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All Over Creation
Ruth Ozeki
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All Over Creation

3.78  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,560 Ratings  ·  478 Reviews
A warm and witty saga about agribusiness, environmental activism, and community—from the celebrated author of My Year of Meats and A Tale for the Time Being

Yumi Fuller hasn’t set foot in her hometown of Liberty Falls, Idaho—heart of the potato-farming industry—since she ran away at age fifteen. Twenty-five years later, the prodigal daughter returns to confront her dying p
Published 2003 by Viking
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May 25, 2015 BrokenTune rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
“Lloyd’s home, Mom.” I fingered the straggling ends of my mother’s hair. And your daughter is having a nervous breakdown. And there’s a caravan of hippies camping out behind the barn. Oh, and you’re a prophet of the Revolution.”

All Over Creation is probably Ruth Ozeki's weakest book to date, and yet, I devoured it in just one hung-over weekend.

I'm not going to say much about the plot other than that it is the story of a family who split apart over a matter of principle and who are slowly coming
I really like Ruth Ozeki, and I really appreciate the conscientious way she writes. Her most recent novel, A Tale for the Time Being (2012), is one of the best books I've ever read, and My Year of Meats was also very strong. All Over Creation had some really bright spots, and overall, it was a compelling story... it was just that there was so much of it. It felt overlong and overextended. Clocking in at 16 hours on audio, and 430 pages, it was just too much.

Potato plant

I like family dramas - bo
Jan 05, 2008 Venessa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Man alone of all Nature’s children thinks of himself as the center about which his world, little or large, revolves, but if he persists in this hallucination he is certain to receive a shock that will waken him or else he will come to grief in the end. –Luther Burbank, The Harvest of the Years

Ozeki’s second food-themed novel is just as rich and fulfilling as the first. The characters come together via food, specifically genetically altered food, and are a colorful palatte: Yumi, commonly called
Jun 15, 2013 Michael rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I suppose Ruth Ozeki wanted to expose the evils of GMO foods and then worked up some characters around which to build a story. The protagonist runs away from home at fourteen and returns twenty-five years later with three kids in tow. Unfortunately her fourteen year old personality seems to still be in control. That personality gets annoying in spots and in others downright stupid to the point where I could no longer suspend my disbelief. Mix in her Alzheimer afflicted mother who has occasional ...more
Nov 29, 2008 Ciara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: um everyone!
dude, i LOVE this book with all my heart & soul. if you haven't read it yet, WHAT THE HELL IS THE MATTER WITH YOU? get thee to a library, you wastrel! i will try to explain what it's about, but be forewarned: it's a little complex. okay, so lloyd fuller & his wife (whose name i forget--forgive me!) are husband & wife. they are potato forms, although the wife also cares for rare seeds. when lloyd gets too old to care of his farm, they both get into the seed-saving thing & start a ...more
Kathleen Hagen
All over Creation, by ruth Ozeki. A.
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It turns out that this was a re-read for me, but I didn’t know it until I started the book, and it is so good I didn’t mind reading it over. Yumi Fuller has a Japanese-American mother and an American father. She is raised in a small town in Idaho where potatoes are the major crop. Yumi, who stands out in her school because of her Asian heritage, always feels different from others. Because the kids can’t pronounce her name, she is cal
Hannah Notess
Very Barbara Kingsolvery with a little more wild wackyness - which I should have picked up on from the giant Barbara Kingsolver cover blurb I suppose. Didn't adore it quite as much as A Tale for the Time Being, but it was still an engaging novel with interesting characters wrestling with environmental issues in an interesting way. Yumi was definitely not a likeable protagonist for me, but I think that made it a stronger book, because who says protagonists need to be likeable?
Oct 01, 2009 Kim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a rather difficult book to review and do it justice. It is about so much and has so many interwoven stories that all pull and tug against each other, and prop each other up, that to reduce the book to a summary of the events would be criminal.

If I tell you it’s about genetic engineering of foodstuff, many readers would yawn and find another book to read. But it is.
Except it’s also about a whole lot more

It is also about family and what makes a family; and what breaks one. It’s about life
Ron Charles
Dec 07, 2013 Ron Charles rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Green protesters have more rings in their trunk than you might think. Twenty years before Brother Mendel published the first sprouts of genetic research about the peas in his garden, Nathaniel Hawthorne was already warning about the dangers of interfering with nature. In 1844, the Concord writer didn't know anything about genes, or cloned sheep, or bug-zapping corn, but he published a weird short story called "Rappaccini's Daughter." Besides giving birth to the mouthwash industry (Rappaccini's d ...more
Jan 18, 2013 Andreasoldier rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
You know a book is good when you pick it up at 9 p.m. intending to read 10 pages or so, and the next thing you notice is that's 2 in the morning and you've chowed down on about 200 pages, a third of the book. Some parts had me laughing and the end definitely had me crying.
Yummy captivated me from the first -- the daughter of a pretty straitlaced but loving potato farmer and his Japanese wife, she's a precocious 14-year-old who is having an affair with her 23-year-old teacher. At some point, some
Apr 12, 2011 Betsy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"All Over Creation" is a wonderful book I read for an English class in 2009. Two years later and I still remember most of the plot and characters... which to me says that it is a memorable book. The main character Yummi returns to North Idaho to take care of her aging parents even though they have been estranged for years. Returning to her hometown brings up a lot of personal issues for Yummi like a rekindling romance with a teacher she had an affair with in high school i.e. she was 17 and he wa ...more
Finally finished this. good lord. I listened to it because Anna Fields is one of my favorite narrators. She captured the characters wonderfully and I could just imagine each of their personalities in all of their weird and dysfunctional ways. Unfortunately, the writing was weak and the characters shallow (esp the main character, Yumi). Conversations went on waaaay too long, and were vapid and immature. Although I'm not as knowledgeable as I'd like to be about GMO engineering, Ozeki did seem to h ...more
Sarah Nichols
Jun 10, 2013 Sarah Nichols rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book reminds me that only a few years ago I was contributing member to the economy. Since then the great recession has struck and my discressionary spending has dwindled down to affording a library card. Since then, this is the first book I’ve read that I regret that I did not buy because I would like to lend it to all of my “green-thumb” cohorts.

I loved the pace.
I loved the character development from the utterly clueless, narcissistic beautiful one, to her children, to her wholesome, grou
Feb 08, 2011 Will rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Will by: Ariel
This book started out with a few liabilities for me... the title doesn't really draw me in as much as My Year of Meats and the subject doesn't really sound that interesting. On top of that, Ozeki's writing style is a little clunky at times -- her characterizations seem to be trying a little too hard, or come across (to me) as a little unnatural. This is especially true when she's writing in the voice of, say, a teenage boy. And the book is a little bit preachy.

All that said, I really enjoyed the
Jul 10, 2007 Annie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who like barbara kingsolver
There are many elements of this book that remind me of Barbara Kingsolver, in all of the good ways. Similar to Poisonwood Bible, there are the shifting points of view that make a story that much more interesting. What I like best when an author does that was present in this story - sometimes you get to be in their heads and sometimes you just have to be satisfied with watching them go through it. The environmental bent is always a risky thing to take on. Are you going to be preaching to the choi ...more
Apr 08, 2016 Anne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I finished this a couple of weeks ago and it has stayed with me. The "heroine" is a twit and, thankfully, tangential to what I valued in the book. Where I thought it succeeded was in its portrayal of a rural community dependent on a single product, potatoes, and real discussion of agriculture and how differently people respond to issues like GMOs and biodiversity. It also had an interesting group of activists who are quite believable. It also tackles some difficult end-of-life issues. It doesn't ...more
I'm lukewarm on this book. Perhaps it's because I enjoyed A Tale for the Time Being so much, and that's more sophisticated than this. It was readable enough, but felt somehow too pat, too tidy, too overtly 'issues'y. Am I being ungenerous in labelling this forgettable?
Liza Fireman
I really love Ruth Ozeki, she reminds me a lot of Barbara Kingsolver, both in the writing style and in the nature-related topics. This book has a few flaws though. To begin with, it is a bit too long (and I really believe it could be shorter and still beautiful). In addition, it has parts that are too educational, especially when it comes from the characters that are very young children. But, if we are willing to forgive Ozeki for those things, it is a delightful book. Complex relationship betwe ...more
I have to say, I was VERY pleasantly surprised by this one. It started off a little slow, but by the end I was completely invested in it. It touches on so many different issues and opinions (abortion, GMOs, pornography, just to name a few) but Ozeki manages to weave them all in without detracting or distracting from the plot, and without seeming preachy on one side of the issue over another.

It has such a sincere, genuine feel to it. The characters are so real; they're flawed, but they acknowled
Sep 03, 2015 Tina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really really like Ruth Ozeki's writing style and that the environment always plays a big role in her novels. After I read "A Tale for the Time Being", I was delighted to jump into "All over Creation" now, and I didn't get disappointed.

Despite the fact that the protagonist Yumi Fuller was not my favourite character of all, and even a bit annoying for my personal taste, I loved the story and the core theme of organic farming vs. genetically modified crops & food. From the hippie-gang with
Dec 04, 2011 Sheila rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
by Ruth Ozeki

Yumi Fuller left Liberty Falls, Idaho, at age 14. Ran away, actually, and returns reluctantly 25 years later with her 3 children to care for her aging parents. Shortly after she arrives, a band of activists (protesting bioengineering) set up camp on her father's potato farm. Mayhem ensues. Hilarity does {i}not{/i} result. Relationships that were complicated before are even more twisted now (Yumi and her parents, Yumi and her best friend, Cass, Yumi and her children, Yumi and the his
Oct 28, 2008 Halfempty rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who can handle a little activist monologuing
Recommended to Halfempty by: my mom
I expected this book to be one of the best books I'd ever read, and it wasn't. So that was a rough start. Favorite author, second book, and it seemed a little less believeable than her first book, even though it was less far-fetched. The first time I read this book, I considered it to be a simplistic criticism of genetically engineered food, with a disappointingly stereotypical cast of characters--a fry-oil burning bus full of hippies with protest puppets make a pilgrimage to an Idaho monocultur ...more
Nicole Means
“All Over Creation” is an interesting follow-up to Ozeki’s “My Year of Meats.” The political undertone of the book is very intriguing and well-researched, but at times the fictional plot of the book was a bit unconvincing. I appreciate Ozeki’s efforts to engage the reader into what is a very controversial issue, but I found her story to be ludicrous at times. However, as I neared the end of the 400+page novel, I found it extremely difficult to put down. Initially my reasons for plowing through t ...more
Apr 12, 2008 Emily rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: didatic-fiction
I had forgotten about Ozeki until this February in Portland, Maine, when _My Year of Meats_ came up in conversation and my host asked if I had read this one; I looked around a bit for it, didn't find it in my local bookstores, and forgot about it again until I was it in Powells up in Portland, Oregon.

While not as laugh-out-loud funny and satirical as _My Year of Meats_, _All Over Creation_ is a much better book. The characters are better developed (though in the other book's defense, it was a s
Oct 23, 2007 Lindsay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: activists
At 15, Yumi leaves her family home/farm in Idaho wanting to get away from what she perceived as narrow-minded, right-wing parents. She decided to raise her children in the most liberated way she possibly could and has to justify her parenting when she goes back home to help her parents with their heirloom seed mail-order company.

At the same time, a group of travelling eco-activists make camp at the family home to help out with the seed company, deciding that it and Yumi's parents are at the for
Aug 07, 2014 Katie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I first want to preface this by saying that A Tale for the Time Being was one of my absolute favorite books that I read last year. Ruth Ozeki can write. She writes multi-layered stories with complex characters and relevant problems. This is no exception, though I didn't like it nearly as much as A Tale for the Time Being.

Yumi has never felt at home in her community. After a traumatic experience during her teen years, she left Idaho with the intention of never coming back. Her ailing parents need
Peg (Marianna) DeMott
I'm on a Ruth Ozeki streak. Love her! Just finished this one right after finishing A Tale for the Time Being. I didn't like All Over Creation quite as much as a Tale for The Time Being but both were very good. All Over Creation reminded me so much of a good Barbara Kingsolver novel. This tale of struggling Idaho potato farmers brought together gender and inter generational conflict that is resolved in a very satisfying way.
Feb 17, 2015 Evon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I just made a decision to not try not to buy GMO foods and seeds (and plan to write the couple companies whose products I have used that I see on GMO lists, why I will no longer buy their products), so found this novel's sub-theme timely. I'm still not sure what to think about the main character, Yumi. But she seems not to know what to think of herself either. As a fan of Ozeki's work, I'd give it a 3.5 if there were half stars.
Emily Douglas
Wanted to read another book by Ozeki because I was such a huge fan of "My Year of Meats." Definitely enjoyed it, although not nearly as much as MYOM. Partly I think because it was a longer, much more involved plot and at times the story line just seemed to go on and on.

But ultimately I think I loved My Year of Meats more because the characters were so much more convincing. In MYOM, protagonists and antagonists, peripheral and central characters alike were all fascinating and essential to the sto
Mar 17, 2009 Kate rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Compelling and engrossing novel set mainly in Idaho potato farming heartland and dealing with environmental activism, genetic modification and family bonds of love and pain. A love story, a thriller, a family drama this novel truly had me reading labels and questioning every aspect of the contemporary agricultural industry not to mention worrying about everything I put in my mouth. There are quirky and loveable characters. The humour and gentle understanding of youth culture offsets the dark asp ...more
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The F-word: December FICTION selection ALL OVER CREATION 15 25 Dec 16, 2014 06:24PM  
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  • Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor
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  • Sushi and Beyond: One Family's Remarkable Journey Through the Greatest Food Nation on Earth
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Ruth Ozeki (born in New Haven, Connecticut) is a Japanese American novelist. She is the daughter of anthropologist Floyd Lounsbury.

Ozeki published her debut novel, My Year of Meats, in 1998. She followed up with All Over Creation in 2003. Her new novel, A Tale for the Time Being, will be published on March 12, 2013.

She is married to Canadian land artist Oliver Kellhammer, and the couple divides t
More about Ruth Ozeki...

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“Life is evanescent, but left to itself it rarely fails to offer some consolation.” 3 likes
“You got a choice, dude. We've all got choices. Lots of them. Every single second of the day we're making choices. You've just been making bad ones, is all.” 3 likes
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