Parable of the Sower

(Earthseed #1)

Paperback, 345 pages

English language

Published Aug. 7, 2000 by Warner Books.

ISBN:
9780446675505

View on OpenLibrary

4 stars (34 reviews)

In 2025, with the world descending into madness and anarchy, one woman begins a fateful journey toward a better future.

Lauren Olamina and her family live in one of the only safe neighborhoods remaining on the outskirts of Los Angeles. Behind the walls of their defended enclave, Lauren’s father, a preacher, and a handful of other citizens try to salvage what remains of a culture that has been destroyed by drugs, disease, war, and chronic water shortages. While her father tries to lead people on the righteous path, Lauren struggles with hyperempathy, a condition that makes her extraordinarily sensitive to the pain of others.

When fire destroys their compound, Lauren’s family is killed and she is forced out into a world that is fraught with danger. With a handful of other refugees, Lauren must make her way north to safety, along the way conceiving a revolutionary idea that may mean …

13 editions

Review of 'Parable of the Sower' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

On a second read, I feel a lot differently than I did the first time around. I can't separate uncomfortable feelings of reading about a teenager basically starting a cult and attracting people who are at their absolute most vulnerable to join. It doesn't sit well with me to read about Lauren's glee to "raise babies in Earthseed." And the intense, intense, dehumanization and otherizing of people using drugs, making them into physically unrecognizable monsters, is something I can't get past. If Lauren has hyper-empathy, and is more sensitive to people in need of help, then why does the buck stop with people using drugs?

Review of 'Parable of the sower' on 'Storygraph'

No rating

Maybe I didn't fully understand how much of a Young Adult novel this was, but I found this book very slow and literal. Boring even.Update: NYTimes reviewer seems to agree? Points to the sequel as the "masterpiece" www.nytimes.com/2021/01/15/books/review/the-essential-octavia-butler.html?smid=tw-nytbooks&smtyp=cur

Review of 'Parable of the sower' on 'GoodReads'

4 stars

Great story, featuring excellent writing that has truly held up over the decades. Only a few of the ideas presented here seem dated or goofy (primarily the language used to address futuristic drugs). For whatever reason, I didn't immediately consider the potential differences between a post-apocalyptic book written by a woman of color and similar books I'd explored that were written by white men or women. Having a strong, black female youth as a narrator is refreshing, and the maximized potential for even more obvious and egregious examples of class war, racial tension, and misogyny as "civilization" breaks down is explored more comprehensively than in any other work of fiction I've read. Thus, the landscape described by Butler seems (sadly) infinitely more realistic. Looking forward to the next book in the series.

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Subjects

  • African Americans -- Fiction
  • Twenty-first century -- Fiction
  • California, Southern -- Fiction

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