Don't you like a book that stays with you? I can't give you one of those perfectly detailed reviews because it's been almost a year since I've listened to it. But the characters, the storyline and some of the quirky patron "Saints" have stayed with me since. I think it's an interesting example of how time and legend can turn history into a mixture of truth and fiction. Very listenable as well. I do know that it made my day broken into two parts "allowed to listen to The Year of the Flood" and "NOT allowed to listen to the Year of the Flood". (at work and at play)
Listen to it! I think I will again just for the fun of it. Any audiobook that you listen to 2 or more times is definitely worth a download.
I am a huge Atwood fan and have read most of her novels. This was the first that I tried to listen to--"tried" is the operative word here: after about 20 minutes of listening, I became too frustrated with the incorporation of (terrible) music into the narration. I had to stop.
In general, the aesthetic choices are too dramatic for my taste. I listen to books only because I don't have time to read them. As such, I want my listening experience to be as close to a reading experience as possible. I just can't get this from dramatic readings. If you are a purist like me, you will probably not like this audiobiook.
I realize that some narration styles take a while to adjust to, and once you do adjust, it is almost always worth it. I will likely try to listen to this one again in a few months to see if it is less of a challenge. If that doesn't work, I know that Atwood novels tend to be pretty addicting and will just end up buying the book and reading it the old fashioned way.
I would not be opposed to the narrator, but will not likely try another Atwood book.
This book may have been more enjoyable if the author had not included so many graphically pornographic elements to the story. I think the message could have been effectively conveyed with more subtlety.
The first Margaret Atwood book I have read and was surprised at the images born within the imagination of a person that I had admired in the public arena. I won't be reading another Atwood work in the near future.
I abandoned this book because the story was super confusing (jumped all over the place) and the narrators (one of them anyway) had a grating voice. It was too new-agey or like a hallmark commercial. Saccharine. Also, there were several terrible folk songs included--I guess the paper book had song lyrics or something--but the songs themselves were really bad.
The book might be good on paper, but this rendition was not.
Not an easy listen for me. This futuristic tale that unravels very slowly through the dialogue of a couple main characters is hard to follow. It jumps from present to past and there are only a couple characters you get to know as they try to survive in the post-apocolytic world. It's basic survival in a world gone biologically wrong - but alas the Gardeners are prevailing (or granola's as they are called today). Bleak, lonely, desolate - no real character development and the only love expressed is by the woman, the men are all loveless. Adam One's sermonizing and following hymns become pedantic, what was the point? Where would she have us go from there?? It seemed very incomplete, underdeveloped. Not her best work.
If you are an atheist you will not enjoy this audiobook very much. I expected religious undertones but it's mostly religious. Also there is singing in it, which detracts from the book. It's a shame, really, because it could have been much better. I would have given it 3 stars if not for the singing parts. I become part of the story and when there is music or sining in the narration it pulls me out.
This book is a sequel to Oryx and Crake, and needs to be read as such - don't read it first. Atwood expands the world of that first book, giving us a glimpse of events just beyond the horizon of the original plot. The book is heavy on character, light on plotting, yet knowing the first book helps create suspense for the coming "flood." The interstitial songs recorded to live music started out being disruptive, but after time they add a lot of depth. The book lingers a bit too long, perhaps, on tangential topics, but on the whole creates a really vivid world. Read this book if you like dystopian settings, apocalyptic stories, and issues about what man's role in his world should really be.
The Year of the Flood is Margaret Atwood at the height of her powers. Very few authors have the courage to attempt the whole "create a religion" thing, and practically none of them can actually pull it off. Yet Atwood has here a whole book detailing a minor religious sect that isn't ridiculous on the face of it, even writing hymns that (while admittedly tedious to listen to) actually sound like hymns. This all but blows the mind.
Unfortunately, Atwood has set this whole thing in the same universe as her absolute classic, Oryx and Crake. Why? What was the point? It's like watching the greatest conjurer of all time, only to have the climax of her act be a rabbit pulled out of top hat. This book all but ruins its predecessor, filling in gaps, dispelling mysteries, and answering questions that nobody on earth wanted filled, dispelled, or answered.
OK, you know Pulp Fiction, the Quentin Tarantino film? Remember that one scene where Vincent and Jules are shaking down those kids in the apartment, and Vincent opens a mysterious attache case and stares in wonder at whatever is inside? And later, Tim Roth's character does the same thing? And you're like "what's in the case?!" Then what happened? YOU GREW UP. Now, what if Tarantino made a sequel to Pulp Fiction starring, like, Steve Buscemi's Buddy Holly waiter, where he FINDS OUT WHAT'S IN THE CASE and it's like the most obvious thing imaginable. Only fat useless nerds who don't get it at all would be super happy to see this film.
That's what this book is. It's what's in the case. Oryx and Crake was flawlessly built up to an ambiguous ending, where Jimmy's intentions are unclear and subject to a massive amount of debate. Guess what? NOT ANYMORE. Now we know what happens, and it's a load of old bunk. A lame attempt is made to replace it with another kind of cliffhanger, but it's the kind of cliffhanger where a bomb is ticking down and the screen cuts off at 00:01. WILL THE BOMB EXPLODE?
I have read most of Atwood's books and always look forward to the next. While this was not my favorite of hers, I still recommend it highly. She always creates a fascinating world with believable and interesting characters.
Oryx and Crake ranks with Handmaid's Tale as one of the finest contemporary novels I've read. Year of the Flood is just a little below that, due to its heavy handed moral indignation. Don't misunderstand...I think that Atwood has a right to be indignant. And perhaps we need an unambiguous and strong message about now. However, as a novel the pedantic tone weakens the beauty of the telling.
I would have preferred a book that didn't share so much with Oryx and Crake. Why not build a parallel story with independent characters living through the same events? The links made the story seem a little too easy.
The music was an interesting touch in this audiobook. It did give the Adam 1 sections the feeling of a religious service. However, the music was inconsistent. While some of the songs were well-done, at least half are musical cliches. Also, the high production value was at odds with what God's Gardeners would have done. A simple guitar or piano arrangement with the congregation joining in would have been less at odds with Adam 1's words.
All that said, we all need to read the Year of the Flood and Oryx and Crake. We need to consider our future and the consequences of our lifestyles. Along with non-fiction like The Omnivores Dilemma and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, plus films like An Inconvenient Truth, these books create a picture of a future that is frightening and inhumane. God's Gardeners are making ethical choices as individuals. They are not relying on government and industry to make decisions for them. With all it's dogma the movement Atwood describes may give us a clue as to how the little people can impact the direction of our future. And it certainly defines a different kind of progress. One where human nature is the focus, rather than the comforts we create around us.