Monday, October 24, 2011

Parable of the Sower

Parable of the Sower
Octavia E. Butler
329 pages
Publisher: Grand Central
Source: library

You can read the Goodreads summary here.

Part of the current book challenge I'm working on asked me to get a recommendation from a librarian and, after much talking in circles, this is what I left the library with.  It sounded really interesting when the librarian mentioned it and I was glad to see it was dystopian - a genre I enjoy.  Although, what I had mentioned I liked when she asked was vampires.  There are no vampires in Parable of the Sower.  There aren't even any zombies. (Oh my gosh, what does that say about my reading habits!)

Instead, the book takes place in the future where the environment and economy has collapsed to such an extent that stealing and murder are on the docket for most people's average day.  The book focuses on a gated community trying to survive and is narrated by fifteen-year-old Lauren (note: this book is not YA).

I really liked the concept of the book.  The back cover's description really sold me on it, but the execution didn't stand up to my hopes.  Perhaps I'm overly used to the fast-paced plot lines of YA, but the plot in this book moved excruciatingly slow.  For awhile, I wasn't even sure what the plot was.  Lauren and her family lived in this community and were trying to survive daily life, but so what?  The actual plot didn't start until halfway through when Lauren loses her family and decides to finally leave the community and head north to start her new religion.  Even after that development, there wasn't a lot of action for such a supposedly violent world.  I wasn't not too well attached to the characters, though they were all unique and played a valuable role in the plot.

I couldn't decide whether to give this two stars ("it was okay") or three ("I liked it.")  I wasn't enthralled with this book, but it wasn't just okay.  Two stars just doesn't seem like quite enough, so it's getting three from me.  Worth a look if you like dystopians and want to read a non-YA version, or if you want to see what the dystopian world of 2024 looked like from 1993, when it was written.  2024 is only about twelve years off, after all.  The scary part is, I could see this happening.

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