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The Lathe of Heaven

There are books that make me cry, ones that make me laugh, and others that move me. Then there are books that shake my center, affect me in profound ways. The Lathe of Heaven, by Ursula le Guin is one of those books. It isn't for everyone; it is grim and hopeful and tragically perfect.

It is of dreams made into reality, balance lost and regained, symmetry shifting and returning again. And at its center is one man who accepts this gift, this curse, of being a dream-lathe, without moral compunction. It's a beautifully written tale of human greed as much as it is a story of human compassion and our ability to adapt.

I have always loved Ursula le Guin; my first encounter of her works was years ago, grabbing a copy of Earthsea off a bookstore shelf. I ate it up, her whimisical story, and spent most of my time reading her YA books. It would be a long while before I tackled her adult books, starting with The Left Hand of Darkness. And once I did, I was hooked. She has a gift, this one, a rare talent to capture the essence of people, both human and "other", as well as the issues that humanity continues to grapple with - war, racism, sexism, hatred, tolerance, love. All of it. And she does it with integrity. I love that about her.

You can read a summary of the book at Amazon, here.


Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
yesididit
Mar. 9th, 2009 05:14 pm (UTC)
at your previous mention of this author i did a bit of browsing and put the left hand of darkness on reserve at my library. sounds interesting.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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