The Lathe of Heaven
by Ursula K. LeGuin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Somehow I missed out on this book during my early teenage years when I worked my way through everything the library had by LeGuin. I'm glad I finally got around to it.
This story is basically an extended thought experiment. George Orr has the power to change reality by dreaming. His psychiatrist, Dr. Haber, has discovered that he can influence Orr's dreams by hypnotic suggestion to control the kinds of changes Orr makes to reality. But Haber's control isn't perfect - in general, he can control the ends but not the means by which they are achieved. What ensues is a fictional critique of the idea that the ends justifies the means and that what is good is achieving the greatest good for the greatest number.
The characters in this aren't easy to like, and I wish that the resolution wasn't quite so dependent on inscrutable aliens showing up with some untranslatable wisdom. But the book is still a gripping read. View all my reviews >>