Parable of the Sower (Parable, 1) - book cover
  • Publisher : Grand Central Publishing; Reprint edition
  • Published : 30 Apr 2019
  • Pages : 368
  • ISBN-10 : 1538732181
  • ISBN-13 : 9781538732182
  • Language : English

Parable of the Sower (Parable, 1)

This acclaimed post-apocalyptic novel of hope and terror from an award-winning author "pairs well with 1984 or The Handmaid's Tale" and includes a foreword by N. K. Jemisin (John Green, New York Times).

When global climate change and economic crises lead to social chaos in the early 2020s, California becomes full of dangers, from pervasive water shortage to masses of vagabonds who will do anything to live to see another day. Fifteen-year-old Lauren Olamina lives inside a gated community with her preacher father, family, and neighbors, sheltered from the surrounding anarchy. In a society where any vulnerability is a risk, she suffers from hyperempathy, a debilitating sensitivity to others' emotions.

Precocious and clear-eyed, Lauren must make her voice heard in order to protect her loved ones from the imminent disasters her small community stubbornly ignores. But what begins as a fight for survival soon leads to something much more: the birth of a new faith . . . and a startling vision of human destiny.

Editorial Reviews

"A brilliant, endlessly rich dystopian novel that pairs well with 1984 or The Handmaid's Tale, and it's also a fascinating exploration of how crises can fuel new religious and ideological movements."―John Green, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Turtles All the Way Down, New York Times

"Butler felt to me like a lighthouse blinking from an island of understanding way out at sea. I had no idea how to get there, but I knew she had found something life-saving. She had found a form of resistance. Butler and other writers like Ursula Le Guin, Toni Morrison and Margaret Atwood...used the tenets of genre to reveal the injustices of the present and imagine our evolution."―Brit Marling, New York Times

"In the ongoing contest over which dystopian classic is most applicable to our time, Octavia Butler's 'Parable' books may be unmatched."―New Yorker

"Unnervingly prescient and wise. A worthy read for those intent on building a better world as this pandemic continues to lay bare how untenable, how depravedly unequal, the American way of life is and has always been."―Yaa Gyasi, New York Times

"If we're talking must-read authors like Maya Angelou, James Baldwin, and Toni Morrison, the one-and-only Octavia Butler needs be a part of the conversation. The groundbreaking sci-fi and speculative fiction author was a master of spinning imaginative tales that introduced you to both the possibilities -- and dangers -- of the human race, all while offering lessons on tribalism, race, gender, and sexuality."―O, The Oprah Magazine

"Octavia Butler's Parable of the Sower is a stunner. It's a terrifying vision of a dismal future brought on by the willful ignorance, racism and greed of human beings, and an eerily dangerous parallel to our present path. Ms. Butler gives us a satisfying protagonist in the hypersensitive teenager Lauren, whose courage and wits are an infinite source of inspiration."―Flea, Wall Street Journal

"A gripping tale of survival and a poignant account of growing up sane in a disintegrating world."―New York Times Book Review

"One of the most important and groundbreaking science-fiction authors."―Entertainment Weekly

"A powerful story of hope and faith."―Denver Post

"There isn't a page in this vivid and frightening story that fails to grip the reader."―San Jose Mercury News

"Artfully conceived and elegantly written . . . Butler's success in making Lauren's subsequent odyssey feel real is only the most obvious measure of this fine novel's worth."―Cleveland Plain Dealer

"A real gut-wrencher . . . What makes Butler's fiction compelling is that it is...

Readers Top Reviews

Book Wizard
A masterpiece by a matchless artist. Butler is simply sublime and Parable of the Sower exemplifies why this is so.
One of the best post-apocalyptic books ever written. My copy is falling apart - this one was a gift for a friend.
Very U.S.A. The book is based on the premise that the world as we know it will inevitably end soon, and so we should all prepare, which means get lots of guns and ammo. If you're into that sort of thing then it's a jolly good romp. If you're not then it's really boring.
Pierre WolandPlamen
I want to like this book, because I like the author, but I just can't get into it. I've tried it twice--first on audio, then kindle. Maybe I just need a physical copy. I don't find the writing exciting--it's very flat--and the characters are all one-dimensional to me. The social critique isn't that penetrating either. I think one of the other reviewers had it correct in writing that the book simply reflects the American penchant for doomsday prepping. NYT's review insinuates that this book anticipated Trump's rise with the presidential character in it running on the slogan, "Make America Great Again"--but Reagan had already coined this phrase in the 1980s and Clinton used it in '92, a year before the book was released. The book is much more a reflection of THAT time; it's just that we've continued along the same course and things have only gotten more exaggerated since then.
This is one of those books that was so gripping, I didn't want to put it down, and also was so *scary* I sometimes needed to. It's not meant as a horror book, but whereas most apocalyptic dystopia fantasy novels feel like some far away idea, the author clearly researched the environmental effects of global warming and created a projected societal breakdown that is INTENSELY realistic-feeling. As a child-bearing aged woman with extremely limited survival skills, this book got me feeling like I should learn some basic self defense, or how to start a fire, or shoot a gun, to teach my children in case we end up in this warped world that feels just a few steps away from the reality we live in currently. The characters are rich and dimensional. A lot of their history and personality shines in their dialogue and responses to various situations. What a great book, I can't wait to start the second part of this series!

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