This is an interesting book. It's an alarmist view of a future in which genetic engineering runs amok. I'm certain that the "no genetically engineered foods" activists will eat it up like candy.
However, the book is disappointing in many ways. We are drawn into the this complex relationship between the three main characters and then left wanting when their relationship culiminates in a rather unfulfilling climax with only threadbare indications as to the underlying motivations of their actions.
In the end the story just sort of trails off aimlessly, ultimately ending with a fizzle rather than a BANG. It's not a bad book but don't expect any grand revelations from Ms. Atwood. She obviously expects you to provide your own conclusions... Is this a literary choice, laziness or lack of imagination on the part of the author?
You be the judge... as I said "Some assembly required..."
Sure there were good parts to the story, but the gaps of so-soness (coined a new word like snowman) between them led me to look forward to the end of the story. Then I was extremely disappointed, I would have liked the story to go on some more. So, I thought parts were slow, but I wanted more, if you like apocalyptic style stories it's probably worth listening to.
Altwoods character development is superb. She wastes no time on super technology, its not needed. The character of snowman, our narrator, unfolds Altwoods apocalyptic vision with frightning overtones of "what is right around our corner." There is a quality of redemption involving Crake's children that gives us hope of a better tomorrow. Unfortunatly, that tomorrow may not include us!
I was enthralled by the creativity of this book. Well written and complex, it is a testimony to the author's depth of knowledge.
Margaret, you have got to be kidding me? What kind of ending was that? At first I was convinced that I was missing the last part of the book. I feel cheated.
Why is this author so critically acclaimed? A strange world we live in where that is the case. What an ugly view of humanity she has - cheap and easy and pointless. Thematically much of her story felt like some kind of propaganda and she's got some weird agenda.
There is so much praise for he use of language, but personally I was unimpressed by it, as it can't rescue this story from the toilet, which (in my opinion) is really what we have a view of here - dark, bleak, ugly, mean-spirited, preachy, pointless.
Her characters seem incomplete and not well-developed as people - flat, simple, unlikeable, unhateable, uninteresting and uninspiring in any way at all. Their interest in disturbing, morally corrupt entertainment fails to shock or disgust, as it more so says a lot about the mind and outlook of the author, I think. Her message is very unimpressive as her story plods through a bleak moral and mental muck of our "inevitable" self destruction, because we humans are so very warped and lost and vile and pathetic and hopeless, etc...
That said, this was just my reaction to it. For some, this story may be interesting, if you are on the same page as the author. But while I don't mind end of the world type of stories, this felt like some ugly preaching to me - but that is just my opinion - to each his own, I suppose.
Many an author could have written this interesting premise quite well but not this author. She is a spectacular wordsmith and is probably quite at home writing poetry. But here the juxtaposition of real life with her flowery prose is distracting to say the least. The device of presenting the story through the memory of the main character does not work well for a story like this one. Written in a chronological order, it might command your attention. As it is, the voice is way too passive for this kind of tale. And developing all the characters through the filter of the protagonist's memories turns it to vanilla most of the time. It's a great concept but actually much of it has been done before, and better.
Well first of all I have to say that I didn't like the story. I realize it was intended as a cautionary tale but it went so overboard that I couldn't buy into it. It was morbid, depressing, and filled with shallow self centered dullards (even the brilliant characters). Snowman wallowed in misery, Jimmy was corrupted by an amoral humantiy, Crake had the ascerbic self hating wit but lacked the underlying intelligence that I'd expect in the character, and Oryx had the personality consistancy of pudding... an invertebrate with boobs. The Crakers were interesting but undeveloped, window dressing, a plot device.
The father figures in the early portion of the tale were one dimensional boors, the only character with a spark of something more was Jimmy's mother. The vast majority of the men in the story were evil caricatures that enabled Jimmy to exhibit unrealistic and hypocritical righteous indignation, although some were allowed redeeming values (oh joy). The women were mostly boring diversions assisting Jimmy on his fall from whatever grace he started with.
I felt no sympathy for anyone in the entire book, no empathy, no attachment. I didn't care that the whole world was wiped out... who'd want to live in such a place, not I certainly.
Having said all that... I have to say that I recommend the book. Atwoods narrative is skilled and refreshingly novel for Sci-Fi. Her imagery isn't broad but grounds the reader in the 'here and now' of her characters, an excellent sense of presence. The plot is simple but that's not the focus of the story. The character development doesn't really illuminate subconscious motives but provides a glimpse at the rationalizations that her characters use to justify self-destructive (and just plain destructive) behaviors.
It's not a book that I'd read twice but I think it's worth a read for the things it does well. Overall I enjoyed listening to the book... ironic as that may sound after the above lambasting.
I'm seeing some bad reviews and I just have to wonder what those people think is good literature. This was one of the most entertaining and attention capturing books I have ever listened too.
And, guess what....my wife agrees. Go figure.