Book Club Pick: The Lathe of Heaven


As I’m sure many of you know, The Lathe of Heaven by Ursula K. Le Guin has been around for a long time. Originally published in 1971, it’s a science-fiction classic that has more than stood the test of time. I felt leery selecting a story with such a history for the book club, but it’s been on my shelf for a long time, and I wasn’t sure if I’d get to it without a bit of pressure.

As I’ve done before, I’m going to post my discussion questions below and then put my answers over in the Goodreads group. That’s where we’d love for book discussions to take place! I’ll do my posting later today. Before I get to the Q&A though, I’ll share a few facts about the actual book in the hopes of getting people excited to read (and discuss) it.

The Lathe of Heaven revolves around George Orr, a man with the peculiar ability to alter reality with his dreams, and William Haber, his court-appointed psychiatrist. Initially skeptical about George’s claims, when Dr. Haber realizes that the ability is no fiction on George’s part, he sets out to mould the world as he sees fit. His ultimate aim: a good world as he see it. Does Dr. Haber survive a look at his true self? You’ll have to read to find out.

What do you think of Le Guin’s depiction of 2002 from a 1971 lens?

How did you feel about the depiction of mental health?

What did you think of the language of the story?

What did you think of the quotes that opened each chapter?

Were you surprised by the outcome of Haber’s envisioned utopia?

Do you wish Heather’s role had more meaning to the story?

For a short novel, The Lathe of Heaven packs quite a punch. What did you think of it? Have you seen any of the film adaptations? I look forward to a good discussion in the group!


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