Yes, I finished this book at 3:06 in the morning.
This book has been on my to-read stack for a while, mostly on Claire's recommendation. Claire's recommendations haven't been off yet, so I picked up this Butler book, and was more than a little stunned at how, well, prophetic Butler was.
The first part of the book, the set up for the disaster and the plot that follows, reminded me of just how unprepared I am for a disaster (human-made or otherwise). The world we live in is more fragile than we think.
It is also more resilient than we realize. Even as things go bad, and the world becomes more and more authoritarian, Butler doesn't see it as falling apart. There is some level of civilization and technology, unlike, say, A Canticle for Leibowitz.
Other aspects I found interesting was the assumption of commonplace violence. These days, we are still horrified by casual violence. In this book, few people are, it is so integrated into the world.
I wrote a couple more notes when I was reading the book. The corporate take-over of communities, and the disparate levels of protection (if you pay, the police will actually investigate, otherwise, you're out of luck) really aren't that difficult to see from our current society.
The part that struck home, however, is the understand that water is a scarce resource. That. Yeah.
This book is way worth reading, not only because of discomfort revealed in the dystopia that Butler describes, but for the warning that comes with that world. One almost wishes the religion Butler describes could exist.