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All Over Creation

3.77 of 5 stars 3.77  ·  rating details  ·  2,865 ratings  ·  403 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 pa
Paperback, 432 pages
Published March 30th 2004 by Penguin Books (first published January 1st 2003)
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Chocolat by Joanne HarrisLike Water for Chocolate by Laura EsquivelGreen Eggs and Ham by Dr. SeussCharlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald DahlFried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg
Food-Related Fiction
80th out of 375 books — 452 voters
The Joy Luck Club by Amy TanThe Namesake by Jhumpa LahiriInterpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa LahiriSnow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa SeeThe Woman Warrior by Maxine Hong Kingston
Asian American Books
62nd out of 184 books — 151 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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“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
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
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
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
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
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
Sarah Nichols
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 3 of 5 stars
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
"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
Jul 10, 2007 Annie rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  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
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
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?
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 3 of 5 stars  ·  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
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 4 of 5 stars  ·  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
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
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
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
Took nearly a month to read. The same day I finished this book I read an entire novel in a single sitting.

Could've been much shorter. Can't rightly recall what exactly took up all those pages. The build up and subsequent catharsis re: father was initially fulfilling but quickly wore off and was unable to hold through until the end.

Identity crisis between a novel or a book detailing the evils of genetic engineering crops, particularly potatoes. So many potatoes. Gave a lot of interesting informa
How much you love or hate a book can depend on whats happening for you when you read it. All Over Creation was everything I needed in a book right now. It spoke very clearly to my emotions and current philosophical approach to life currently. I loved it.

The plot is convoluted but not hard to follow - yet difficult to pin down for a review, I say this after aborting several lame attempts.

Therefore I will simply recommend this to anyone who:

a)is interested in food and its origin
b)is a child
Who would have thought that there could be such an interesting book about potatoes?

I have to start out by saying that I love Ruth Ozeki's writing. I just wish there was more of it. In both of her novels (My Year of Meats and All Over Creation), she tackles some serious issues revolving around the food we eat. Thought provoking, heavy subjects, yet they are entertaining and carry a sense of light-heartedness and fun. The characters are quirky, almost to the point of being ridiculous, but still m
Sophie Murray
I liked the characters better at the beginning than at the end. (Yumi Fuller especially is a real piece of work. She runs away at age 14 after her relationship with a teacher comes to light. 25 years and three kids later, her maturity level has not changed at all.) Most of the characters treat the people around them with resentment and/or neglect, which was very frustrating for me to read. I also wish there were more facts about GMOS instead of a faux-debate with PR reps on one side and hippies ...more
If this had been about something else, I might not have loved it as much. If I were somebody else, I might not have loved it as much. But some of the characters (Seeds of Resistance) were driving a biodisiel bus to Seattle enroute to the WTO. They stopped at a farm in rural Idaho where an estranged daughter (an adjunt professor who wrote a masters thesis about representations of nature in Asian American literature) has come home for her father's death.

The themes are loss, memory, fertility, nat
Linda Prieskorn
Sometime last year I read A TALE FOR THE TIME BEING, by Ruth Ozeki. I had mixed emotions about the book but gave it a four. It was selected this year for the Ann Arbor Ypsi Reads. Thanks to a persistent friend I attend a book discussion and the author presentation. The author's explanation of her writing process and background cleared up many things about the book. I decide to buy her other two books as we left the presentation.

ALL OVER CREATION, is the first of the two books. Many of the thre
Kate Adams
This book hit several buried buttons with me - I am a child of the Palouse, and her descriptions of life and farming and small towns in the Ore-Ida belt struck a chord with me, and I got some context from an adult perspective on life in that area in that era. For example, it had never occurred to me before that the reason my little Oregon town had so many stellar, young (and mostly male or married to/living with male) teachers who disappeared somewhat abruptly around 1976 or so was draft deferme ...more
After taking the beef industry on in 1998 with “My Year of Meats,” Ruth Oseki turned her documentarian eye to the genetic engineering of our food in America publishing “All Over Creation” in 2003. The novel begins by describing the powerful thrust of a seed pushing its way through the earth, perhaps to flourish and propagate, or to be mowed over. The reader meets Lloyd Fuller, the elderly patriarch, acknowledging the fun, the gamble that went along with potato farming, so much luck. The potato b ...more
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The F-word: December FICTION selection ALL OVER CREATION 15 24 Dec 16, 2014 06:24PM  
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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...
A Tale for the Time Being My Year of Meats The Face Click: One Novel, Ten Authors Inside and Other Short Fiction: Japanese Women by Japanese Women

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“Life is evanescent, but left to itself it rarely fails to offer some consolation.” 1 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.” 1 likes
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