"Bad production choices"
I was a little worried about how good a follow up this was going to be and, unfortunately I was largely correct. Too much time is spent early on in the narrative where if there is overlap, it is subtle. Once the stories of the first and second book start to converge, it gets a bit rushed.
Also, who the hell decided to actually have songs in the audiobook? They're tedious enough in print, never mind having your audiobook interrupted by them! The narration was just below average. Not terrible but not great either.
Basically the story picked up toward the last third of the book, otherwise I would definitely be returning it. I may still do.
I've been a long term fan of Margaret Atwood, some books I've appreciated more than others. This book and the preceding "Oryx and Krake" plus "Madadam" the last in the trilogy are so impressive I have listened to them twice now. They are so well crafted, so immersive, she has created such a completely believable world in all it's intricacies with such complex interesting characters. I feel as if when I listen to them I am wandering in that place again, noticing new things, more details, and more connections to our world now (sadly). I recommend this to anyone, her story is relevant to us all and such an exciting read.
I had read the book earlier so I knew what this was about, so it was easy for me to follow the story. I also loved the narration, Lorelei King is very good in making distinction between different characters and also brining an extra dimension to their portrayal. I know some prefer monotone reading, but I don't, it is a matter of preference.
The story told through Ren and Toby unfolds gently, the picture is built piece by piece, and the world that is depicted is frighteningly plausible. Atwood's style is unique and not everyone likes it, but I am always mesmerized.
There are some comments claiming that The Year of the Flood is simply a rehash of Oryx and Crake, but I think they are missing the point. They are two sides of the same coin, a story told in two (or rather three) points of view, and while they both stand alone (I read The year of the Flood before Oryx and Crake) together they form a full story that is more than sum of its parts.
And the hymns... I thought they were hilarious! I think anyone who has ever had to endure Kum-ba-yahs will appreciate how perfectly awfully they were rendered!
Just keep an open mind!
Not as good as Oryx and Crake but Atwoods insights and observations are as brilliant and insightful as ever.
wow. Margaret at wood is a revelation. can't wait to listen to more. bye now
"Great story, great reader, terrible songs"
Why did they do the songs in such a cheesy awful way. Tarnishes an other wise great audio book. Love the trilogy
"Musical element utterly ruined this for me"
The story is fabulous and King's narration is faultless but the twee singing of the hymns is jarring and ruinous.
"Well-written post-apocalypse tale"
I haven't read the print version, though I have read other Atwood novels, so I have an idea of how the experience might vary. The pronunciation of names is often the common difference, I feel. This reading did a good job on the whole, rendering the unusual portmanteau words in such a way that their make-up and derivation was apparent.
The main character, Snowman, was well characterised, I think, with believable flaws as well as strengths. Overall, however, my favourite(s) were the children of Crake, in their innocence.
Without spoilers, I found the scenes where Snowman was trapped by animals to be compelling and suspenseful, with no reliance on silly or superhuman artifices to get our protagonist out of the situation.
I'm not sure that would be possible, given the length! I listened over a week or more, mainly whilst running and driving. The plot was too interesting to listen whilst working or needing to concentrate - I tried and found myself sitting like a zombie with my attention on the story, not advisable.
The story stands alone, though it does provide clear links for follow-on stories (as this is the first of a trilogy, that's to be expected). I don't think you'll feel cheated here, as with some trilogies that are really one long story, leaving each book incomplete and unsatisfying. I want to read the next one(s) but I do feel satisfied.
"Love this story"
My favourite book so far. I was very happy to hear the songs. Toby is the greatest but all the gardeners are like friends to me now. I like to repeat listen. An absolute joy. Perfect.
"Attwoodian vision of our future."
It is long and meandering, but a whole world is created that overwhelms you and is so real and potentially authentic that it becomes essential to revisit. There is so much to think about and respond to and aspects of the previous book: Oryx and Crake are revealed and re-examined in a different light. This is a future world that you can recognise and one in which we could all so easily slip into.
The first book, Oryx and Crake and obviously Madd Adam the final book in the trilogy. Perhaps also the Handmaid's Tale by Magaret Attwood or Cormac McCarthy's The Road and other apocalyptic visions of the future. However, Attwood's trilogy is more subtle, at times comic, but also potentially real. Genetic mutation of animals and humans is continuing apace and one aspect of this book is a fictional exploration of where the multi-national corporations could take this. There are so many reflections in our present that is the recent past in Jimmy's world that make our near future - their more recent past - seem so possible. It also looks at religion and interpretations of Christianity and the green movement melded together along with 'perfect' humanoid creatures: the children of Crake.
The whole book is revisiting in the same time frame the previous book Oryx and Crake. It gives us a different understanding and perspective on the first book. Everything stands out in a descriptive and narrative form that a description of any one scene would not do justice to a remarkable book.
The depiction of our potential future as we experiment with genetic manipulation of animals as we, mankind, continue to exploit animals for our own purposes. Other themes are about power and manipulation of people, violence and destruction of the world to an extent that what we know and expect to be are destroyed and survival is all that is left. How could we survive if our present is destroyed. What would we do? This trilogy examines these themes.
Warning: This is compelling writing. It sucks you into a future world that makes you interpret our present more critically. If you can, start with Oryx and Crake first, and then listen to The Year of the Flood followed by Madd Adam.