(5 / 5) – It Completes Me!
Octavia Butler’s “Parable of the Sower” became one of my favorite books of all time when I first read it in 2017. I was frustrated it hadn’t crossed my path before then, but I was also so grateful to finally have this story in my imagination and on my shelf. I have reread the book a number of times over the years and when I saw the Graphic Novel Adaptation by Damian Duffy and John Jennings I just had to pick it up.
I am a lover of graphic novels in all their forms and genres and I was excited to see how Duffy and Jennings interpreted both the story and the characters through this particular form. I remember when I purchased it thinking, “What a great way to get my Butler fix? Now I have a quick and easy way to dive into Parable without having to read the whole novel.”
After sitting on my shelf for a while, I picked this book up a few weeks ago and I was in for a bit of a surprise. Duffy and Jennings do an incredible job of adapting the story to the graphic form, both in prose and art. The chosen dialogue, journal entries and Earthseed quotes are judiciously chosen to move the plot along while connecting the reader to the characters. The art is sensational. It is rich in color and detail, offering a visual interpretation of Butler’s work that engages the reader and enhances the story. I was surprised by how hard it was to read.
I usually get through a graphic novel, of any size, in one to two sittings. This adaptation took me four days and a lot of breaks to finish. I forgot how violent and raw this story is and the graphic form brought that to life in a way that required me to take pauses more frequently than if I was just reading the novel. This story is so close to our world’s new future that it becomes increasingly difficult to read it without seeing myself as a reader living this out in a few years. There are few books that affect me so deeply, but that is a testament to Butler’s writing, story weaving and prophetic voice. This is an important adaptation for her work that allows more readers to access a narrative that has the potential to help shape our world. If you haven’t read her work yet, this is a great place to start and if you have, this is a new way to revisit her story.