And a thin one at that. But don't let that fool you. This book is smart, clever, deeply philosophical in asking: since we have the power to shape our world, what would we do with it?
So when I was a teenager and reading ALL the women sci-fi and fantasy authors in the world somehow I totally missed reading any Le Guin (At least that I can remember). But I found this at the local Oxfam and was in the mood for something apocalyptic and thought I'd try this. I really really liked it. It was a lot like Philip K Dick, there was drug use, alternate realities but there was also a lot more characterisation and internal analysis.
The premise was totally far-fetched a man was able to have dreams that changed reality. But once you accepted that it was a very enjoyable read. The world ended quite a few times. There was a lot of discussions about what you could or shouldn't change about life and how you judge the state of the world. There were a lot of quotes from Zhuangzi at the begining of chapters, but I have to say the translation she used wasn't very good as at one point he referred to god with a capital G (a concept that definitely didn't exist in Chinese religion and philosophy at that point). The main character seemed to be an attempt to personalise the Wu Wei (no action) form of being. For the most part this was done well, however, there was a time when he argued against healing someone because if they were going to be reincarnated they'd have a better life, which is totally against Taoist beliefs asnot to mention that reincarnation is a Buddhist idea.
Still apart from that it was a very interesting book. The world and the characters were very vividly portrayed. The fact that reality kept changing was handled very well. It was disturbing without being overly confussing. I really enjoyed it and shall definitely have to read more by this author....Continua