Monthly Archives: April 2015

The Lathe of Heaven

by Ursula Le Guin

The Lathe of HeavenScience Fiction has been a constant in my reading habits since I discovered Arthur C Clarke’s Rendezvous with Rama in the school library way back in the 1970s. So how is that in all the intervening years I have never – and I have to hang my head in shame here – never read any Ursula Le Guin?

It is ghastly oversight on my part and one I decided to rectify when I spotted this in a book store in Manchester recently. 

“The Lathe of Heaven” is part of the SF Masterworks series, something I have learned to rely on as a guide to good fiction. Was it a good choice? Yes, but I suspect that there are better books out there for me to discover.

The plot centres around George Orr, a seemingly ordinary man, but one whose dreams can literary change reality.

Some of the ideas in the book I have come across before, but as this book pre-dates the others I have read, this is possibly where they originated.

The main characters in this book are well defined. The pace is good and the plot intriguing. The end was unexpected and welcome. Some very original storytelling by Ursula Le Guin. Will I read more? Definitely. 

The Time Is Now

by Pauline McLynn

The Time Is NowHaving read several Pauline McLynn novels, I thought I knew what to expect and was looking forward to a warm and funny tale of rural Irish folk. That is not what I got.

The book started well, if a little out of character for McLynn, following the troubled new year of young Karen. Finding her best friend dead in the bath was just the beginning. Then the story jumped to appoint in the future. Same building but totally different residents. I struggled to get to grips with the plot but, when the story switched to following a Victorian scullery maid, I admit I gave up. 

I have read many books where the plot switches between time frames, such as Cloud Atlas, and usually manage to follow what is going on. But in this case, I found I didn’t want to know what was going on. Whilst I felt I could sympathise with Karen and her mixed up flat mate, the other two plots just left me cold ad uninterested.

A disappointing book.