Posts tagged ‘Kindred’

June 9, 2013

“Kindred” Review

Kindred

Octavia Butler

Publisher: Doubleday

Copyright 1979

It took me a while to Kindred. I had to return it to the library then re-check it out, but I’m glad that I decided to finish Kindred. There are a couple of aspects to the story that I would like to share with you that I did and didn’t enjoy.

Dana is my favorite character. She has a strong spirit of survival and adaptation that I find easily believable in someone from the background that she is given by Butler. Not just any character can do what Butler put them through. The character must already be strong of will and self understanding. The fact that Dana is also reflective of her environment and its effect on her is key to her survival. Her ability to methodically evaluate each occurrence and how it affects her and the possible ways she can prevent it from happening made her character easy to route for.

I was really looking forward to a confrontation between Dana and Rufus about their blood relationship. I mean come on it was the precipitating event that caused this whole story.  Would it have changed how he treated her? Would it have stopped him pulling her through time? But even more importantly, would it have changed him to know what his interracial children would grow up to be like? For the last 100 pages, I was looking forward to that clash, but alas no such luck. The characters part ways never knowing what may have been.

Overall, I liked Kindred. It is a well written story with complex characters, a straight forward plot, and detailed setting. It was difficult to pick which character I liked the most because Butler develops each character. Since the story follows the characters throughout their life you watch them grow and experience the highs and lows with them. On top of that the plot didn’t get complicated or provide any leaps or twists that would have been unnecessary and distracting. Instead the story relied on the characters interactions with each other to provide the tension.  The setting was described in detailed and how it was included in the story that it surrounded me when I read it.

One of my favorite science fiction elements is time travel, I mean really what’s not to like? You don’t have to worry about the story getting technical or bogged down in science. Butler doesn’t try to explain how time travel works or create rules for. There is a reference made to rules in other movies but that is brief not even a whole page. I appreciate that. I also like the time distance between Rufus and Dana, there was enough time that it was impossible for any characters or actions to overlap.

I highly recommend Kindred.

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June 8, 2013

It’s been a while…

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted, but my blog has not been far from my mind. In fact in this time I have finished two books that have been on my list “The Lady Astronomer” and “Kindred” (review to come tomorrow).  In thinking about the direction I want to take my blog, I’ve made a decision that will take effect today. After I write a book review, I will reblog interviews, blog posts, or reviews that others have also written about the same book. That way you will get a broader perspective on the book. Ideally this will help you decide, if you want to buy it or get to know the author better. I want people to be able to come to my blog and leave with more knowledge than they came. After all that is what writing and reading should be about fun learning. That was kind of geekish…but I’m a geek.

Cheers!

February 24, 2013

Musing on Jamiee Fox and Kindred

I learned today from a friend that Jamie Foxx owns the options for Kindred; to say I was shocked would be accurate. I had imagined this to be a Harpo movie, but hey I was wrong.  So, then I began to wonder what would Kindred (the movie) be like under Foxx production?

If you’re familiar with pop-culture then you are familiar with Jamie Foxx. He’s a talented musician, actor and comedian with awards to prove it.  But while he’s a talented actor, does that make him qualified to produce Kindred.  I went to his IMDB page to review his career.  I started with the movies and television programs that he has done. The most likely I can find to make a comparison with would be “Ray”, “The Soloist”, and “Any Given Sunday”. Of the three Directors (Oliver Stone, Taylor Hackford, and Joe Wright), I could imagine Joe Wright as the most likely Director. He directed   “Atonement” in 2007, “Pride and Prejudice” in 2005, and “Anna Karenina” in 2012.  In regards to taking larger than life literary novels and translating them into blockbuster movies this is a craft that Wright seems at home with.

Mr. Foxx has become a power house in Hollywood able to connect with the best and to find the newest talent. Then again maybe he’ll decide to do something different, after all when great minds collide anything is possible.  I believe (hope) that when the time is right Mr. Foxx will give Kindred his best.

February 21, 2013

Musing on Octavia Butler

octavia butler

I found out about Octavia Butler while attending a newbie session at the Society for Children Book Writers and Illustrators 2012 winter conference. To say I was enthusiastic would be an und

erstatement. I kne

w there were African American science fiction writers, but to find out that one of the most beloved is a woman was the best thing to happen to me at the conference.

 

 

 I was not always a feminist, but in college I took a Major Black Thinkers course that opened my eyes. In three months, I found a pride in being a black woman that I had never known while becoming equally disheartened with the social and cultural issues that we face. I won’t go in to detail, but the course opened me to being aware of just how little you see successful strong black females in the news, in the media, in literature, and sadly in the history books. From that moment on consciously or not I have been aware of the racial profile of a room, the cast, and the bookshelves. When I decided to focus my blog on science fiction and fantasy I was happy I had given myself a reason and a platform to learn and share my knowledge of all minorities in this genre.

Olive E. Butler was born on June 22, 1947 in Pasadena, California and died on February 24, 2006. During her life, Ms. Butler was awarded the Hugo and Nebula awards, the MacArthur Foundation Genius Grant, and the PEN American Center Lifetime achievement award in writing.  She used science fiction to explore the issue of African American spiritualism. “I wanted to write a novel that would make others feel the history: the pain and fear that black people have had to live through in order to endure.” (Octavia E. Butler – www.biography.com).  She published 13 novels, 2 stand alone and 3 serials: Patternist Series, Lilith’s Brood, and Parable Series. Posthumously Butler

was a Science Fiction Hall of Fame Inductee and awarded the Solstice Award by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America in 2012.

 

 

 

kindred

Impressed to say the least with her bio, I immediately went to the library to pick up one of her books. I choose Kindred, not for any particular reason just something about the name called to me.  I’m only a little ways into it and I understand. Her skills with voice, word choice, and setti

ng are pleasures to my inner hear. I’m intrigued with the idea of meeting past ancestors. I’m curious to see how she will deal with and explain paradoxes, time theory, and alternate realities

 

 

 

 

 

I’ll keep you posted.

 

Please visit her site and learn more: http://octaviabutler.org/