Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Raising the Stones (Arbai, #2)” as Want to Read:
Raising the Stones (Arbai, #2)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Raising the Stones (Arbai #2)

4.03  ·  Rating Details ·  1,970 Ratings  ·  64 Reviews
The author of The Gate to Women's Country and Grass weaves a moving story of one man's coming to accept his role in a far future universe, providing a brilliant exploration of relations between the sexes, the value of religion, and marnkind's place in the universe.
Paperback, 530 pages
Published August 1st 1991 by Spectra (first published 1990)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
May 12, 2009 Amanda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved it. Samasnier Girat, the narrator, is irritating as crap for a good bit of the book, but the things he's irritating about help you understand life on Hobb's Land.
There's a scene I particularly love, about the aftermath of a terrorist attack against Hobb's Land, where Mysore Hobbs tries to find out what happened and why, and runs up against a bureacracy to end all bureacracies. After the tragedy of the killings in the previous chapters, this restrained and slyly funny interlude was very wel
Nov 04, 2007 Emily rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was good stuff. Like lots of Tepper's books, it grappled with issues of gender roles and spirituality.

The story takes place in a solar system where there are several occupied worlds. One of these worlds, a relative backwater, has some indigenous gods. They look like big stones that live in little houses, and are tended by the Ones Who. The Ones Who are people who just start to feel as though they would like to take care of the local god. On this planet, there is little conflict or struggle
I'd forgotten quite how amazing this book is. Tepper when she is on form writes grippingly and her characters are really well formed. The Grass/Stones/Sideshow trilogy is my absolute favourite of hers, and of the three books, I think Stones is the best. The plot is multi-layered and intriguing, and I LOVE the idea of the Hobbs Land Gods (and the reasons why some people/cultures/religions might think that they might not be a good thing). I just wish they were real as to be honest, the world could ...more
James Owen Ether
Feb 16, 2009 James Owen Ether rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just finished reading for the 3rd or 4th time, this time with my partner. It's a different experience reading Tepper's works out loud. Her sermons about religion and philosophy have always seemed to stretch out much longer than necessary, but they do this even more so when you have to speak through all the words. Kris was distracted and annoyed by the strange names in the beginning, but got used to it, and was amazed by the book by the end.
This is a great example of Tepper's complexity. Multipl
Oct 13, 2008 Karen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's been a while since I've read a Tepper book, and it took me a good long while to get through this one. Not because there is anything wrong with Tepper but because her books are very dense. There's a lot to shift through and it's not a fast read. That being said, I didn't really care for the story or characters that much. But the ideas that were presented through the story really made me think a lot about religion especially but also quite appropriately the idea of the hero's journey (since t ...more
Apr 10, 2009 Martha rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This book was pretty uneven. There were parts of it that I loved, and (usually longer) parts I was bored by. It could have benefited from some tightening up; the parts that bored me seemed to be just waiting for the plot to catch up with the exposition.

However, even though it probably contributed to the book's length, I liked the fact that the story was told from so many characters' perspectives. Especially because this isn't a story about individuals, but about societies, it seems necessary to
Aug 02, 2010 Amos rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beautifully written. This is the first book I've read by this author; I love her philosophy and theology and admire how she presents it through a wonderful story. I appreciated her pacing; not rushing from action scene to action scene, plenty of time to get to know the characters and come to care for them. Good suspense building toward the end, with some fine humor thrown in.
Christopher Sutch
This is one hell of a good book. Her previous novel, _Grass_ was quite good, but this one is better. I like the depth of imagination, the world-building, the multiple serious issues Tepper raises. This is as close to literature as science fiction gets, usually (and unfortunately).
Nov 10, 2010 Bria rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Michele Tracy
Apr 10, 2011 Michele Tracy rated it it was amazing
I am new to Tepper's work and just finished Grass which was spell-binding. Here she takes up themes about religion, women's oppression and alien cultures in a profound way. I could not put this book down. I also think while Grass also explores the themes I identified above, in RTS the depth of characterization is much more complex and satisfying.
Katie M.
Aug 05, 2011 Katie M. rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: feminists, mycologists, sf fans
Raising the Stones is an interesting and well-told piece of idea-heavy science fiction. I was particularly impressed by how Tepper brings together the diverse threads and many characters of her story at the end. The book started out rather slowly, but it built up momentum and tension.

Like most of Tepper's books, this one has strong feminist themes. It's a bit anvilicious at times and occasionally prone to overgeneralization, but valuable nonetheless.
Feb 29, 2012 Alayne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When a book makes me think about it for some time after finishing it, I consider it to be a good book. This one was very thought provoking, as it covers topics as varied as what makes a god, what is religion, and the treatment of women. Very good! All done in an amusing and entertaining way, with a book that keeps you turning the pages all the way through.
Stan Pedzick
Aug 05, 2014 Stan Pedzick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Bonniecco cco
Nov 08, 2015 Bonniecco cco rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Tremendous. I am almost finished. It has a great story & underlying philosophy, wise comments - everything I expect from Tepper. At the moment I might call this her best ever. Of course, to be sure, I'd need to reread all the others. In particular, there are abundant ideas about male and female roles in various societies, but they just emerge as part of the story. There are a couple of twisted religions too, with lively and funny commentary about how they might have developed. A breezy comme ...more
Mary Holland
Sheri Tepper has written over 20 books, and in my opinion, this is one of her best. It's not mentioned anymore in her current back jacket blurb and seems to be overlooked. It's also out of print, which is a shame. Tepper is known for polemical writing and sometimes it overwhelms her story, but here she gets the balance just right. It has a wonderful, unusual premise: what if you had a god that worked? Her world-building is perfect, logical, and fascinating, and the characters are memorable. ...more
Delicious Strawberry
I read 'Sideshow' before this, and reading this book actually made some of the things in Sideshow easier to understand. This is my favorite book out of the trilogy, though the trilogy overall is good and I recommend all three books. The premise is very interesting, and it's easy to see that the strictly patriarchal religion of Voorstod is a combination of fundamentalist Christian and Islamic teachings. Not surprising since Ms. Tepper has very strong feminist feelings and this shows up a lot in h ...more
Zack Hiwiller
Jan 15, 2013 Zack Hiwiller rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Pretty much everything I look for in SF/F. The plot was lively and kept me interested. The characters were multi-dimensional. The sci-fi ideas made sense and served the story, the Big Ideas were meaningful and dealt with some relevant philosophical questions and there were just enough oddball things (like the Porsa) that the story will stick with me.

However, I can see this one being not for everyone. There are almost as many characters as Game of Thrones and it doesn't seem like their stories wi
Isabel (kittiwake)
A black-and-white tabby cat came into the room with a live ferf in her jaws. She jumped onto the plinth and laid the animal against the base of the mass, then jumped down and left the room, purring loudly.
Two other cats came in with similar burdens.
"That was Gotoit's cat," Jep remarked after a time. "That stripey one. She calls it Lucky."
Saturday nodded and brushed the surface of the plinth with her bare palm, cleaning away the few scraps of scruffy ferf hair that remained on the stone. The bodi
Mar 08, 2014 Mitch rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
I found this book objectionable for the same reasons a woman would dislike reading a novel thoroughly laced with misogynist statements.

Ms. Tepper does this well. Only on occasion does she descend into angry rants against men; she is far more subtle and skillful than that most of the time. But it's all there.

Men are to be mistrusted. They are misled, egotistic, violent, power-hungry, oppressive, cruel and only capable of being saved by becoming more like women.

Raising the Stones? More like cuttin
Michael Battaglia
Dec 04, 2014 Michael Battaglia rated it it was amazing
Or "This is Why I Dislike All the Fictional Religions I've Made Up".

Reading a bunch of these starts to engender a cozy familiarity after a while. Opening one of her books is like visiting an old friend who's endearing but kind of a crank. You enjoy spending time with them but you know at some point they're going to start going on about the same old things in the way they always have, politics, religion, why men stink, and while they won't say anything terribly new you've known them for so long y
Apr 05, 2015 Amy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Much more complicated than Grass, and tied to it only loosely. Also a much bigger, more wandering book. In some ways it was much better, and sometimes impossible to put down--other times I wandered away for a day or two and had to push myself to return to it. A lot of the Voorstod stuff is a little on the nose even for me, less sympathetic to the patriarchal religions than anyone. But it was definitely worth reading. I wish it had been a little bit tighter--a clearer story. I suppose it's Sam Gi ...more
May 13, 2015 Cathy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This second book in the Arbai trilogy does not disappoint. This may well be the summer of Sherri S. Tepper on my patio - if the warm summer sun ever happens. But I digress. Raising the Stones contains one of the best creation myths I have ever read - and that's saying something. On to the third in the series - Sideshow.
Chris Winters
Jul 18, 2015 Chris Winters rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sheri S. Tepper's "Raising the Stones" is sometimes billed as the second part of her "Arbai" trilogy, but that's a misnomer, as this book easily stands on its own. It shares the same universe as its predecessor, "Grass," but is otherwise set one thousand years later and with very few exceptions has no apparent connection to the earlier novel.
That said, it's definitely a thematic cousin to "Grass" and much of Tepper's other work in that it deals with religion and women and male privilege. Tepper
More sociologically complex than Grass, the first in the Arbai series, Raising the Stones is an unsettling exploration of the effects that various forms of religious belief have on societies, from the apparently benign, to the avowedly malevolent.

I can't be the only recent reader who sees the Taliban and ISIS/ISIL/Daesh in the doctrine of the men of Voorstod.

I look forward to Sideshow, the next in the sequence.
Feb 09, 2016 Marie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book started out a little slow, but in a good way: the writer is building up so many threads of story, it's all coming together in an exciting fashion... I've lost so many hours of sleep this week.

I felt dismayed at first because the even in a distant future there was violence through intense racism, sexism and religious intolerance. But it was like reading a warning that humanity never really changes until it is forced to.

My favourite theme was how we sometimes see our parents as legends
Rita	 Marie
Feb 07, 2016 Rita Marie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really, really liked this one. Although it is billed as "Arbai #2," it isn't really any such. There are a few wee things you might pick up if you read Grass first, but they're not important. This book stands on its own.

Particularly notable -- the many types of gods, relationship of people to their gods, and the hilarious struggle of a committee to 'define god.' Also the character 'Sam Girat' and his relationship with his parents.
Ramoths Own
I really enjoyed this book and continue to be amazed at the way that Ms Tepper tells a story. I was caught immediately by the entire theory of growing gods. I thought the entire read was enjoyable, as I have now come to expect from her.
Pat Cummings
Jul 29, 2016 Pat Cummings rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
A recurring theme in Sheri Tepper’s work is the urge toward God, and the ways in which that urge motivates personal and cultural choice. This theme is blatantly obvious in Raising the Stones, Tepper’s 1990 novel in the Arbai Gates sequence.
Beside the ruined temple north of Settlement One, shallow in the soil lay Birrabat Shum. Shallow he lay, with fragments of roots and crumbs of leaves on his eyes…

Like Grass, which preceded it, and which I reviewed in December 2014, this novel is set on a human
Aug 27, 2016 Elenora rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars.

Great weaving stories. It was a slow and ponderous read but never a boring one. I preferred Grass to it, maybe, but they're close runners. The way the gods express themselves through the people is great, and the mind manipulation is extremely well written. The social and religious criticism was a bit heavy handed, as it was on Grass, but the message is a progressivist one that was certainly a lot more revolutionary at the time, and I don't mind it this much.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Summer Queen (The Snow Queen Cycle, #3)
  • Intervention (Intervention #1-2)
  • Adulthood Rites (Xenogenesis, #2)
  • A Woman's Liberation: A Choice of Futures by and About Women
  • The Judas Rose (Native Tongue #2)
  • The Ages of Chaos (Darkover Omnibus, #2)
  • Crossing the Line (Wess'har Wars, #2)
  • The Last Legends of Earth (Radix, #4)
  • Migration (Species Imperative, #2)
  • A Door Into Ocean
  • Beggars and Choosers (Sleepless, #2)
  • Through Alien Eyes
  • The Face of the Waters
  • The Sons of Heaven (The Company, #8)
  • Ammonite
Sheri Stewart Tepper was a prolific American author of science fiction, horror and mystery novels; she was particularly known as a feminist science fiction writer, often with an ecofeminist slant.

Born near Littleton, Colorado, for most of her career (1962-1986) she worked for Rocky Mountain Planned Parenthood, where she eventually became Executive Director. She has two children and is married to G
More about Sheri S. Tepper...

Other Books in the Series

Arbai (3 books)
  • Grass (Arbai, #1)
  • Sideshow (Arbai, #3)

Share This Book

“Man constantly prayed to God for peace, but peace never happened, so he decided that his god must really want war because the other side was sinful. Man invented and extolled virtues which could only be exemplified under conditions of war, like heroism and gallantry and honor, and he gave himself laurel wreaths or booty or medals for such things, thus rewarding himself for behaving well while sinning. He did it when he was a primitive, and he went on with it after he thought he was civilized.” 1 likes
“Man was always being jerked around between different people's ideas of god, depending on who'd won the most recent war, or palace coup, or political battle. This meant mankind was always being asked to accept deities foreign to his own nature. I mean, if your prophet was sexually insecure, or if his later interpreters were, that religion demanded celibacy or repression or hatred of women; if the prophet was a homophobe, he preached prosecution of homosexuals; and if he was both lecherous and greedy, he preached polygeny. If he was luxurious, he preached give-me-money-and-God-will-make-you-rich; if he felt put upon he preached God-of-Vengeance, let's kill the other guy; and no matter how much well-meaning ecumenicists pretended all the gods were one god under different aspects, they weren't any such thing, because every prophet created God in his own image, to confront his own nightmares.” 0 likes
More quotes…