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Parable of the Sower (Parable, 1) Paperback – April 30, 2019
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"Regretting You" by Colleen Hoover
From New York Times bestselling author of It Ends with Us comes a novel about family, first love, grief, and betrayal that will touch the hearts of both mothers and daughters. | Learn more
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"Butler felt to me like a lighthouse blinking from an island of understanding way out at sea. I had no idea how to get there, but I knew she had found something life-saving. She had found a form of resistance. Butler and other writers like Ursula Le Guin, Toni Morrison and Margaret Atwood...used the tenets of genre to reveal the injustices of the present and imagine our evolution."―Brit Marling, New York Times
"In the ongoing contest over which dystopian classic is most applicable to our time, Octavia Butler's 'Parable' books may be unmatched."―New Yorker
"Unnervingly prescient and wise. A worthy read for those intent on building a better world as this pandemic continues to lay bare how untenable, how depravedly unequal, the American way of life is and has always been."―Yaa Gyasi, New York Times
"If we're talking must-read authors like Maya Angelou, James Baldwin, and Toni Morrison, the one-and-only Octavia Butler needs be a part of the conversation. The groundbreaking sci-fi and speculative fiction author was a master of spinning imaginative tales that introduced you to both the possibilities -- and dangers -- of the human race, all while offering lessons on tribalism, race, gender, and sexuality."―O, The Oprah Magazine
"Octavia Butler's Parable of the Sower is a stunner. It's a terrifying vision of a dismal future brought on by the willful ignorance, racism and greed of human beings, and an eerily dangerous parallel to our present path. Ms. Butler gives us a satisfying protagonist in the hypersensitive teenager Lauren, whose courage and wits are an infinite source of inspiration."―Flea, Wall Street Journal
"A gripping tale of survival and a poignant account of growing up sane in a disintegrating world."―New York Times Book Review
"One of the most important and groundbreaking science-fiction authors."―Entertainment Weekly
"A powerful story of hope and faith."―Denver Post
"There isn't a page in this vivid and frightening story that fails to grip the reader."―San Jose Mercury News
About the Author
- Lexile Measure : 710L
- Paperback : 368 pages
- Item Weight : 10.2 ounces
- ISBN-10 : 1538732181
- ISBN-13 : 978-1538732182
- Product Dimensions : 5.25 x 1.2 x 8.05 inches
- Publisher : Grand Central Publishing; Reprint edition (April 30, 2019)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,128 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Amid all this two leaders arise: one, a demagogue playing on the nation's fears and religious sensitivities promising to 'make America great again' (the author's words in 1993, mind you) convinces a large swath of the population to turn against those who don't conform even as his 'Crusaders' commit atrocities in his name (but never of course with his *official* sanction).
The other is a young, very precocious black woman with a vision to transcend human misery and build a community to seek humankind's Destiny. Barely escaping with her life when her once solid middle-class neighborhood is overrun by a violent gang, she sets off on a trek through a country that is much like ours if things were just a little more desperate, a little more divided, and a lot less caring. It is a stark portrait made even more ominous by being entirely possible and exposing a lot about us as a society we may not care to confront. These books aren't so much a portrait as a mirror.
If there is a weak spot, it's that Olaimina is too obviously an author avatar, but then again this *is* Butler's philosophy and much of her personal experience laid bare. It is the closest thing to an autobiography of the notoriously private author as we are likely to see nearly 10 years after her death. It provides a warning...and, perhaps, a pathway out.
As a child-bearing aged woman with extremely limited survival skills, this book got me feeling like I should learn some basic self defense, or how to start a fire, or shoot a gun, to teach my children in case we end up in this warped world that feels just a few steps away from the reality we live in currently.
The characters are rich and dimensional. A lot of their history and personality shines in their dialogue and responses to various situations. What a great book, I can't wait to start the second part of this series!
The adults are all hoping that things will get better—some day, somehow, but Lauren knows better—they will all die one day if they stay and do nothing. So she spends her time devising plans about running away up north, where there is still rain, while also working on her peculiar religious teachings, Earthseed.
The novel is divided into two parts: The first one describes Lauren's sheltered existence behind the wall, as things outside keep deteriorating. The second one deals with her journey upstate after the destruction of her community and the murder of her family, amid highway bandits, cannibals and drugged pyromaniacs, a nightmarish ordeal of rampant violence and inhuman savagery, yet also of hope that mankind’s humanity has, after all, not all been extinguished with the death of the old world.
Parable of the Sower ranks amongst the best apocalyptic novels ever written. It is harrowing and hardly for the faint of heart, but there is nothing in it, either in the causes of the catastrophe or in characters’ behaviour that is not totally believable and logical: from the way older people cling to social norms and institutions that have already disintegrated, through the easiness of slipping into anarchy, to the extreme suspicion towards any stranger in a time where ‘society’ is all but an artefact of the past.
And while this is an area where the novel exceeds, by far, any expectations, there is another one where it falters, almost fatally: Olamina's self-invented religion. A system of beliefs where ‘God is Change’ and humanity's destiny is ‘to take root amongst the stars’ is peculiar at best. But the worst thing about Earthseed are the verses that accompany each new chapter, which are inept, atrocious, unnecessary and many times outright annoying. For all of her profound insight into human nature, Octavia Butler does not seem to be able to string a verse!