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The Olive Readers

3.16  ·  Rating Details ·  305 Ratings  ·  51 Reviews
I cannot recall the exact moment when I decided to become a Reader. This is unusual for me, as I am always precise about beginnings...Imagine a future without a past, a time without memory, a state in which nationality, ancestry, tradition, language, history have no place. Governing this world is a hyper-organised system of corporations, a network of companies, each ...more
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Published by Pan Publishing (first published January 1st 2005)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Joanne
Started off well, with some beautiful writing. The story seemed tantalizing – a different take on the post-apocalyptic saga – and pulled together many different intersecting strands, weaving a country both archaic and futuristic, where people have been uprooted and separated from their homes, their languages and their nationalities, to the point where no one knows their own origins. Governments have been replaced by Companies which produce a particular product, such as olives, or water, and ...more
Cath
Mar 13, 2011 Cath rated it it was ok
Shelves: book-group
A book of two halves. It says somewhere in the blurb that she took years to write the first half of this book and two months to write the rest and unfortunately this is entirely obvious when you read it. The first half is beautiful and intriguing, the second half is preposterous.
Jeane
Dec 21, 2009 Jeane rated it really liked it
Jephzat wasn't born in the olive company, her sister was. She doesn't know where she was born.
Everybody has been 'moved' by the company to a new company where they grow olives or wheat. They are taught about the past by the company and aren't allowed to talk about anything not mentioned in the companies history or anything else which they aren't allowed to speak about.
One day, her parents are told they will be going for a while to another company to continue the important work they do. Jephzat s
...more
Sami
Oct 10, 2016 Sami rated it really liked it
Shelves: dystopian
I initially bought this simply because I found the name of the author an interesting one - a clearly Christian forename with an Arab surname.

Growing up, I've become very used to it now, but other than this the book itself did not impress much on me.

Until now.

Unbenownst to me, this book sowed the seed of a fear of multi billion dollar corporations into my head.

And now every time I hear of a corporation such as Amazon buying up Goodreads (the same Amazon that is the reason for so many of my local
...more
Melanie
Feb 28, 2012 Melanie rated it it was ok
Started off well, then escalated in the final section to an unbelievable climax, all over too quickly like the author wanted to get it over and done with. Disappointed
Philippa Antrobus
Nov 11, 2016 Philippa Antrobus rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Hessa Al awadhi
Feb 28, 2016 Hessa Al awadhi rated it it was ok
A story set in the future, where the whole world is ruled by corporations...

what i liked:
- The importance of books & reading, in a world where people are restricted from gaining knowledge.. Books enlighten, books give people HOPE, AMBITION and pleasure.. books open new horizons, creates new perspectives and pleases our curiosity .... a book can build a civilization, and it even has the power to destroy it!

- the fight for freedom, every individual has his/her right to live his life the way h
...more
Elo
Apr 25, 2014 Elo rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Wicked Incognito Now
Feb 03, 2012 Wicked Incognito Now rated it did not like it
I didn't get very far with this book.

This is a dystopic novel. Set in the near future, after the big evil corporate giants truly take over the world and have everyone locked down to small corporate "camps."

I'm sorry, but this makes so little sense to me that I couldn't finish! For one thing, we're ALREADY controlled by big evil corporate giants. Nothing new or ground-breaking there. But it's not in the best interest of these corporations to "lock-down" societies and make everyone burn all their
...more
Alun
Aug 20, 2014 Alun rated it liked it
I don't even recall who gave me this book but it had been sitting on the library shelves for ages so when I started running back through my modern classics, I thought I ought to read this one, too.

It's a curious little tale. At first it seems like it's really just about a small community and how they are affected by matters beyond their control but it is obviously post apocalyptic if books are a banned substance.

As it unfolds and we realise that the central characters have a verymuch more import
...more
Felicity Teasdale
Dec 10, 2012 Felicity Teasdale rated it liked it
Like many other reviews have said, this book started off well but seem to lose something towards the end.

I wasn't sure about the 'alternative future' set up but, by the end of the first 'book' - the novel itself is divided into five smaller books - I was intrigued by the mystery surrounding Jephzat's sister. Even through the revelation of this in book two, I was still intrigued but after this the whole story seemed to disappear.

Through the second half of the novel, the pace was fat too fast, at
...more
Christine
Jun 19, 2012 Christine rated it really liked it
A story from the future when earth is split into various 'corporations' producing olives, water, machinery etc. Everyone has been transported from their homes and 're-educated' and set to work in their corporation. The story follows the 'Readers' who have rescued, in secret, books, music etc to have a picture of life as it was without 'Corporations'. It follows the sory of Jephzat as she becomes involved with the freedom fighters 'Olive Readers' and her sister Hepzibah chosen path - to take ...more
Ruth Jans
Imagine a future world where countries no longer are ruled by governments but by super companies. There's Water Country, and Olive Country and the workers in these lands have been relocated and mixed up so that the ties of language, history and culture can not threaten the control of the companies. In any totalitarian world, information is regulated and controlled and in the Olive Readers' world, reading is banned. But a select few, dedicated to maintaining history, knowledge and even working ...more
Jennifer
Feb 19, 2012 Jennifer marked it as abandoned  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
It is very rare for me to abandon a book but I have decided not to continue with this one. It was bought as part of a bundle from The Book People and was the winner of the Richard & Judy 'How to Get Published' competition.

I had not realised prior to starting to read that this is a dystopia. Now, the thing is, I've had some bad experiences with dystopias by established authors in recent years (viz Atwood's Oryx and Crake and Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go) When I read other reviewers comments ab
...more
Gina
Feb 09, 2009 Gina rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-books, sci-fi
All in all a good story. Some parts were a bit slow and contained too much exposition or were too preachy.

After recovering from the global warming catastrophe, the world has been taken over & run by corporations. Books and all art forms are banned & people have forgotten their past. Now, individual people have to fight for their freedom again. Fahrenheit 411 in a new packaging.

One thing I didn't understand is how the companies make their money. There were references to how rich the comp
...more
Ruth
Nov 19, 2015 Ruth rated it liked it
The winning entry out of 46,000 entries in a writing competition, The Olive Readers indeed has an interesting dystopian story line of a future time when water is a commodity more precious than gold. Hidden within the populace of the Olive Country is a group of readers who have compiled a library of books written in languages no longer allowed to be spoken. Jephzat is the daughter of scientists who are trying to determine the secret to creating water. I read this over a series of many months as ...more
sisterimapoet
Oct 08, 2010 sisterimapoet rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction-2010
I was skeptical about the way this book came about, through a tv competition. However, for the first half of the book my doubts were unfounded. It felt fresh and interesting and unusual.

But then something changed, and it became rather forced and rushed and noticeably weaker than the previous half.

In the introduction the author said she spent many years writing much of the novel and then finished the rest to a short deadline. Sadly this showed. I'd have loved to have read the novel that would ha
...more
Whisky~words
There was so much wrong with this book which is a shame as I really enjoyed most of it. It drifts along in a lovely land but then suddenly there's a rushed ending with a worldwide revolution caused by one character happening in one paragraph hahaha!
There's not enough description about the rest of the world, it's too focused on one place and although narrated by the main character she never reacts to anything. There's no resolution for most of the characters. The ending is just kind if vague but
...more
Carolyn Hastie
Mar 25, 2013 Carolyn Hastie marked it as to-read
I abandoned this book at over the halfway mark. As so many other comments mentioned it really is a book of two halfs. The first half is absorbing and parts of it are beautifully written. But then it seems to lose its way. I felt it became disjointed....the writing did not flow as previously and because of this it became more of an effort to read and certainly less enjoyable. And, as I have learned as I grow older, life is way too short to plug through novels you aren't enjoying.
Peter Jordan
Interesting future world that is controlled by corporations. Life in the Olive Country seems very feudal and most people live very controlled and simple lives. I found the early part quite gripping, but after Jephzat discovers her destiny the story seemed to loose its grip. It felt less realistic yet involved more technology and the author seemed on shaky ground (or water) given the context! The resolution was disappointing.
Norah
I got this at a Bookcrossing meetup, recommended by the previous reader, and started reading it because I love olives, I love books, and it had a very nice feely cover :)

Set 85 years in the future, when earth has destroyed itself through pollution, and evil corporations have taken over, a family with 2 girls and researchers for parents work their way through this sci-fi fantasy. Interesting reading, but not to my taste.
Sara
Sep 01, 2016 Sara rated it liked it
Aziz writes some beautiful descriptions, and plot-wise the book is fairly interesting.

However, the narrator addresses the audience directly at times and it's a risk I don't feel pays off. These occurrences don't further the story in any way and in my opinion, only serve the author to "scare" the reader into their agenda--warning about our destruction of nature and the future it may bring.
Trudi T
Mar 11, 2008 Trudi T rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book was publlished as a result of a competition on tv's Richard and Judy show. In fact, if memory serves, all the finalists were published.
This book is, in turn, unusual and yet almost entirely predictable. Some of the plot ideas are very good but the final third seems like some hurried screenplay for a 'straight to dvd' movie release. It's a shame because it was quite promising.
Cassandra Kay Silva
Jun 25, 2011 Cassandra Kay Silva rated it liked it
Shelves: dystopia
There was something unrelatable about the main character of this story, the plot also seemed extremely rushed. This was unfortunate as the story itself was based on a good idea. The execution of this idea was poor. The writing was boring, and the world that was created somehow felt flat.
Rosslyn
This book is set in a future time when the world has become run by the corporate companies and identities are lost or stolen. The story is the fight of some, the readers of the title, to bring freedom to the world . This was a decent read but I found the end both confusing and bizarre!
Aina
Mar 29, 2016 Aina rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
So... Book I to III were a 3,5 star read for me, book IV was kind of a 2,5 and then book V and the very end was just... infuriatingly bad.
Clearly the author had no idea of what she wanted to do with her story and just made some bullshit up.
Linda Wilde
Apr 01, 2015 Linda Wilde rated it did not like it
Afraid I didn't enjoy this book at all, the prose seemed hurried and I felt no empathy with any of the characters, in fact I skipped the las 30 or so pages and just read the end.
Susan Howse
Dec 13, 2015 Susan Howse rated it liked it
Started off slow but picked up as it went on. Found myself skimming a lot. Not the best dystopian future I've read, that's for sure
Kindling Micky
Nov 20, 2016 Kindling Micky rated it really liked it
Probably my first sci-if/utopian read, way before I really discovered this genre in more recent years. I was gripped.
Lib Chelle
Feb 26, 2015 Lib Chelle rated it it was amazing
This was a book that made one think on so many levels. I really enjoyed it and would be one of a few books that I would reread.
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