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lathe of heaven

so, i’ve been writing posts, but not getting round to publishing them…! oh well. anyway, i’ve finally got round to this one!

I recently read the lathe of heaven. I read it mostly because of a made-for-tv version I’d seen with lucas haas, james can and lisa bonet (I don’t know if anyone else has seen it). I really enjoyed the film and was looking for a similar kind of thing – which is something of a theme at the moment, as I’m busy reading the bourne identity for the same reason!

well, the book is quite different. most people who’ve seen the film after having read the book don’t like it too much, as it simplifies the plot too much. they feel that it isn’t essentially true to the story. I was rather caught off-guard by the extra stuff, and actually felt that the film was pretty true to the essence of the book.

as often happens, I guess, I was a bit disappointed by some things being missing from the book that are present in the film. it’s hard to describe what that is, as there wasn’t anything new in it… I guess it was just the tone – the feel.

still, I enjoyed it. I find le guin really odd. my experience of reading her books is quite unique, I always take a while to get into them and they always take a bit of work for me. also, after finishing them, they echo in my mind afterward. but it’s quite weird how I can’t fully come to grips with them in the beginning. that said, my experience of reading lathe would’ve been very different had I not seen the film first. but reading it after seeing the film, the book felt just a little bit stale…

but – again – it is echoing, and I’m reliving it that way, re-enjoying little bits of it. “re-enjoying” isn’t the word, because it’s when it echoes that I find I enjoy it. it seems to have to gestate. or my mind needs time to get to grips with it. it’s a bit like really slowly developing photograph. Yeah, that’s it – any every now and then a picture pops up in my head and I go “cool”.

I’d definitely recommend it, though.

ah, yes, what’s the premise? can’t really recommend a book without a premise. basically this guy doesn’t want to sleep because he fears that his dreams change things.

ah (another “ah), there’s also this whole philosophical side to the novel, there’s this taoism versus The Opposite of Taoism. taoism vs willpower, i guess, or something like that. anyway, it’s the kind of thing that’s been touched on before in other books and films, but I must say that here it’s really successful. that’s probably what the book is really about, in essence, although that’s not what I read it for. le guin can really rock that philosophy shit.


so, a bit of dust has settled on this, and i can definitely say that i like it a bit more, now that i have some perspective on it. it’s separated itself from the movie a bit more for me and so i’ve been able to appreciate it more for what it is.

and, yes, definitely recommend it. especially if you like that shifting reality stuff.

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  1. July 9, 2011 at 1:58 am

    Wow, an actual post! Glad to see you are still kicking around. 🙂

    • jean pierre
      July 11, 2011 at 2:26 pm

      thank you. i’m evenmore glad that you’re still bothering to read it!

  2. July 9, 2011 at 6:59 pm

    Le Guin is one of those authors I always *mean* to read, but never get around to it. I must though 🙂

    • jean pierre
      July 11, 2011 at 2:27 pm

      there are LOADS of those for me… 😉 but then, if there weren’t, what would we look forward to?

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