Aberjhani's Reviews > Parable of the Sower

Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler
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Sep 06, 2007

it was amazing
bookshelves: speculative, literature
Recommended for: Fans of thought-provoking sci fi.
Read in April, 2004

A TERRIFYING YET INSPIRING VISION OF DAYS TO COME

Octavia E. Butler's PARABLE OF THE SOWER is one of those rare, dangerous novels that succeeds as both fascinating fantasy and uncompromising social commentary. Within its first dozen pages, we encounter members of a typical family, armed with guns, on their way to church, a headless corpse, a naked homeless woman, a community walled in by terror, and a young woman dreaming of stars.

The dreamer is 16-year-old Lauren Oya Olamina, the would-be sower and teller of this parable. The place is California. The year 2025. And nothing in the United States is how it once was. Lauren is a "sharer," or what some might describe as an empath. With her family destroyed by lawless ravagers, Lauren becomes the leader of a band of desperate wanderers. Despite constant violence, hunger, and the threat of firestorms sweeping across the land, they maintain their vows to protect each other and even find love among their numbers. Although barely existing at the bottom of hell, these characters levitate naturally toward a sense of family in order to survive and flourish. Racially, socially, and temperamentally diverse, they manage to achieve a strained but functional unity.

The late Butler's PARABLE OF THE SOWER, filled with deep thought and elevated feeling, highlights and magnifies the social ills of the years 2025-2027 to forge a mirror that reflects much of what too many people choose to ignore in contemporary times. Despite that, every page shimmers with hope and inspiration that makes this book one fantastic read.

by Aberjhani
author of ENCYCLOPEDIA OF THE HARLEM RENAISSANCE
and THE WISDOM OF W. E. B. DU BOIS

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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Margaret (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:23PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Margaret The thing that most impresses me about Butlers writings is that these things seem as though the could happen, you look around you at current events and remember something from the novel, but maybe I just have an over active imagination!I heard on the news one day that they were using electric shock collars on AD kids and my mind went right back to the novel.Does anyone else feel the same


message 2: by Aberjhani (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:25PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Aberjhani Actually Margaret I don't think it's a matter of you having an overactive imagination at all. Not only have many practices and possibilities once considered elements of science fiction become part of our daily lives, but some inventions and trends in our daily lives have surpassed what sci fi writers used to dream up. Certainly the marauding gangs in Butler's work are real enough in 2007 and there are any number of individuals like her heroine trying to help others and themselves make sense of the chaos in the world today.

Aberjhani


message 3: by Margaret (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:25PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Margaret i completely agree


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