As she grapples with her conflicted past and uncertain future, Yumi collides with the Seeds of Resistance, a rollicking band of environmentalists who see her parents' potato farm as an ideal in their fight against genetic engineering.
With her signature wit and uncanny ability to evoke the pathos and humor of life's conundrums, Ozeki spins a tale of family, food, and corporate greed. All Over Creation is the emotionally resonant and utterly unique story of an ordinary woman just trying to make sense of it all as the unceasing cycle of all creation continues around her.
©2003 Ruth Ozeki Lounsbury; (P)2003 Blackstone Audiobooks
"The story keeps exploding outward like a clump of cells becoming a complex plant but is never out of control; it never even strains credulity. Anna Fields's reading is as accomplished as the storytelling; as audio experiences go, this is just about perfect." (AudioFile)
"This quirky novel is bewitching." (Publishers Weekly)
"Ozeki's characters are utterly charming, and she writes with sensitivity and inventiveness about the complexities of love and nature, deftly humanizing the thorny issues raised by biotechnology with humor and panache in a tale rich in suspense and pathos." (Booklist)
This book is very good and the reading is well done. It reminds me of The Secret Life of Bees, though it is not quite as lyrical, combined with a Tom Robbins novel. A wonderful, quirky listen.
I read "My Year of Meats" on a whim, loved it, and then was pleasantly surprised to find this book by the same author. But this story was really different than the first, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The characters are richly developed, the plot takes some unexpected turns, and in the end, you feel like these folks were old friends. And of course, the narrator was really great, as she was in "My Year of Meats!" She brought everyone to life in a way that isn't typical of other narrators. If anyone else reads this, I'm curious to know: Do you end up liking Yummy or not? I don't think I've decided yet!
Wow! What a pleasure to listen to. The book is very well written but the reader really brought all the characters to life. What really impressed me was how real the characters appeared in the book. They all had their good points and bad points. Many were deeply flawed, which made them that much more real to me. This is not a black and white story. Infinite shades of gray color this wonderful novel. I would definitely recommend this.
I loved this book. Political messages aside, I enjoyed the story, the characters and the narrator.
Now back to politics. I work in agriculture so I hear about GMO's on a daily basis. I think the author did a great job presenting many sides of the issue and the people involved without resorting to taking sides or stereotyping. She actually balanced both sides with characters who ranged from genius to ignorant, some being very amusing to say the least.
Like Ozeki's first book, this one also weaves pressing environmental/ecological issues with complex characters and a compelling story. The narration was also excellent so that I felt at times that I was listening to a multi-actor dramatization rather than a novel. I would strong recommend this book to anyone who wants to listen to a literary, sociallly conscious and riveting story.
Having read Ruth Ozecki's book "My Year of Meats", from which I learned a lot about the meat industry, and enjoyed a good story, I was eager to listen to this book and learn a little about potato farming. The book didn't let me down: the information about genetic engineering was fascinating, the characters were well developed and the story was good. However, I'm sorry to say that the narration was annoying! Anna Fields is a good reader, and I've enjoyed some of the other books she's read, especially "Bushwacked", but in this book, she just tries too hard to make each voice different. The children's voices are irritating, the men's voices just sound silly, and the Quebecoise accent - oh please! I really wish she had just READ it and not ACTED it. Overall, though, the strength of the book makes it worthy of a listen, if you don't have the time to read it yourself.
This book raises a myriad of questions about the state of the Earth and the food it produces, answers very few, and along the way brings alive a host of characters that are each remarkably human and unique. The author clearly has an agenda to accomplish in this book and is completely open about her bias agains genetic engineering. That said, her characters are genuine and their thoughts and feelings about what is taking place in their lives resonate with any human response.
Except for the main character of Yumi. Clearly full of human flaws, she is someone who only fleetingly shows glimpses of some redeeming qualities. I cannot understand why the author felt it so necessary to present such a negative character, but perhaps it was to generate the feeling of discomfort about life as we currently live it which is important to the author's message.
The book is well worth reading, however, if only for the poetic writing about the land, the cutting insights into human behavior and how remarkably they are described. Is well worth listening to for another fine performance by Anna Fields. Her remarkable voice changes from aging grandfather to an inqusitive, innocent child flawlessly, and all shades in between. I hghly recommend this book, even though there is no real "happily every after" and the questions raised linger.
I actually learned a lot about agriculture, genetically engineered crops, and potatoes in this unique novel about family conflicts, reconciliation, deception, and grassroots protest. Through the voices of some of the protesting characters, this novel can at times be a little too preachy. At other times, some of the situations and portrayals seem more like the 1970's than the 1990's. The superb narration of Anna Fields gives life to the story.
I'd recommend reading "Omnivore's Dilemma" and "Botany of Desire" first before this novel, to get a good idea of the issues and potato farming today (and also because they are great reads.) I enjoyed this novel, the characters were interesting and complex. It didn't get too preachy for me, I thought it all hung together well.
I appreciated the voice talent, but I almost abandoned the novel because, honey, those aren't Idaho accents. My dad and his family are from Idaho, and these characters sounded deeply East Coast. That really hurt it for me, especially since I chose the book because of our family roots in same setting as the book.
I enjoyed reading this book emensely. I am interested in organic gardening yet didn't choose this book for that reason. Didn't even realize the subject would even dip into the realm of growing plants, vegetables and flowers.
I really, really enjoyed Ozeki's poetic phrasing, her quirky characters, and interesting plot. But what really, really makes this book is Anna Fields, the narrator. Perhaps this is a good book made great by her skillfull, entertaining performance as the reader.
I can recommend and will give Ozeki's other book a listen as well.
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