©1971 by Ursula K. Leguin.; (P)1997 by Blackstone Audiobooks
"What Science Fiction is supposed to do." (Newsweek)
Middle School teacher with a 100 miles round-trip daily commute; which I could never maintain all these long years without audible books.
If you like appocaliptic stories that are ironic, make-ya-think science fiction, then this is for you. Only it's not really that hard to comprehend; like it might've been perhaps in less capable hands than that of Le Guin. I'd like to send a heartfelt thanks to Ms. Le Guin for penning Lathe of Heaven and I'm sorry I'm late to discovery of such of fab tale. I shall be re-reading it soon for sheer enjoyment and maybe even edification,hahah. Oh did I mention exquistite gender-bending bits thrown in like chips in a chocolate cookie?
Here Le Guin plays with wild fantasy and manages to comment on society, people, psychology, relations, power etc. etc. And all in a relatively light humorous tone. It is also very well read! My wife, who normally does not like to much fantasy, also loved this one.
"The Lathe of Heaven" joins "The Dispossessed" and "The Left Hand of Darkness" as Ursula Le Guins greatest pieces of work, and all three some of the most intriguing novels of the science-fiction genre. The "Lathe of Heaven" is written in a subdued style with well developed characters and an unusual story. The narrator Susan O'Malley was a good choice to convey the characterization and the story's constrained atmosphere.
Typical of LeGuin, this is a pretty dark view, but the unlying philosophy is thought provoking and worth your time. The narrator's flat intonation style, which might have been meant to enhance the darkness or gloom of the story, really put me off and made the reading feel monotonous at times.
"Lathe of Heaven" is one of my all time favorite books. And I read - a lot. I've read this particular book at least ten times and each time I find something new.
But the audio version made me cringe. The narrator was just not right for the book. All the lyric passages and dream-like rifts were lost in the dull uninteresting voice. Maybe it was just a bad match between book and narrator - maybe my intense love for this book doomed ANY narrator.
I'll continue to read "Lathe of Heaven" - but I won't ever listen to it again.
Unfortunately, Ms. O'Malley clearly said, "Haber" instead of "Heather" in the last paragraph of the book (time 14:29, last chapter). As reviewer Kim (10-01-14) stated, this completely changes the interpretation at the end of the book.
Audible, please fix this!
A school administrator and avid reader and listener of books. At least an hour of every day is spent in the car, and that's where the bulk of my listening is done. I tend to listen to books on "faster" mode so I can get through more books!
I think I got this book as a daily deal, and I hope so, because it's not worth much money or a credit. The story is about a man whose dreams come true, and not in the "oh look, a puppy!" kind of a way. Rather, the bizarre thoughts that ramble in his unconsciousness kind of a way. There was a brief moment where I thought the book would be quality, but it passed quickly and in the end, ho hum.
Note on narration: why do narrators not confirm the pronunciations of locations? In this one, Willamette is mispronounced throughout the book and all I could think of was the refrain “it’s the Wi-LAM-it, damn it.” Get it right, folks.
This main character has the ability to change the world with his dreams. The way the book started off was quite intriguing. However, the progression of the story and the way the book ended was disappointing.
This would make a great film.
The narrator pronounced words incorrectly (like "corotid") and actually said the WRONG name at the end of the book, which made a huge difference in perspective and completely changed my idea of what happened. I had to go to the book to ensure it was an error.
No. i first read this book in the mid-80s and still recall staying up all night because it was too exhilarating to put down. Le Guin is still my all-time fave author, and I still love this book, but this narrator didn't have a feel for the characters or exposition. It's stange because O'Malley is normally much better, as in the Amelia Peabody mysteries.
Too flat on the characters and too rushed in the lovely Daoist imagery of the exposition,
This gem of a novel fits into a particular moment in scifi--early 70s, Cold War, environmentalism first emerging. It's a parable about western rationality vs. eastern intuition through Daoism. It deserves a better performance. Read the novel yourself, or watch the televisted version from the late 70s or early 80s.
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