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Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler

Parable of the Sower

by Octavia E. Butler

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Earthseed (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,7241062,015 (4.03)239
  1. 51
    The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood (wonderlake)
    wonderlake: IMO Year of the Flood is a much superior book
  2. 30
    The Postman by David Brin (infiniteletters)
  3. 20
    An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon (bibliovermis)
  4. 31
    Into the Forest by Jean Hegland (GCPLreader)
  5. 31
    The Girl Who Owned A City by O. T. Nelson (infiniteletters)
  6. 10
    Parable of the Talents by Octavia E. Butler (sturlington)
    sturlington: Sequel to Parable of the Sower
  7. 21
    The Fifth Sacred Thing by Starhawk (espertus)
    espertus: Another post-apocalyptic feminist novel, although unlike in Parable of the Sower, the religion/magic is real, not symbolic.
  8. 22
    How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff (wonderlake)
    wonderlake: Strong female teenagers traverse war-torn environments in the near future
  9. 22
    When She Woke by Hillary Jordan (ellbeecee)
    ellbeecee: Near-future dystopian fiction that makes you consider what's going on and the various paths that could be taken.
  10. 00
    Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel (rstaedter)
  11. 00
    Mind-Call by Wilanne Schneider Belden (infiniteletters)
  12. 11
    Dhalgren by Samuel R. Delany (thesmellofbooks)
    thesmellofbooks: A very different dystopia written by a very different African-American science fiction writer. Yet the intensity and humanity of Parable of the Sower are present as well in this much older book.
  13. 00
    Mara and Dann by Doris Lessing (amberwitch)
    amberwitch: Both featuring young female protagonists of colour, traveling north looking for a place to live after her society disintegrated, partially due to climatical changes.
  14. 22
    The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood (MyriadBooks)
  15. 00
    Galveston by Sean Stewart (amberwitch)
  16. 12
    Bel Canto by Ann Patchett (the_awesome_opossum)
    the_awesome_opossum: Both novels are about human connections formed in the face of unusual crises. Very competent and well-written, both books had much the same vibe about them
  17. 01
    Morne Câpresse by Gisèle Pineau (Dilara86)
  18. 23
    World War Z by Max Brooks (storyjunkie)
    storyjunkie: Both are tales of how to survive a world gone mad, though there are no zombies in Butler's. Both works' treatment of the human questions are equally nuanced, variable, and detailed.
  19. 17
    The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank (amberwitch)
    amberwitch: Both told as diaries written by young women growing up 'under siege'.

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» See also 239 mentions

English (105)  French (1)  All languages (106)
Showing 1-5 of 105 (next | show all)
I did enjoy this but was left wanting more and the sequal didn't really deliver. A near future all too realistic dystopia, it was not an uplifting view of our future. ( )
  wifilibrarian | Dec 5, 2018 |
This is a page-turner; a horrifying vision of a disintegrating society, chaos, lawlessness, people killing, abusing, exploiting each other; desperation making people into filthy, immoral animals. Much of the story is very bleak and depressing, and it just gets worse as it goes along. I have read the story of the relative safety behind walls, then the desperate road trip and banding together before, although this is the earliest work that describes it that I have encountered. It is thrilling and hortifying. Butler’s prose flows well, but despite of depictions of pain and grief, I have found her writing emotionally distant, and the characters underdeveloped.

I also did not buy Earthseed. I get that Lauren has grown disillusioned in her father’s God and found that the only unchanging thing was change itself. But why call that God? It seemed she wanted the community aspect of religion (services, prayer, something to call God) but without relying on God to save us or care for us. A preacher’s daughter can stop believing but can’t give up the rituals. I also found it unlikely people would seriously listen to an eighteen-year-old kid’s ideas about a new religion. She could not get them to listen to her about being prepared for crisis!

Despite my misgivings, the overall impression was that this is a worthy book, and I will be reading the sequels. ( )
  Gezemice | Oct 29, 2018 |
I found this book on a list of climate change fiction - cli-fi. It's more just generic dystopian, but water is scarce so there's that. The book was written in 1993 and takes place around 2026. Probably things won't descend quite that far quite that fast, but then again Butler might have got the timing just right. She covers an interesting stage in collapse, where a small community has been staying in their house and protecting them, then their little neighborhood is overrun by gangs and just a few of them survive. These few head north and get started on a way to live off the land.

I read right through this in a few days. It definitely pulls the reader along. A core feature of the book is how the protagonist is working out a new religion, a sincere attempt at understanding reality. A curious feature is that it includes interstellar colonization, but the reality portrayed by the novel is one where interstate colonization is practically unachievable. The idea seems to be that we need some heaven to hope for. Maybe it's just that Butler writes science fiction and a book can't find its way to that section of the bookstore without including interstellar colonization. For me that did help the book's plot a bit, because it got me thinking - how in the world will our protagonist work her way into a rocket ship from such a bleak start? ( )
1 vote kukulaj | Oct 22, 2018 |
This is my fourth read from Butler, and it's definitely the one I liked the least. The setting is bleak and dystopian, which is mostly not my bag but with which I can get on if I'm sufficiently intrigued by plot or characters. This doesn't have a plot? And I didn't warm to any of the characters. It honestly just felt like one brutal encounter after another until I ran out of pages. The religion the main character "discovers" is sort of compelling but not enough so to generate interest in the face of the other lack; likewise her ability to feel physically the pain of others, which just kind of sits there, being a nuisance when killing is inevitable but otherwise not going anywhere. I know this is the beginning of a duology, but unfortunately nothing about this prompts me to consider carrying on. This is the first time I've given an Octavia Butler book less than four stars, so I may just have been on the wrong wavelength or something for this one. YMMV.

***For Book Club ( )
  lycomayflower | Sep 1, 2018 |
4.5 stars for me, but let's round it up.

We see Lauren starting a new religion about God being Change in not-quite-post apocalyptic America. I think that's it.

I'm not really sure where I stand on the mysticism, but the characters and characterizations and descriptions were so good, it doesn't even matter to my opinion that much. ( )
  _rixx_ | Aug 30, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 105 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Butler, Octavia E.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bracharz, KurtÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gyan, DeborahCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Palencar, John JudeCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Puckey, DonCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rouard, PhilippeTraductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thigpen, LynneNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Prodigy is, at its essence, adaptability and persistent, positive obsession. Without persistence, what remains is an enthusiasm of the moment. Without adaptability, what remains may be channeled into destructive fanaticism. Without positive obsession, there is nothing at all. -- EARTHSEED: THE BOOKS OF THE LIVING by Lauren Oya Olamina
All that you touch / You Change. / All that you Change / Changes You. / The only lasting truth / is Change. / God / Is Change. -- EARTHSEED: THE BOOKS OF THE LIVING
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I had my recurring dream last night.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
Set in a dystopian future, Parable of the Sower centers on a young woman who possesses what Butler dubbed as hyperempathy – the ability to feel the perceived pain and other sensations of others – who develops a benign philosophical and religious system during her childhood in the remnants of a gated community in Los Angeles. Civil society is near collapse due to resource scarcity and poverty. When the community's security is compromised, her home is destroyed and her family murdered. She travels north with some survivors to try to start a community where her religion, called Earthseed, can grow.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0446675504, Paperback)

Octavia E. Butler, the grande dame of science fiction, writes extraordinary, inspirational stories of ordinary people. Parable of the Sower is a hopeful tale set in a dystopian future United States of walled cities, disease, fires, and madness. Lauren Olamina is an 18-year-old woman with hyperempathy syndrome--if she sees another in pain, she feels their pain as acutely as if it were real. When her relatively safe neighborhood enclave is inevitably destroyed, along with her family and dreams for the future, Lauren grabs a backpack full of supplies and begins a journey north. Along the way, she recruits fellow refugees to her embryonic faith, Earthseed, the prime tenet of which is that "God is change." This is a great book--simple and elegant, with enough message to make you think, but not so much that you feel preached to.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:25:06 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

In 2025 California, an eighteen-year-old African American woman, suffering from a hereditary trait that causes her to feel others' pain as well as her own, flees northward from her small community and its desperate savages.

» see all 6 descriptions

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Average: (4.03)
1 7
1.5 1
2 27
2.5 17
3 135
3.5 61
4 338
4.5 51
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