Audiobooks are my workaround to the pesky laws forbidding reading while driving. And I'm pretty sure my dog likes them too.
Atwood is known for her post-apocalyptic distopias. She's equally known for her powerful feminist social commentary. This novel does not disappoint in either respect. I do need to listen to it a second time, however. And maybe even a third. Though short, and seemingly simple, the novel and its storylines are complex, and did not lend themselves to my distracted listening while driving, cleaning, working, etc.
The tale itself is a story of love, friendship, coming of age, identity-seeking ... pretty typical. It tells of Jimmy/Snowman, Oryx, and Crake, all from Snowman's retrospective account, as he lives amid an artificial, quasi-human species that has survived an apocalypse of sorts. But more than that, the tale highlights the vices of modern society, the risks of nihilism and narcissism, the folly of intellectual zeal. And it does so in a sometimes gritty, painful way - one that at times made my otherwise thick skin crawl with recognition and disgust. Atwood matter-of-factly writes about everything from basic intellectual elitism to religious fanaticism to child sex trafficking, as they have become rampant in the 21st-Century society in which Jimmy grows up.
Atwood is at once creative and imaginative, yet anchored in the harsh realities of our modern society and the technologies that we (over-) value.
Oryx and Crake is everything a reader craves from Atwood's sharp and clever writing, but in no way feels like a recycling of anything I've read before - it feels new, fresh, and poignant in this harsh and honest novel.
Intriguing and engaging. I didn't want it to end. The story was very inventive and had some really wonderfully complex characters.
The novel unravels slowly. Atwood uses the novel to create a universe.
Though I am not particularly invested in any of the characters, I'm intrigued enough to see where she goes. Narration is great.
very interesting concept of this distopian/utopian future world. The narration was very blend which made it harder to pay attention to what was happening.
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.
I have listened to this through three times. the story is amazing and the narration is compelling. I am really transported to this weird dire world that Margaret Atwood has set this in. I say confidently that this is my favorite book of all time.