African-American Literature · book review · discussion

Book Discussion: Parable Of The Sower By Octavia Butler

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Parable of the Sower (EarthSeed #1) By Octavia Butler

Published by Four Walls Eight Windows (November 1993) 299 Pages (hardback)

Published by Grand Central Publishing; Updated edition (January 1, 2000) 352 pages (paperback)

When unattended environmental and economic crises lead to social chaos, not even gated communities are safe. In a night of fire and death Lauren Olamina, a minister’s young daughter, loses her family and home and ventures out into the unprotected American landscape. But what begins as a flight for survival soon leads to something much more: a startling vision of human destiny… and the birth of a new faith (synopsis from goodreads)

What do I say about this book? It was excellent, scary, stark, wonderfully terrifying. The world is all the worst parts of the U.S. from it’s inception put together and delivered in a terrifying way. Often books are either more plot driven or more character driven, this book has a nice mix of both.  There is a lot of violence although it’s not gratuitous in any way but, rape plays a major role so it could be triggering for some. What this book has is everything I felt was missing from the dystopian books I’ve read in the past, namely diversity.  There are a  great mix of diverse characters and they don’t rely on stereotypes. I love that the protagonist is a black girl it’s really refreshing. Butler manages to tackle  racism, slavery, socioeconomic issues, climate issues, politics, and religion in just this one book. It’s not a pleasure read and it might actually make you sad or uncomfortable but it’s worth it. I was planning on starting the second book Parable of the Talents but I think I need a bit of a recovery from this world before I continue. I am anxious to see where this world goes and how the story will be wrapped up. I’m guessing it’s not going to be with a big bow but that’s OK.   I gave this 4 stars on goodreads and the only reason I didn’t give it 5 was the world building. I felt like I wanted just a bit more about some aspects of the world and how it got where it was. Perhaps some of that will be in the second book.If you like dystopian books with sci-fi elements, diverse characters and serious social commentary this is the book for you.

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