Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler

Parable of the Sower

The Nebula Award–winning author of Kindred presents a “gripping” dystopian novel about a woman fleeing Los Angeles as America spirals into chaos (The New York Times Book Review). 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 t...

Details Parable of the Sower

TitleParable of the Sower
Release DateJul 24th, 2012
PublisherOpen Road Media Sci-Fi & Fantasy
GenreScience Fiction, Fiction, Dystopia, Fantasy, Apocalyptic, Post Apocalyptic

Reviews Parable of the Sower

  • Rick Riordan
    YA dystopian fiction (but written decades before that term was coined.) I am embarrassed to say I had never read Octavia Butler before. I’m happy I finally corrected this glaring oversight. This novel set in the near future is so frighteningly prescient it is difficult to read. The year is 2026. American society is rapidly breaking down thanks to global warning, economic stagnation and wealth disparity. 18-year-old Lauren Olamina lives with her...
  • Regina
    I am going to start this review off by asking a theoretical question. There is a huge wave coming, it will wash you and everyone you love out to see. What do you do? Do you back up away from the water? Move to higher ground? Build a boat to ride it out? Or do you turn your back on it, play on the beach and pretend that it isn’t coming? Now imagine that it isn’t a wave of water, but a wave of violence, crime and people that will be unstoppable...
  • Samadrita
    For a long time I had naively held on to the notion that Octavia E. Butler is the African American counterpart to Ursula K. Le Guin - an assumption begotten out of the commonality that both their creations despite being shoehorned into the genre of science/speculative fiction epitomize realities of institutionalized sociopolitical inequities. Not only has my first foray into Butler's literary landscapes altered that idea greatly but compounded my...
  • Sarah
    I read this book in its entirety on the bus from New York back to Baltimore. It's a strange thing reading a dystopian novel on public transportation. After every chapter I paused and looked around: at the cars traveling in both directions, obeying commonly accepted rules of the road; and at the forty five strangers sitting around me, all adopting a social contract in which we sit quietly for three hours, keep our own personal space, and leave oth...
  • Ken
    Parable of the Sower isn't the easiest book to read. The prose is clear and uncomplicated, but the content can be hard to take. This is a close-to-home dystopia, one which I found hard to dismiss as improbable. And the world that it depicts is cruel and ugly. Even the well-meaning must do ugly things to survive.This is science fiction only in the most technical sense. Sure, it's set in a hypothetical future, and the main character, Lauren, has an...
  • Matthias
    I often wonder about religion. Its roots, its power, its consequences. When looking at the religion that had the biggest influence on my life, I sometimes wonder if that belief system isn't just a biography that got out of hand. We've got the life of Jesus described to us, the good deeds he did and the things he had to say, and people picked it up, learnt it, liked it, loved it, embraced it, fought for it, killed for it, died for it. Whoa, that e...
  • Apatt
    When I started reading this book I immediately felt inclined to rate it five stars even before finishing the first sentence. Hardly fair or reasonable I know, but that's love. I have loved Octavia Butler since reading Wild Seeds a couple of years ago, I went on to read Kindred and the Lilith's Brood trilogy which only solidified my love for this dear departed lady and all she stood for.Having said that, I initially felt a little disappointed w...
  • Althea Ann
    On second reading, I think Butler's riff on post-apocalyptic travails hit me harder than the first time. After seeing the devastation in New Orleans on television and talking to friends and others whose relatives made it out of the city, the concepts of civilisation falling apart and humanity's worst nature coming to the forefront seem a lot closer and more likely... events in general since I first read the book have certainly not reached anywher...
  • BrokenTune
    "I stared down the hill from our camp where just a glint of water was visible in the distance through the trees and bushes. The world is full of painful stories. Sometimes it seems as though there aren’t any other kind and yet I found myself thinking how beautiful that glint of water was through the trees."There is only one word to describe the world that Butler built in Parable of the Sower and that word isBRUTAL.I recently read a review of on...
  • Mary ~Ravager of Tomes~
    The best & worst thing about this book is just how realistic it is.In the world we live in now, with such instant access to crises all over the world as they unfold, it makes sense that some of us are more than a little uneasy over the idea of the future.I want to say things can only get better, but that’s exactly the type of narrow outlook that leads us right back into repeating the worst mistakes our history has to offer.This book follows a y...
  • Ron
    (Feb 2016, adjusted rating down after reading Dawn. Butler did do much better.)This might have been the must-read dystopia of the 90s. Perhaps it isn't because Butler tries too hard. Or readers can't see past the obvious shortcomings.Dystopias have been with us since 1984 and Brave New World, and Utopia's since Mores and even Plato's Timaeus. But Parable of the Sower could have been this generation's dystopia. A really engaging, challenging story...
  • Katie
    What a fantastic book to finish off my reading month! A full 5 starts and possibly a new all time favorite.
  • Sanne | Booksandquills
    Read this for my #endoftheworldbookclub. Such a bleak and horrible story, but incredibly compelling at the same time.
  • Zanna
    This was a compulsive page-turner for me.Compared with at least one contemporary USian perspective, say, that of the low waged service worker, Lauren lives in one version of utopia: a close-knit community, like a village, shaped by an ethics of care and mutual support. She does not have to work, except to share the unalienated labour of social reproduction (childcare, food preparation, education of the young) which leaves her time to pursue her o...
  • Jennifer (aka EM)
    I've started and stopped this review several times--as I did the book itself--and I wasn't sure why I was having such a hard time putting my thoughts into words until I read reviews of The Road. That's the problem. I'm comparing this novel to The Road, perhaps naturally enough: both are journeys through dystopian landscapes, with evidence of the degradation of environment and humanity all around, central characters who represent 'goodness' and 'm...
  • David
    Octavia Butler's vision of an American state on the brink of economic and social collapse seems all too near and plausible. Lauren Olamina, a young minister's daughter, lives in a gated community that falls prey to the violence and anarchy that's been eating away at the edges of civilization for years. It's a brutal novel, as everyone Lauren loves dies, and the deaths are often described in gruesome detail. Lauren herself suffers from a condition...
  • Parvoneh
    I just skimmed a few other Goodreads reviews of Parable of the Sower and felt confused about why difficult subject matter seems to be a weakness to many readers. If anything, I wish Octavia Butler were around so I could thank her for that. She wrote about survival, change, and power with incredible insight; she grapples with some Big Stuff but her novel, ideas, and genre also manage to be accessible. Butler's clarity is a strength and perhaps a s...
  • Jess (Primrose)
    One of the best parts about being in a book club is that sometimes the picks would never be what you would have chosen for yourself. My Litsy Goes Postal group has so far brought two books to my radar that I never would have picked up if left to my own devices. I didn't LOVE either of them but at the same time, I loved I was challenged to reach beyond my reading comfort zone. My Reactions:-The reading flow was choppy for me initially. I really di...
  • Jokoloyo
    I read this book is a perfect YA Dystopia. One word for this book: believable. The characters are believable and sympathetic. The setting is grim dark, and yet believable. It might be one of my best reads for 2017. At first, The dystopia setting seems mundane without any special kind of disaster. the bleak situation seems so realistic, I admit some aspects of them already facts, not science fiction. I could engage with some of them due to similar...
  • Dannii Elle
    This is a really intense and interesting insight into a scarily believable future of our world. With water scarce and sold at an all-time premium and with the subsequent abolishment of the structured societal hierarchy as we know it, anarchy reigns on Earth.Lauren lives a relatively safe life inside the confines of her walled community, on the outskirts of LA. Lauren's preacher father strove to create a community that thrived on the now almost-ob...
  •  Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)
    For this pleasure reader, there wasn't much pleasure in reading this book. Even still, I was compelled and drawn in. Octavia Butler was a very good writer, and I am glad I did get a chance to finally read one of her books. The narrator, the actress Lynne Thigpen, did an incredible job. Now, when I think of Lauren, I will picture her voice, feminine but strong and rich. I also liked the way she varied her voice to reflect the different characters ...
  • Obsidian
    I only gave this book 2.5 stars but rounded it up to 3 stars on Goodreads due to Goodreads not having half stars available.So I always hate it when I notice friends who I follow and trust for book recs loved a book and I ended up disliking it. I feel badly about it and then I feel guilty because I write a review talking about things that they really enjoyed. I read this book as part of Dead Writers Society Genre Challenge for the month of March. ...
  • Wanda
    What a powerful view of a dystopian near future! Just like Margaret Atwood, Octavia Butler was able to scan the news of the time (early 1990s) and extrapolate from those stories to produce this tale exploring where North America might be headed. Her version of a United States that has been reduced to third world status is striking for how possible it feels. Although Canada features as a desired destination for the economic refugees, Butler tells ...
  • Heather K (dentist in my spare time)
    Kindle deal for the Earthseed complete series for $1.13!! 7/23/17
  • Stephen
    4.5 stars. A brilliantly written and extremely poignant story of a young girls struggle to find her way in a dystopian future. Highly recommended!!Nominee: Nebula Award for Best Science Fiction Novel (1995)Nominee: Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel (1995)
  • Dave
    Fires, Looters, and EmpathyButler's Parable of the Sower, originally published in 1993, portrays a dystopian California where civilization has failed, people are barricaded in walled neighborhoods, fearing the havoc outside. Some never leave their walled enclaves. Sometimes though the walls are barely enough to protect the families as the world outside is engulfed in scavenging, murder, rape, and indiscriminate burning. Groups of painted people r...
  • Hannah
    Parable of the Sower?More like "Parable of the RAPEYRAPERAPERAPE!" What Gospel is this again? Where exactly is the good news? "A rapist scattered rape on a rapescape, and some rapes caused unending trauma, and other rapes caused unending despair, but still other rapes created Strong Female Protagonists, and they would never let any man take Advantage of Them Again." Mindnumbingly stupid and insulting to actual real assault victims everywhere. I s...
  • Barbara (The Bibliophage)
    I have a love / hate relationship with The Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler. I love the book and hate how much I think her speculative fiction feels like our 21st century reality. Butler creates a world, set in our near future 2025, where anarchy reigns. I also have mixed feelings about the concept of Earthseed.Reading this as a scheduled, month-long buddy read was excruciating. I just wanted to spend an afternoon and finish it already! And...
  • Kaa
    Well this is a horrifying thing to read when your government is in the longest shutdown of its history. But yes, I really liked it. Despite everything, this is a hopeful book. I always love found family stories, and the dystopic setting makes that element even more wonderful and powerful. Lauren is an incredible narrator, and I am fascinated by both her sharing and by the ideas of Earthseed. I am really looking forward to the second book.