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Octavia Butler tackles the creation of a new religion, the making of a god, and the ultimate fate of humanity in her Earthseed series, which began with Parable of the Sower, and now continues with Parable of the Talents. The saga began with the near-future dystopian tale of Sower, in which young Lauren Olamina began to realize her destiny as a leader of people dispossessed and destroyed by the crumbling of society. The basic principles of Lauren's faith, Earthseed, were contained in a collection of deceptively simple proverbs that Lauren used to recruit followers. She teaches that "God is change" and that humanity's ultimate destiny is among the stars.
In Parable of the Talents, the seeds of change that Lauren planted begin to bear fruit, but in unpredictable and brutal ways. Her small community is destroyed, her child is kidnapped, and she is imprisoned by sadistic zealots. She must find a way to escape and begin again, without family or friends. Her single-mindedness in teaching Earthseed may be her only chance to survive, but paradoxically, may cause the ultimate estrangement of her beloved daughter. Parable of the Talents is told from both mother's and daughter's perspectives, but it is the narrative of Lauren's grown daughter, who has seen her mother made into a deity of sorts, that is the most compelling. Butler's writing is simple and elegant, and her storytelling skills are superb, as usual. Fans will be eagerly awaiting the next installment in what promises to be a moving and adventurous saga. --Therese Littleton --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Lauren Olamina, a black teenager, grew up in a 21st-century America that was tearing itself apart. Global warming, massive unemployment, gang warfare and corporate greed combined to break down society in general and her impoverished southern California neighborhood in particular. A victim of hyperempathy syndrome, a disorder that compels its victims to believe they feel others' pain, Lauren found herself homeless and alone in a violent world. Escaping from the urban jungle of Los Angeles, Lauren founded Acorn, a hard-working, prosperous rural community based on the teachings of Earthseed, a religion she herself created and centered on the ideas that God is Change and that humanity's destiny is to go to the stars. Butler's extraordinary Parable of the Sower (1996) detailed the aforementioned events. In this equally powerful sequel, Acorn is destroyed by the rising forces of Christian fundamentalism, led by the newly elected U.S. president, the Reverend Andrew Steele Jarret. A handsome man and persuasive orator, seemingly modeled in part on Pat Robertson, Jarret converts millions to his sect, Christian America, while his thugs imprison, rape and murder those they label "heathens," all the while kidnapping their children in order to raise them in Christian households. The narrative is both impassioned and bitter as Butler weaves a tale of a frighteningly believable near-future dystopia. Lauren, at once loving wife and mother, prophet and fanatic, victim and leader, gains stature as one of the most intense and well-developed protagonists in recent SF. Though not for the faint-hearted, this work stands out as a testament to the author's enormous talent, and to the human spirit.. Author tour. (Nov.) FYI: In 1995, Butler received a MacArthur Foundation ("genius") Award.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
The Parable of the Talents is the story of a woman attempting to maintain stability in a world of anarchy. Read morePublished on Feb. 3 2003 by dummy
I'm a huge Octavia Butler fan but this is not one of my favorites of hers.Published on Jan. 29 2003
One of those rare sequels that is better than the original (which itself was amazingly good), Butler continues the story of Lauren Olamina and her attempts to establish Acorn, a... Read morePublished on Nov. 27 2002 by D. Cloyce Smith
I love this book. It shows all of human nature: the good, the bad, the chaos, the order-- and how one community can survive anything together. Read morePublished on May 29 2002 by "quusta"
This is one of the very best novels ever written; it ranks right alongside Edgar Pangborn's "Davy." The sequel to "Parable of the Sower," it is that rarity: a sequel even better... Read morePublished on May 23 2002 by watzizname
I can see why a black female author can have it in for the white, right, Christian fundamentalist movement. Read morePublished on April 30 2002 by firstname.lastname@example.org
This is a book in a by now well-known format, with Octavia Butler's Xenogenesis trilogy and Suzette Haden Elgin's Eartsong trilogy the parallels that come to mind immediately. Read morePublished on Jan. 19 2002
This book hurts. It has the potential to do so, because the scenario presented is a very plausible one indeed. Read morePublished on Oct. 26 2001 by Llariam