes advantage of this and suggests things for George to dream. Generally, the doctor is trying to make things better for humanity, and this changes the course of history several times.

The strongest sense I gathered from this book was Taoism. George embodies it. He wishes to not have the dreams. He wants to live in the world and not change it. He wants to simply be part of it. Taoism is rather too apatetic for me on the whole, but I like this point at least. George also insists vehemently that the ends does not justify the means. The means are what matter.

Another thing I got from the book was that many other sci-fi books and films have elements taken from this book. Whether conciously or not is debatable. Inception. The Matirx. Among others. Keep in mind, this book was published in 1971.

The book reads rather like Orwell's 1984. Not a whole lot of character development. The similar distopian theme.

I have run out of laud for the time being. I guess I should digest it a bit more and perhaps add another installment after I watch the show they made of it.


Abby said...

I've never heard of this author, but the book sounds good. Maybe I need to read more sci-fi.

I'm currently reading Everything is Illuminated per your suggestion. It's humorous, disturbing, dramatic, happy, traumatic, haunting, and oh so quotable - all at once. And I'm only halfway through it. If only there were more hours in the day.

Larz said...

I am so glad that you're reading it! I hope you enjoy it. My copy is so underlined and marked up because of the lines. Actually, the tagline of this very blog is a quote from that book.