I really enjoyed this audiobook. I felt the story was fascinating and liked the way it was told in flashback. Campbell Scott is excellent as a reader - he makes it very enjoyable.
This book is a deep, dark journey to nowhere. Very little plot. Endless detail without meaning. Recurring references to deviant sexual behavior which adds nothing to the story except to reinforce how "sick" the characters are and how "sick" the society is in which they live.
What I really liked about this book were the interesting details and the way in which the scientific content was integrated so well with the character dynamics.
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.
I'm half way through Part 1 and I have yet to detect a trace of plot. I -have- detected a crapload of banal adolescent angst coupled with total drivel for character dialog.
I suppose there's some kind of apocalyptic story somewhere in here with some moral about the dangers of genetic engineering but I don't think I have the patience to wade through another 6-8 hours of this.
Brilliant? I don't think so. Atwood is boring. Neal Stephenson is much better in "Snow Crash" and "The Diamond Age" which covers some of the same territory with much better dialog and actually has plot.
Campbell Scott doesn't do much for me either as a reader.
I have enjoyed reading this book and would like to have a copy of it in audible format; but can't and I don't know why! The fact that Margaret Atwood is herself Canadian makes this even crazier! Same goes for "Into Thin Air" by Jon Krakauer. Why these restrictions?