Much like all of the works we’ve read so far, I really didn’t know what I was in for before reading Parable of the Sower. After last week’s dry reading assignment, I was hoping for something with a little bit more flair, and I got exactly what i wished for. This is an intense, moving, and often gut wrenching novel by Octavia Butler.
The science fiction in this novel is present, but certainly not overwhelming. Never does anything seem unrealistic nor does the futuristic atmosphere upstage the story. In fact, it’s a nice blend of styles. There’s large corporations and types of futuristic technology, but there’s also the frightening dystopian hell hole of world that all of it exists in.
What’s more important is the how memorable scenes are. The first time Lauren and her small group first steps on the highway and it’s described was almost like watching a movie. I could perfectly envision what it would look like and how different it is from what a highway should be. There’s also scenes of relentless brutality, and Butler is not afraid to describe something awful because some of what happens is really, really awful.
Parable of the Sower is shocking without being over the top or gratuitous. It paints a future dystopian society that freaked me out like no other one that I’ve ever read. While hope is talked about and dreamed about in this book, I felt a complete lack of hope most of the time I was reading it. To use a cliche that just so happens to describe this novel very well, it was a real page turner.