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All Over Creation | [Ruth Ozeki]

All Over Creation

Meet Yumi Fuller. A Japanese-American prodigal daughter, Yumi (aka Yummy) is returning home to the Idaho potato farm she ran away from twenty-five years earlier. Then a freewheeling hippie chick, Yumi is now a fairly responsible parent and a professor with a side gig selling lava lots in Hawaii. But can she possibly be prepared to face her dying father, her Alzheimer's-devastated mother, and Cass, the best friend she left behind?
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Publisher's Summary

Meet Yumi Fuller. A Japanese-American prodigal daughter, Yumi (aka Yummy) is returning home to the Idaho potato farm she ran away from twenty-five years earlier. Then a freewheeling hippie chick, Yumi is now a fairly responsible parent and a professor with a side gig selling lava lots in Hawaii. But can she possibly be prepared to face her dying father, her Alzheimer's-devastated mother, and Cass, the best friend she left behind?

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

What the Critics Say

  • Audie Award Winner, Fiction (unabridged), 2004

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (288 )
5 star
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3 star
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Overall
4.3 (50 )
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Story
4.4 (54 )
5 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Kim Newburyport, MA, USA 03-26-04
    Kim Newburyport, MA, USA 03-26-04 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
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    "fantastic"

    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.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Emily Chandler, AZ, USA 04-30-04
    Emily Chandler, AZ, USA 04-30-04
    HELPFUL VOTES
    34
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    "Quirky read! I wasn't disappointed"

    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!

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Albert H. Nakano Seattle, WA 07-26-04
    Albert H. Nakano Seattle, WA 07-26-04 Member Since 2003

    bertman4

    HELPFUL VOTES
    18
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    "i say potato"

    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.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michelle Mount Horeb, WI, USA 10-13-06
    Michelle Mount Horeb, WI, USA 10-13-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Couldn't put it down"

    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.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    E. Beale Tacoma, WA 09-07-04
    E. Beale Tacoma, WA 09-07-04 Listener Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "All Over Creation"

    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.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lily St. Augustine, FL, USA 10-12-08
    Lily St. Augustine, FL, USA 10-12-08 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Loved the book; narration - not so much..."

    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.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carol T. Carr Lake Monticello, VA 07-22-06
    Carol T. Carr Lake Monticello, VA 07-22-06 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Powerful Book Powerful Message"

    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.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Everett Leiter New York, NY 06-14-09
    Everett Leiter New York, NY 06-14-09 Member Since 2004
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    "Flawed, but entertaining and different"

    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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laura St. Peters, MO, USA 05-25-08
    Laura St. Peters, MO, USA 05-25-08 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    19
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    "Beautifully written"

    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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Markey Browns Mills, NJ, United States 02-13-08
    Markey Browns Mills, NJ, United States 02-13-08 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Overall
    "Not That Great"

    I bought this book because it won an Audie Award.
    It was very disappointing. There is only so much
    information I really wanted to know about potatoes. One of the main characters obsession with having a child made the book boring and predictable. Unbelievable characters abound. This book is almost silly. A wasted Audible credit.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
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