Let me start with the narration: it comes off a little monotonous and flat. The narrator does a decent job of giving each character a unique voice, but a little more life in the dialog would have been an improvement.
As for the story itself, I found it excellent. The story unfolds intriguingly, the characters are well developed, and the dialog is very well done. It shows a very realistic view of the more base aspects of life. The main character really captures the feelings of being caught in the grind of life, underachieving, the twisted aspects of romantic relationships, and the general drudgery of life.
A minor flaw, in my opinion, is the fact that some of the social commentary is a little obvious. The author takes swipes at corporate greed and consumerism that seem a little forced.
Overall, I found this to be an excellent book, with good narration. I would highly recommend it.
Campbell Scott's voice makes this tremendous story all the more unforgettable. His voice is haunting as Snowman, while the sing-songy tones of the children still reverberate in my mind months later. Atwood does not disappoint; her craftsmanship is just as fine here as in previous books. As in most of her writings, she forces us to think about our actions and how those actions can affect the future -- not only our future, but the future of mankind.
I have to echo the sentiments of others here. I liked the way the story was presented, but it stops like the author hit some word-limit. The last line is "Zero-hour. Time to go." and the story just stops. There is nothing that would indicate what the main character will do next, and nothing to indicate where the story might lead. It is so open-ended that you feel cheated and like you just wasted all those hours. It's like somebody tore the book in half and you didn't know it until you hit the spot where there's nothing more to the book. This technique works okay for a short story, but not one that is 10 hours long. Don't waste your time unless you have a lot of time to waste and don't care about what happens at the end. You'll never know.
The characters are interesting, but the development is sketchy; the idea of a world where bio-engineering has gone wild is both fascinating and frightening. The story is told in a series of flashbacks; that may have something to do with the jumpy feeling of the book. It is read very well, and I was not ready for the ending when it came.
Addicted to books, both print and audio-.
What a fascinating book! I've read a good deal of dystopian fiction, so this genre is not new to me. Margaret Atwood's superb prose and skillful plotting created a story that kept me riveted from beginning to end. She is peerless in deciding what to tell her readers and when to reveal that information. The scenario is all too plausible and the characterization is excellent. She is simply a fantastic writer. I've been reading her work for almost 40 years, and she just gets better.
Campbell Scott's narration was excellent as well. It would have been easy to overdo this book, but he uses just the right amount of emotion. Highly recommended.
a very strange, very enthralling tale of the apocalypse. such a strangely imagined world with so many strange characters and things. not a perfect book by any means. it left me feeling unfulfilled, but perhaps it was meant to?
Atwood was utterly unable to break from cliche in this novel, despite the imaginative veneer. We get the ambitious scientist and the moralist who says we shouldn't mess with nature. We get the math guy who reduces art to biology. We get the victim who forgives. The philosophies, the conversations, and the ideas are all things we've seen before. The characters are simple, cardboard cutouts, who don't seem to struggle internally.
That said, the narration of this audiobook is horrendous, the worst I've ever witnessed among the many books on this site. The narrator sounded drugged, did not have different voices for different characters, would not emulate shouting or whispering, and did not seem to have 'empathy' -- he couldn't get into the characters. It was almost like having a computerized text-to-speech rather than a human reader.
once I got hooked I couldn't get this book out of my head. Listened to The Year of the Flood right afterwards and then came back to listen to this again- so well done. I can't recommend both books enough.
If only all Audios were this good. Fine, serious writing, gripping and fast-moving plot, inventive settings, delightful turns of phrase, plenty of surprises, and a powerful message with a challenging conclusion. A classic dystopian vision of arresting originality, compelling characterization and great depth (with just the occasional anachronism - aspirin? hard-copy CVs? but these are quibbles). The narration is spot-on too.