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Mind of My Mind by Octavia E. Butler

Mind of My Mind (1977)

by Octavia E. Butler

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7641312,134 (3.96)41



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Hard book to like. It touches on several complex and important themes such as bodily and mental integrity, slavery and racism, but moves quickly and never really delves into the material. Elements of the book stays with you afterwards. ( )
  StigE | Sep 15, 2015 |
The first Octavia Butler I ever read - they had it in my school library. I'm amazed really that they did, given some of the content, but definitely grateful. Excellent stuff; I love all her work. ( )
  comixminx | Apr 5, 2013 |
another 3.5 star entry in this series.

read back-to-back with [b:Wild Seed|52318|Wild Seed|Octavia E. Butler|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1312501199s/52318.jpg|1330000], doro and anwanyu have mellowed out to the point of being almost different characters...and yet, the main character here isn't completely understood without their background influence. it's an interesting story, but it still feels like a sketch, an idea, something pushing ever towards the next installment, rather than be a complete, finished stand-alone book. ( )
  fireweaver | Mar 31, 2013 |
Doro is an immortal, mind-controlling, body-snatching mutant who has spent 4,000 years on a human breeding program in an attempt to produce more creatures like him. Mary, a telepath with powerful new abilities, is his most promising result yet, but she also may be proof that he's succeeded a little too well.

I should mention that this is the third book in a series. I read the first one so long ago that I remember little of it, and I managed to miss the second one, but it didn't really matter. This one stands on its own well enough.

I'm really not sure quite what to think about it, though. It's reasonably well written, if a little talky. It's also disturbing, as it features incest, domestic violence, eugenics, murder, and various kinds of mental coercion from the violently forceful to the insidiously subtle. None of which I necessarily have a problem reading about, but there's something about the casual, matter-of-fact way the characters generally accept all this as just the way things are, even when they're the victims, that gets to me. (The book never spells it out explicitly, but I can only imagine that to some extent they're programmed to accept their place in the grand plan, with all that entails. They may baulk at specific things, but you never see them questioning the basic assumptions.) I felt vaguely unclean while reading it, but the book never develops enough emotional intensity for that disturbed feeling to lead to any kind of catharsis. Unfortunately, this also robs the story of any real sense of investment I might have felt. The only ending that seemed remotely worth caring about or hoping for would be one where the slaves rebel not just against their puppetmaster but against the whole premise of their lives. And that seemed to be almost literally unthinkable. ( )
  bragan | Jun 17, 2011 |
Part of Butler's Patternist series. Mary, the main character (chapters telling her story are written in first person) is not very likeable. She seems to develop more and more compassion towards fellow human beings as the story develops, but it's still not enough. When reading the book you ultimately find yourself rooting for the lesser evil, with the greater evil being Doro, and the lesser being Mary and her "First Family". There is a chilling savageness about what almost all the characters do, which works in the books favor. Character development is somewhat lacking however. You really don't get to know Mary, Doro, Emma, Karl, Vivian or any of the others. All in all, a somewhat interesting (albeit fast) read mainly because of its chilling nature. ( )
  betula.alba | Aug 9, 2009 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Octavia E. Butlerprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Caldwell, ClydeCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Palencar, John JudeCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Doro's widow in the southern California of Forsyth had become a prostitute.
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A young woman discovers she has tremendous psychic power The baby’s name is Mary, and her father is immortal. For thousands of years he has orchestrated a selective breeding project, attempting to create a master race capable of controlling others through thought. Most of his attempts have resulted in volatile mutations, but Mary—whom he has raised in the rough part of a Southern California town—is the closest he has come to perfection. If he doesn’t handle her carefully, this greatest experiment will be his last. As Mary comes of age, she begins to grow aware of her psychic powers. And when she learns of her father’s plans for her, she refuses to acquiesce. She challenges him to a psychic war, battling to free her people and set a new course for mankind. This ebook features an illustrated biography of Octavia E. Butler including rare images from the author’s estate.… (more)

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