- By Sheri S. Tepper

Raising the Stones

  • Title: Raising the Stones
  • Author: Sheri S. Tepper
  • ISBN: 9781857983258
  • Page: 458
  • Format: Paperback
  • Raising the Stones The author of The Gate to Women s Country and Grass weaves a moving story of one man s coming to accept his role in a far future universe providing a brilliant exploration of relations between the se

    The author of The Gate to Women s Country and Grass weaves a moving story of one man s coming to accept his role in a far future universe, providing a brilliant exploration of relations between the sexes, the value of religion, and mankind s place in the universe.

    1 thought on “Raising the Stones

    1. This book is one I picked up as I wanted to continue reading some older SF by ladies, and it did not disappoint. It's also my first foray into Sheri S Tepper's work and will no doubt be the first of many as I definitely enjoyed this one. This is largely set on two different planets: Hobbs land, and Voorstod. Hobbs Land is a farming community which was one the home of the Owlbright cultures but was abandoned by them and is now take over by the Hobbs food production company and various settlements [...]

    2. This book was pretty uneven. There were parts of it that I loved, and (usually longer) parts I was bored by. It could have benefited from some tightening up; the parts that bored me seemed to be just waiting for the plot to catch up with the exposition. However, even though it probably contributed to the book's length, I liked the fact that the story was told from so many characters' perspectives. Especially because this isn't a story about individuals, but about societies, it seems necessary to [...]

    3. A black-and-white tabby cat came into the room with a live ferf in her jaws. She jumped onto the plinth and laid the animal against the base of the mass, then jumped down and left the room, purring loudly.Two other cats came in with similar burdens."That was Gotoit's cat," Jep remarked after a time. "That stripey one. She calls it Lucky."Saturday nodded and brushed the surface of the plinth with her bare palm, cleaning away the few scraps of scruffy ferf hair that remained on the stone. The bodi [...]

    4. This book has almost nothing in common with the first book of the series, Grass. I suppose they're in the same universe where people have colonized various planets, but that's about where the commonalities end. The plot of this book revolves around a planet where living gods have started to grow from the earth from the bodies of the dead. With every god comes an unconscious desire of the people (often the children) to build a temple for the god. And with the god and the temple comes real peace. [...]

    5. This was good stuff. Like lots of Tepper's books, it grappled with issues of gender roles and spirituality. The story takes place in a solar system where there are several occupied worlds. One of these worlds, a relative backwater, has some indigenous gods. They look like big stones that live in little houses, and are tended by the Ones Who. The Ones Who are people who just start to feel as though they would like to take care of the local god. On this planet, there is little conflict or struggle [...]

    6. I read 'Sideshow' before this, and reading this book actually made some of the things in Sideshow easier to understand. This is my favorite book out of the trilogy, though the trilogy overall is good and I recommend all three books. The premise is very interesting, and it's easy to see that the strictly patriarchal religion of Voorstod is a combination of fundamentalist Christian and Islamic teachings. Not surprising since Ms. Tepper has very strong feminist feelings and this shows up a lot in h [...]

    7. I'd forgotten quite how amazing this book is. Tepper when she is on form writes grippingly and her characters are really well formed. The Grass/Stones/Sideshow trilogy is my absolute favourite of hers, and of the three books, I think Stones is the best. The plot is multi-layered and intriguing, and I LOVE the idea of the Hobbs Land Gods (and the reasons why some people/cultures/religions might think that they might not be a good thing). I just wish they were real as to be honest, the world could [...]

    8. Loved it. Samasnier Girat, the narrator, is irritating as crap for a good bit of the book, but the things he's irritating about help you understand life on Hobb's Land.There's a scene I particularly love, about the aftermath of a terrorist attack against Hobb's Land, where Mysore Hobbs tries to find out what happened and why, and runs up against a bureacracy to end all bureacracies. After the tragedy of the killings in the previous chapters, this restrained and slyly funny interlude was very wel [...]

    9. Pretty much everything I look for in SF/F. The plot was lively and kept me interested. The characters were multi-dimensional. The sci-fi ideas made sense and served the story, the Big Ideas were meaningful and dealt with some relevant philosophical questions and there were just enough oddball things (like the Porsa) that the story will stick with me.However, I can see this one being not for everyone. There are almost as many characters as Game of Thrones and it doesn't seem like their stories wi [...]

    10. I'm rereading this for what must be the fourth or fifth time. I know other people love Grass and Beauty, but this is my favorite of Tepper's books. It has everything: an interesting world (well, universe), well-written and amusingly named characters, humor, illuminating social commentary, AND the god that makes enables society to run peaceably and happily is a fungus! A fungus! Why didn't anyone think of that ages ago? I've read almost everything by Tepper and sometimes, unfortunately, her socia [...]

    11. More sociologically complex than Grass, the first in the Arbai series, Raising the Stones is an unsettling exploration of the effects that various forms of religious belief have on societies, from the apparently benign, to the avowedly malevolent. I can't be the only recent reader who sees the Taliban and ISIS/ISIL/Daesh in the doctrine of the men of Voorstod.I look forward to Sideshow, the next in the sequence.

    12. Sheri Tepper has written over 20 books, and in my opinion, this is one of her best. It's not mentioned anymore in her current back jacket blurb and seems to be overlooked. It's also out of print, which is a shame. Tepper is known for polemical writing and sometimes it overwhelms her story, but here she gets the balance just right. It has a wonderful, unusual premise: what if you had a god that worked? Her world-building is perfect, logical, and fascinating, and the characters are memorable.

    13. Beautifully written. This is the first book I've read by this author; I love her philosophy and theology and admire how she presents it through a wonderful story. I appreciated her pacing; not rushing from action scene to action scene, plenty of time to get to know the characters and come to care for them. Good suspense building toward the end, with some fine humor thrown in.

    14. Or "This is Why I Dislike All the Fictional Religions I've Made Up".Reading a bunch of these starts to engender a cozy familiarity after a while. Opening one of her books is like visiting an old friend who's endearing but kind of a crank. You enjoy spending time with them but you know at some point they're going to start going on about the same old things in the way they always have, politics, religion, why men stink, and while they won't say anything terribly new you've known them for so long y [...]

    15. Un des meilleurs livres, à vie. Lu pas longtemps après Grass.Y a "toutte" la-dedans, et même après 15 ans, je m'en souviens encore Il constitue une suite logique de Grass. Année de lecture approximative. Et si Dieu était un champignon?

    16. A novel of outstanding ideas (about the nature of religions, and their enforcement of gender roles, and the concept of heroes and legends) that occasionally bends the characters and plot a bit far in service of those ideas.

    17. Un des meilleurs livres, à vie. Après Grass.Y a "toutte" la-dedans, et même après 15 ans, je m'en souviens encore Il constitue une suite logique de Grass.

    18. Sheri S. Tepper's "Raising the Stones" is sometimes billed as the second part of her "Arbai" trilogy, but that's a misnomer, as this book easily stands on its own. It shares the same universe as its predecessor, "Grass," but is otherwise set one thousand years later and with very few exceptions has no apparent connection to the earlier novel.That said, it's definitely a thematic cousin to "Grass" and much of Tepper's other work in that it deals with religion and women and male privilege. Tepper [...]

    19. A recurring theme in Sheri Tepper’s work is the urge toward God, and the ways in which that urge motivates personal and cultural choice. This theme is blatantly obvious in Raising the Stones, Tepper’s 1990 novel in the Arbai Gates sequence.Beside the ruined temple north of Settlement One, shallow in the soil lay Birrabat Shum. Shallow he lay, with fragments of roots and crumbs of leaves on his eyes…Like Grass, which preceded it, and which I reviewed in December 2014, this novel is set on a [...]

    20. I found this book objectionable for the same reasons a woman would dislike reading a novel thoroughly laced with misogynist statements.Ms. Tepper does this well. Only on occasion does she descend into angry rants against men; she is far more subtle and skillful than that most of the time. But it's all there.Men are to be mistrusted. They are misled, egotistic, violent, power-hungry, oppressive, cruel and only capable of being saved by becoming more like women.Raising the Stones? More like cuttin [...]

    21. Just finished reading for the 3rd or 4th time, this time with my partner. It's a different experience reading Tepper's works out loud. Her sermons about religion and philosophy have always seemed to stretch out much longer than necessary, but they do this even more so when you have to speak through all the words. Kris was distracted and annoyed by the strange names in the beginning, but got used to it, and was amazed by the book by the end. This is a great example of Tepper's complexity. Multipl [...]

    22. Tremendous. I am almost finished. It has a great story & underlying philosophy, wise comments - everything I expect from Tepper. At the moment I might call this her best ever. Of course, to be sure, I'd need to reread all the others. In particular, there are abundant ideas about male and female roles in various societies, but they just emerge as part of the story. There are a couple of twisted religions too, with lively and funny commentary about how they might have developed. A breezy comme [...]

    23. It's been a while since I've read a Tepper book, and it took me a good long while to get through this one. Not because there is anything wrong with Tepper but because her books are very dense. There's a lot to shift through and it's not a fast read. That being said, I didn't really care for the story or characters that much. But the ideas that were presented through the story really made me think a lot about religion especially but also quite appropriately the idea of the hero's journey (since t [...]

    24. The subtlety and complexity of most of the issues and situations in this book is somewhat offset by the Voorstoders being too simple, too easy to hate, too weak in their irredeemability. I don't know if this is meant as just the logical conclusion of their mindset carried out to extremes, or if it's meant to have any bearing on reality. There's also a sense in which the question of whether the spore-God is wholly good or if there is a danger in the resultant homogeneity and dulling of awareness [...]

    25. Much more complicated than Grass, and tied to it only loosely. Also a much bigger, more wandering book. In some ways it was much better, and sometimes impossible to put down--other times I wandered away for a day or two and had to push myself to return to it. A lot of the Voorstod stuff is a little on the nose even for me, less sympathetic to the patriarchal religions than anyone. But it was definitely worth reading. I wish it had been a little bit tighter--a clearer story. I suppose it's Sam Gi [...]

    26. This book started out a little slow, but in a good way: the writer is building up so many threads of story, it's all coming together in an exciting fashion I've lost so many hours of sleep this week.I felt dismayed at first because the even in a distant future there was violence through intense racism, sexism and religious intolerance. But it was like reading a warning that humanity never really changes until it is forced to. My favourite theme was how we sometimes see our parents as legends but [...]

    27. Two very thin ties to the first book, which only becomes clear toward the middle of the third book.Once again, Tepper is at her best when dealing with religion and how male controlled religions destroy humanity. Very entertaining and intersting to bounce between the view points of the verious peoples of the different planets. Also amusing that Marjorie from the first book started an entire religion simply with a throw away line when she came through the Arbai door centuries ago.

    28. I really, really liked this one. Although it is billed as "Arbai #2," it isn't really any such. There are a few wee things you might pick up if you read Grass first, but they're not important. This book stands on its own.Particularly notable -- the many types of gods, relationship of people to their gods, and the hilarious struggle of a committee to 'define god.' Also the character 'Sam Girat' and his relationship with his parents.

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