This is not a space opera. No heroes jumping out to shoot things. No space battles, no race against the clock to save mankind.
The novel is a tapestry of relationships; the relationships of the characters to their families, to each other, and to society at large. It shows a relationship between people and the strange new capabilities of biotechnology. It presents a portrait of a technocratic hegemony as an economic system and a means of government, and follows this to its logical conclusion.
It shows the personal relationships of the three primary characters: Oryx, Crake, and Snowman.
It is these relationships that are the most important aspect to me. These relationships are distant and disaffected. Without these relationships the nightmares presented could not take place.
The novel was quite enjoyable. The plot is a gradually revealed reflection. Take your time. Breathe with the characters, and you should enjoy it quite a bit.
I just listened to this while vacationing on the beach in Florida and it was a perfect "listen" while walking up and down the beach. Beautifully narrated, this tale was totally engrossing from the beginning. As a fan of post-apocalyptic fiction, I was thrilled with this very original plot. I found the writing extremely visual. It just ended too soon! This work compares to "The Handmaid's Tale" and totally outshines Atwood's "The Blind Assassin".
Say something about yourself!
Richard Hammond: "Welcome to Jurassic Park!" ...
Dr. Ian Malcolm: "God help us we're in the hands of engineers." ..."Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could they didn't stop to think if they should."
Oryx & Crake is like looking at our world through a horribly warped window -- corporate communities, bioengineering, tissue regeneration, and wild hybrids like *pigoons*, *rackunks*, *wolvogs*, and the delicious *chickienobs* (if you've eaten chicken nuggets...you never will again). Atwood again makes a powerful eloquent statement that won't sit well with all readers. Reminiscent of reading Brave New World, Robinson Crusoe, The Last Man, and Matheson surely must have read this book to write his I Am Legend. The ending, so problematic to readers, reminded me of the last scene in Planet of the Apes -- adapted from the French novel by Pierre Boulle -- an impactful scene that left more questions than answers.
I'm convinced that what Atwood has in her office, next to her typewriter and pads of paper, that no other author has is a crystal ball. Written in 2003 (and short-listed for the Booker award) this novel still is frighteningly accurate and prophetic, and if you don't think so just research GMO's, *Frankenfoods*, global warming, or even dig into the Monsanto company (which seems to be represented here with *OrganInc Farms*). I found that the advantage to reading this book 10 yrs. after it was published is being able to read so many good reviews, ranging from 5* to 1*, and putting them in perspective. This is a novel that will impact people very differently, and while it wasn't my favorite Atwood book, it was intriguing and left me looking at the world differently, and I do recommend to readers that like a bleak, but intelligent apocalyptic experience. Thought-provoking look at science run totally amok, with a healthy dose of Freud's Eros and Thanatos thrown in just to mess with your head.
Dr. Ian Malcolm: ..."The complete lack of humility for nature that's being displayed here is staggering."
Addicted to audiobooks & podcasts. 5 Stars=I Loved It, 4 Stars=Enjoyed it Thoroughly, 3=Kinda Good, 2=Bad/Boring, 1=Complete Waste of Credit
I really liked this one! It was my first Margaret Atwood selection and it definitely won't be the last. The story jumps around a bit but not to the point where it was confusing - it kept me guessing and trying to determine how the heck the character got into the predicament he was in. I found myself wondering what I would've done in his situation - if society collapsed and I was tasked with explaining life on earth to "newcomers"........ well, the possibilities boggle the mind. The commentary on modern technology and the implications of messing with our genetic makeup in a quest to achieve human perfection is handled beautifully in this story - everyone has that line they won't cross but everyone's line is in a different place so where do we stop? Slavery and abuse of those who cannot defend themselves is disgusting - but it is plausible that the victims actually believe the abusers are protecting them. Lots of thought-provoking, entertaining writing and a great narrator - an easy recommendation for Oryx and Crake.
Hopefully this review will make up for my rather negative review of Atwood's "The Handmaid's Tale" which I know many love, but I found lacking a bit. (I'm sorry!) I won't repeat that review's discussion about which elements I think are necessary to create great dystopian/utopian tales, but I will say that this book surpasses most of my beloved books in this (my favorite) genre exponentially. It adds a new factor to the oft pondered conundrum as to whether or not a perfect utopian society could flourish or even survive long considering the oft dystopian-ish behavior/nature of homo sapien sapiens and/or if the good in people can long survive dystopian type tyrants/governmental systems. Can splicing in and out selective genes, behavior patterns, sexually based actions and consequences, etc. create a utopian people who can survive in a spliced/un-spliced world? However, this is only one of many awe-inspiring concepts to consider as Atwood deftly builds and unveils the mind-bending world of Oryx and Crake and the complex characters, corporate powers; the humming, shattered yet effervescent environment, the multi-level societal structures and situations, the resulting decision conundrums and so on. She draws you in and you can go there, live among the characters, loving some hating others...ponder and wonder accept or try to reject the consequences of actions. I've read this over five times now and it just gets better. Be sure to read this before "The Year of the Flood" which takes place in the same world at the same time but from other fascinating viewpoints and treats the reader with some awesome revelations, my favorite characters ever almost, all the while adding new ways and things to ponder.
This is going on my short list of best novels I've read. My only complaint is it was too short, and I've hoping for a continuation in another book as Atwood basically leaves you at a cliffhanger of sorts, but from what I can see a sequel from Atwood is unlikely...and it's almost 2007. Regardless, still a gripping and compelling story, a glimpse of a possible future given the state of the world today.
Starts off a little disconjointed, but the two stories soon come together. Great science fiction, well written.
I liked the book overall. The ending was somewhat sudden, but at the same time I think it was perfect -- Snowman had to come to terms with the future, and what it should or should not hold.
I'm not sure I should have gotten the book. After listening to an audiobook for a few hours, I get increasingly hooked, and end up spending all of my spare time listening to it -- commuting, cleaning house, grocery shopping, knitting, whatever -- and this book was a little dark for that. I think it darkened my outlook on life for a few days. But it would be great for a long drive; it was very interesting and entertaining.
The story itself is exceptional science fiction, capturing both the plausible arc of technology and its resulting apocalypse. In addition, it is a remarkable coming of age story in the technocracy of a not so distant future. This was my first Attwood and I will definitely read more. In addition, the narration is superior. Campbell Scott strikes exactly the right tone for this story, which in my mind makes listening preferable to reading. A slam dunk for audio books!
Although I am a fan of Margaret Atwood's, I hesitated to listen to this book because the premise seemed sooooo far fetched. However, from page 1 she makes it believable, tells an interesting and at times heartbreaking story, and presents to us (in true Atwood fashion) the hard questions, for which there may be no answer.