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April 25, 2017 / Leslie

Audiobook: The Lathe of Heaven by Ursula K. Le Guin

A Rapid Review

Publisher: Recorded Books | November 2016
Format: Audio CD | 7 hours | Rating: 4 stars
Audio Listening Level: Easy – Intermediate

A classic science fiction novel by one of the greatest writers of the genre, set in a future world where one man’s dreams control the fate of humanity.

What’s it about . . .
George Orr doesn’t want to sleep, because when he does, he dreams. Most of his dreams are meaningless, but occasionally he dreams that something has changed in his life or the world he lives in, and when he awakens, he finds his dream world has become reality. No one around him senses anything different, but he knows people have disappeared and history has changed.

George has been taking drugs in an attempt to suppress his dreams, but eventually he seeks help from a psychiatrist. Soon the doctor begins to realize that George really can change the future with his dreams and attempts to covertly influence him to make changes for the benefit of mankind. But the results are not what he intended.

What did I think . . .
The Lathe of Heaven was first published in 1971 and is set in Oregon in the year 2002. In this future, there is much poverty, racism, overpopulation, and despair. The climate has altered and it rains all the time. LeGuin was remarkably prescient in many of her visions and description of a future earth, including a changing climate.

This is a short novel with only three main characters – George, his girlfriend, and Dr. Haber. Using alternating points of view, the author sends a thought-provoking message about the consequences of playing god. And what can happen when you get what you wish for.

Audio production . . .
This is a newly recorded version of the book and is narrated by George Guidall. An audio sample can be found HERE.

As always, Guidall gives a believable performance. We feel Orr’s anxiety as he fears each new dream and the doctor’s arrogant attitude as he attempts to manipulate Orr. Other than the need to pay attention for the changing points of view, this is an easy and enjoyable listen.

An Under My Apple Tree Rapid Review
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Source: Review copy provided by the publisher.
© 2017 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.
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5 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. BermudaOnion / Apr 25 2017 1:32 pm

    It kind of sounds like that came true.

    Like

  2. Lloyd Russell / Apr 26 2017 12:21 am

    I know that Le Guin is a very popular scifi author, but I’ve never read her. Probably too late for me now!

    Like

  3. Diane / Apr 27 2017 2:09 pm

    I’m not familiar with this title. Although the reader is one I have issues with at times.

    Like

    • Leslie / May 5 2017 2:08 pm

      So far I have always had a good experience with this narrator. The book is classic scifi, probably not your genre. 🙂

      Like

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