Much to consider about what we value and how it could play out in the hands of someone who wants to make the world a better place.
Campbell Scott is excellent as the voice of this novel.
This book was just hard to read. It was all setting and little action until the last third. There was a lot of cleverness to it but it was just hard to wade through. I downloaded it because I couldn't stay awake while reading it. I only made it through it by listening to it on the way to and from work. Too cerebral.
A Sci Fi junkie who occasionally goes slumming to read other literature.
Warning: Do not walk across a tall bridge while reading this novel. To summarize: Jimmy's parents suck. Jimmy's lovers suck. Jimmy's best friend sucks. The world sucks. Oh, and that little voice in Jimmy's head thinks Jimmy sucks too! I hated all but the last three chapters of this novel, and I didn't like those three chapters except that finally there was some action and story resolution. Much of the book is filled with mundane details of people I have no emotional connection to. Also, there are silly comments: [Oh this word was never any good. But this word is wonderful.] Did I mention the child pornography? This was the first Atwood novel I have read. Are her other novels better than this? It may be a while before I try another.
Narration: While Campbell Scott is not a bad narrator, his gruff voice and lack of inflection does not help this dreary novel at all. I'll reserve my opinion of Scott after listening to him read a more upbeat text.
Margaret Atwood never ceases to amaze with her frightening unsettling yet thoughtful and amusing tales but Oryx and Crake is a masterpiece. simply put Huxley would stand up and cheer. The character development alone stands heads above any other novel in recent memory and the concepts explored in this speculative fiction don't seem too star trekky and hit right into the realm of possibility. I have the paperback too and I read along with the audio book and felt a chill up my spine with every page. along with a few belly laughs to break the tension. this is a must read, hands down.
It was an interesting story, but ended up leaving you hanging. Even if there were a sequel I would have liked a more satisfying end to this one.
I would because it's interesting and makes us think about what we do and value in society today.
The medical aspect of things. How everything grew to be controlled by the advances made in science.
Towards the end when we saw what happened right before the end of society as we knew it.
The writing style of the book is not one that appeals to me. I don't like coming in as the reader with little to no context or information, as if I've just woken up on a foreign planet and have no idea what's going on. I feel a disconnect from the story and its characters when I'm given tiny bits of information at a time throughout the story only to finally know what is going on at the very end of the story. For that, I give the book 4 stars out of 5. I can appreciate the use of this style of writing, but it's not one that I personally enjoy at all.
Half-way into the book and nothing has happened. Just a reflecting of how evil humanity can go and the awful things that we meet there.
I think I liked this book, or maybe just wanted to like it enough that it kinda stuck. The biology, sociobiology and psychology is interesting. Marget Atwood has some interesting ideas about the psychological pressures behind the shortcomings of mankind and the traits we can graft from other species to overcome our deficiencies. She also has an absolute fixation on transactional sexuality and the myriad ways one can use/abuse sex. I mean she really digs it. We got a taste in The Handmaid's Tale, but here she super-sexualizes a seven year old (say that five times fast) and has a character that obsessively recount the abuse every few pages. Its totally unnecessary for the reader, or maybe once if that is the lever to the abused characters mind and a second time to reveal the narrator's discomfort, but after that it just feels like the author is trying to be "edgy" or confrontational and not in service to the story. Beyond the sexual disfunction most of the characters fall flat. The Crakers are actually kind of great. Their society, ritual and biology is interesting and well described. Oryx (the sexy child) is at her best in our limited observations of her with the Crakers and Crake himself is mostly a sociopathic cardboard cut-out. We are limited in our understanding of the other principal characters because our narrator is helplessly self absorbed. His interest in Oryx and Crake are simply as a reflection of his own needs, doubts and desires. Jimmy (the narrator) does offer some fun word play and all of his best moments are punctuated with his collection of under-utilized or otherwise enjoyable words.
I have a curiosity which may prove enough to continue with the series. This is definitely a dark dystopic world, but the science is interesting and the Crakers have significant potential. Jimmy may not be beyond redemption, but it will require him embracing his role in society. He has shown signs, which is all I can ask.
Who would have thought a long commute to work could yield so much fun?
Psychology of change
The Giver... in the sense that the end seems to leave you hanging, but not so much in the same way.
The best and worst aspects of humanity might not be what you think they are.
Atwood, as usual, leaves nothing left unsaid. Growth, change, and survival are the primary themes but in the context of humanity's own self-destructive tendencies. Atwood captures possibly the most revealing aspect to being human - how tragedies endured lead to well-intended sacrifice, wisdom lost, strength, and a new myth. Atwood imbues in her three characters a very recognizable three-part person, in which the title character ends up dealing with the difference between reality, the past, and the memory that ultimately overlaps allowing for a means to joy, agony, curiosity, perplexity, and survival, although not in an anticipated way. Of course. The more closely one listens, the more one sees the conclusion unfold in each chapter, a story pre-destined and yet pregnant with 'what if' or 'what might have been', but inexorably leading to the unconditional surrender to 'what is'.