Wizzard's Reviews > Parable of the Talents

Parable of the Talents by Octavia E. Butler
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Mar 01, 09

bookshelves: science-fiction, black-culture-history-and-society
Read in March, 2009

I like this book. So far it is my favorite Octavia Butler book. I like that the ending was not taken for granted, that the lines of good and bad weren't so clearly drawn that you felt you didn't have to actually read the book. The book contains horrors and violence and stares them in the face clearly. The book has great commentary on religion, slavery, and gender. It is told from a creative narrative structure that shows the writings of different characters. It allows a layered story to develop over time.

I especially have encouraged Detroit activists to read this book. The post-apocalyptic world encourages responses of community/ cooperation and authoritarianism/dependence. Both responses are portrayed in the book. I think this book has great relevance in the post-commons privatized world that we may be entering in.
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Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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message 1: by Qiana (new)

Qiana What a great review. I remember enjoying the first book in the series a bit more than this one, but I also appreciate the vision of community that Butler creates. When you get a chance, I'd love to hear what you think about Earthseed. It has some interesting applications for religious belief in our own time.


Wizzard
Funny that you ask because I found that to be the least compelling part of the book. I didn't feel a need to personally evaluate or hate it or whatever. It's like making a religion out of common sense. It was almost like a trick to get people into community, because people aren't going to figure out their own interests without a hook of a belief system. What is God? God is Change

What do you mean by "interesting applications for religious belief"


Qiana wrote: "What a great review. I remember enjoying the first book in the series a bit more than this one, but I also appreciate the vision of community that Butler creates. When you get a chance, I'd love to..."




Wizzard glad u liked the review...


message 4: by Qiana (new)

Qiana LOL - a religion out of common sense! I couldn't have said it better. In terms of applications, I was thinking about the debates over religious fundamentalism in our society today and how the notion of "God is Change" - while simple - still freaks a lot of people out. I'm not necessarily interested in converting to Earthseed and I agree that it is not the main feature of this book (it was more prominent in the first one I think), but I appreciated its open-mindedness.


Wizzard I apreciated it too, I like the battle between mainstream Christianity and Earthseed that she projects. I think that the power of Earthseed is in its structure and community. To me the scriptures themselves and especially the goal of journeying to another planet aren't really the take aways.

BUT it is an interesting question, right? To form a close-knit and dedicated community do we have to have the same beliefs? Do we have to leave the belief systems we came up on and forge together a new belief system to have any social effect? That is a GREAT question the book poses an answer to....


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