God is change. That is the central truth of the Earthseed movement, whose unlikely prophet is 18-year-old Lauren Olamina. The young woman's diary entries tell the story of her life amid a violent 21st-century hell of walled neighborhoods and drug-crazed pyromaniacs - and reveal her evolving Earthseed philosophy. Against a backdrop of horror emerges a message of hope: if we are willing to embrace divine change, we will survive to fulfill our destiny among the stars.
For her elegant, literate works of science fiction, Octavia E. Butler has been compared to Toni Morrison and Ursula K. LeGuin. Narrator Lynne Thigpen's melodious voice will hold you spellbound throughout this compelling parable of modern society.
©1993 Octavia E. Butler; (P)2000 Recorded Books, LLC
Just another girl with too many books and not enough time for them all.
This is the second book I have read by Octavia Butler. And I have to say that this one was darker than Kindred. This book was dark yet gripping.
This book is was written in a journal style of a teenager named Lauren Olamina. The only daughter of a neighborhood preacher in 2024, California. The world has changed and violence, poverty, hunger is everywhere. Did I say violence? Wheww! I had to take a minute and stop here and there due to the graphic nature of the violence in this book. I think I am kinda ok with a bad guy (character) getting murdered, raped, or burned but when it happens to children in a book it seems to take my breath away. And not in a good way. The violence in 2024 does not discriminate at all. Young, old, men and woman are victims in this book.
But for some reason I was hooked to find out what happens to Lauren in this desperate landscape. Lauren's dream of creating an Earthseed community builds up as she travels from her home to a new Northern community. This is the backbone and the silver lining in the book that keeps the reader interested. I found myself worrying for Lauren and the people she meets along the way.
I really enjoyed the thoughtfulness of Octiavia Butler's writing. As I was listening to the book I could sense Octavia was giving us a glimpse of the future with a dose of the extreme terrible on top. What would happen if the $4.00 a gallon gas jumped to $40.00 a gallon? I for one would have to quite my job. Then what?
If you have a strong constitution and can handle violence in all forms then you might find this a great read.
Parable of the Sower is one the best audiobooks that I've listened to, for the first half.
The narrative of the slow unraveling of Lauren's community paired with her own transformation into adulthood is facinating and beautifully put together. Unfortunately this level of narrative doesn't carry into the second half of the book. I'll save the spoilers, and only say that the pace, character development, and cast of characters get extremely herky-jerky. This is not at all the fault of the producers of this audiobook, but a problematic feature of Butler's novel.
Lynne Thigpen is terrific as a narrator. She is very well cast for the part. I haven't heard any of her other performances, but this one is delivered with a smart understanding of the character and appealing aesthetic sensibility. Both the idealism of young Lauren, and her character's innate wisdom and strength come through clear as a bell.
It's a journey that you take along with the main character, as she grows and changes, struggles and learns, and as the people around her do the same. I love how poetic it is, how honest it is in its darkness without tending toward sensationalism. As a reader (especially with Lynne Thigpen's fantastic performance), you become as horrified and as cynical as the primary characters at times, but you (like they) can never fully let go of that hope that there must be something more to find, to build, at the end of all that hardship and suffering, a way to survive, even thrive. And even through all the challenges and the loss, there are still those moments - of laughter, of beauty, of communion ... of positive humanity, It is gorgeous, a masterfully written and authentic-to-humanity work and world.
It reminds me why I fell in love with Octavia Butler's writing in the first place.
I think this is Butler's darkest work, but it does have some interesting things to say about human nature, the disintegration of society and religion and it's role in shaping communities.
Lauren Olamina is a Cassandra in her struggling walled neighborhood, trying to warn her friends and family of the disaster she sees looming, but no one will listen. When the worst comes to pass, she's cast out on the road, trying to find safety and build not only a new family, but a dream of a better future.
This is an interesting book. It starts out OK, a little hard to follow though, since it takes place just 10 or so years from now. The world is much different! The book never pays off... An interesting concept and good imagery... Worth a listen, but not for-filling in the end for me.
I loved the book when I read it, and I love listening to the audio book too! The narrator's voice is just like I imagined the author to sound. It is a very violent graphic novel, but it makes one think so much of our future and our world.
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