Longlisted – Baileys Women’s Prize 2014
Audie Award Finalist, Science Fiction, 2013
A man-made plague has swept the earth, but a small group survives, along with the green-eyed Crakers - a gentle species bio-engineered to replace humans.
Toby, onetime member of the Gods Gardeners and expert in mushrooms and bees, is still in love with street-smart Zeb, who has an interesting past. The Crakers' reluctant prophet, Snowman-the-Jimmy, is hallucinating; Amanda is in shock from a Painballer attack; and Ivory Bill yearns for the provocative Swift Fox, who is flirting with Zeb. Meanwhile, giant Pigoons and malevolent Painballers threaten to attack.
Told with wit, dizzying imagination, and dark humour, Booker Prize-winning Margaret Atwood's unpredictable, chilling and hilarious MaddAddam takes us further into a challenging dystopian world and holds up a skewed mirror to our own possible future.
©2013 Margaret Atwood (P)2013 AudioGO Ltd
The narration just did not work for me. Zeb's character sounded like a corny Batman with bizzare haltering emphasis on the language. Toby's sounded like a cross between Laurie Anderson from Sharky's Day and Lisa Simpson. Tobys character also changed very inconsistently from being a staunch vegetarian to a pig killer. The male figures in the book often come across very 2 dimensional but the narration didn't help in that respect.
In contrast to most reviewers this was probably my favourite of the three books, the first being the least favourite.
I think the trilogy would be better served as one book to be fair.
Having just listened to Oryx and Crake and The Year of The Flood I was thrilled to see that I wouldn't have to wait for the third book. Sadly, I am struggling with it. So far too much going over what happened in the first two books is tedious. But what is really spoiling it for me is the narration. I absolutely loved the narrator of Oryx and Crake, was slightly less enamoured of the narrator for the year of the flood, but the powers that be obviously decided it had to be a woman and I did get used to her voice. So far, in this book, the narrators aren't doing anything for me and I'm not sure if I will continue with the audio book, maybe it would be better to read it in print.
I love Maraget Atwood' s books and have read a lot of them. She has beautiful turn of phrase and would thoroughly recommend them to anyone.
I would have used the narrator of Oryx and Crane his voice is delicious, and the 'parts' really don't have to be gender narrated.
"Good book, bad audiobook"
I have been looking forward to the final instalment of the MaddAddam trilogy since listening to the first two books in the series.
Atwood's plausible (almost frighteningly close to probable) tale of the collapse of society was beautifully told in the audiobook versions of Oryx and Crake and The Year of the Flood.
Normally I don't write reviews, but in this case my enjoyment of the book was impacted so much by the production of the audiobook that I feel it's important to leave feedback.
For the first two books I understood the decision to use a male narrator for the book with a male protagonist and female for book with a female one. Neither narrator blew my socks off the way some narrators can, but it was still easy to listen to them tell the story and become lost in the book. The decision to not re-use one of those narrators was disappointing. The decision to use 3 entirely new narrators is puzzling.
I don't know if they rushed in order to launch the audiobook at the same time as the print version, but the quality is definitely not as high as the standard I expect from Audible. The two main narrators take charge several times each, broadly covering Toby and Zeb's voices. However the story doesn't provide clean division of labour for these roles, so often the narrator switches at an awkward time, and both narrators do double duty as both Toby and Zeb's voices which is a little strange. The fact that a third narrator is introduced for a single isolated chapter is even stranger.
I stopped listening several times during the first chapter as I really struggled with Bernadette Dunne's style, which sounded rushed (little things, like hearing a hesitation as she followed a sentence to the next line). I even went so far as to buy a print copy of the book, the only thing that stopped me was the price of the hardback being so high!
In the end I persevered, which I somewhat regret. I think I would have enjoyed reading this book myself much more than listening to this version. The production is adequate, but I don't think that's good enough.
The Maddaddam trilogy has been one of the audiobook highlights of my year: a wonderfully imaginative production of an amazing story. This is literary science-fiction at its best, and Margaret Atwood has used beautifully drawn characters, in a scarily plausible world, to explore such themes as the birth of religion, the consequences of science and our specie's place in the biosphere. Her writing is, as ever, rich with unexpected imagery and beauty, and she's always willing to go into the darkest places of our minds. An epic creation that I would thoroughly recommend to all. Cheers!
"Weakest of the Trilogy but still Excellent"
I have really enjoyed listening to this, especially the first half, although I found the story flagging a little in the second and I thought the ending was flabby, especially for Atwood. There isn't the bite and development of plot in this volume that there is in the previous two but this is the post apocalyptic stage when there is by definition less drama. I didn't find the references back to the first 2 volumes at all repetitive; on the contrary I felt that the story was continuing to be built up in layers and it made me want to go back and listen to the first part again. There is so much in these novels of a future dystopia that speaks of our world now and the direction in which it is going and I find the whole trilogy very dark despite the humour. Atwood retains her inimitable style, use of language and imagery and gentle irony and humour which is always a pleasure to read or listen to.
I thought the readers were very good and I liked the way in which they alternated, and the appearance of the third voice at the end. In particular they appreciated the dryness of the humour of the book and made the most of it and their pacing was excellent. Also their voices were easy to listen to, not always the case with those from across the pond. Highly recommended.
"intelligent, witty and a really good listen"
I love Margaret Attwood's dark humour and beautifully crafted writing. This final part of the trilogy started in "Oryx and Crake" (also an excellent listen) does not disappoint. Characters and situations in this post-apocalyptic near-future are further developed and explored, with biting satire. It's beautiful because it is simultaneously horrifying, poignant and very funny. Highly recommended.
"Intricate, imaginative and illustrious"
I'm a big fan of this series, and Margaret Atwood didn't disappoint with this concluding part. This speculative world makes perfect sense, it is an apocalypse that could happen in our lifetime.
"perfection in speculative fiction"
One of the best I've listened to but it does form part of a trilogy so it would be best to read the previous two books first. Oryx and Crake and the The Year of the Flood.
Margaret Atwood does her "speculative"fiction perfectly. As with the Handmaid's Tale, the future is just around the corner and really makes you question where science, society, religion are going. A lot to think about but wrapped around a genuinely page turning read/listen
Toby and Blackbeard. The narrator on this young character was superb - the emotional impact was tear breaking. His voice doesn't appear until near the end but when it does it's heartbreaking.
Sometimes -sometimes I needed a break to digest it properly
If you want something that's a good read and will make you question the world we live in then i'd recommend this trilogy.
"Well I made it to the end"
So book 1 - enjoyable and ended on a cliffhanger leaving me hungry for more. Book 2 did not pick up where 1 left off, but in a clever plot trick made its way to the same point via a different route, but was a bit impenetrable with weird singing, wasn't sure but hoped book 3 would regain the tone of book 1 and romp to the finish line. It didn't. The only thing that got me to the end was the excellent narration and characterisation, plus the desire to see if the denouement was worth the journey. I leave that for you to decide, but I was just glad it was over.
"Third in the trilogy"
There absolutely no point in reading this without having read 1 & 2 , so by now you know pretty much what to expect. The story finally comes to an end, it does go on a bit but if you've read the others you're pretty much hooked now so you have to know what happens.
"Powerful and sublime"
I would definitely recommend this audiobook to my friends and in fact already have. It's well read, on the whole, and is the perfect accompaniment to long drives, household chores, wandering round the shops or any other moment where physically reading a book is difficult. Words on a page are still my preference but I'm becoming an audiobook fan.
This particular book is beautifully written and provides excellent closure for the trilogy. I would recommend listening to the other books first but it isn't completely necessary; Atwood does a good job of recapping the most important information. I think you'd feel more connected to the characters and story if you did know them throughout the trilogy though.
Toby is my favourite character. Her strength, resolve, motherliness and integrity made her easy to admire and connect with. I also fell a little bit in love with Zeb which took me by surprise. Blackbeard would be another choice for favourite. What a sweetheart!
I've not heard any of these narrators before. The other novels were narrated by different people and at first I found it hard to listen to the Toby and Zeb narrators, particularly Zeb but I persevered and it was worth it. I think the Zeb narrator is the weakest. His intonation is wrong in places and it annoys me but the quality of his voice, its gruffness and depth are in keeping with the characterisation.
Some reviewers felt it was unnecessary to have 3 narrative voices but I disagree. I like the mixture of the voices - it helped me to focus on the characterisation. Although the novel is written largely in 3rd person, there are definite Toby sections and definite Zeb sections which reflect their speech and thought patterns and language. Blackbeard's chapters definitely needed a youthful, inexperienced voice in contrast.
This book moved me to both tears and laughter. At one particular point I was out. Doing my weekly shop and laughed out loud provoking stares from the other shoppers. Towards the end of the novel I found myself crying. Blackbeard's simple narration of events was heartbreaking.
MaddAddam offers a wonderful insight into what it means to be human and the nature of our relationships with each other and the world around us. Religion, society, the natural world and parenthood are just some of the themes Atwood explores in this beautifully poetic novel. It has left me with a lot of 'food for thought', if you'll excuse the cliché.
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