Parable of the Sower

(Earthseed #1)

Paperback, 345 pages

English language

Published Aug. 7, 2000 by Warner Books.

ISBN:
9780446675505
OCLC Number:
42397656

View on OpenLibrary

4 stars (81 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 …

14 editions

This book redefined my idea of sci-fi!

5 stars

Until I read this book, I always thought the sci-fi genre was not for me because I find stories about faraway space aliens difficult to chew. This book is so solidly grounded in the black female experience that it feels almost surreal, a wholesome experience. I thank Butler for introducing me to Afrofuturism.

The government is useless and we're all gonna get raped and our houses burned down

4 stars

Both right-wing and left-wing preppers will find something for them in this book. Written from the POV of a teenager in a life-or-death situation, the book is pretty much on survival mode the entire time, with the accompanying lack of nuance and fear permeating throughout. Still, seems like an important and balanced read.

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

3 stars

This is book is a modern rendition of Earth Abides (by George R Stewart). It is superior in many ways. It is so much more well-written, more believable and a lot more emotionally attached.

But this was not a book for me.

Its diary format lends itself to a single-subject, single-threaded narrative that is too far from my preferred storytelling which is parallell storylines reminiscent of that in modern tv series. The diary format also leans into slower, observational progress which is probably intentional, to make it feel more genuine and grounded. But for me that just takes away excitement - everything is just a string of situations, there's no feeling of story arc.

For some this is probably an indication of quality, but I want my fiction to be fiction.

Review of 'La parábola del sembrador' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

Me deja un poco frío la idea de religión como sustituto del resto de las instituciones sociales en un tiempo apocalíptico, y no acabo de ver qué papel juega la hiperempatía en todo esto, si es mero atrezzo o un elemento verdaderamene importante. Lo veremos en el volumen dos.

Desde luego es un terreno de juego completamente diferente del de Xenogénesis.

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"

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Subjects

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

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