The times and species have been changing at a rapid rate, and the social compact is wearing as thin as environmental stability. Adam One, the kindly leader of the God's Gardeners - a religion devoted to the melding of science and religion, as well as the preservation of all plant and animal life - has long predicted a natural disaster that will alter Earth as we know it. Now it has occurred, obliterating most human life. Two women have survived: Ren, a young trapeze dancer locked inside the high-end sex club Scales and Tails, and Toby, a God's Gardener barricaded inside a luxurious spa where many of the treatments are edible.
Have others survived? Ren's bioartist friend Amanda? Zeb, her eco-fighter stepfather? Her onetime lover, Jimmy? Or the murderous Painballers, survivors of the mutual-elimination Painball prison? Not to mention the shadowy, corrupt policing force of the ruling powers . . .
Meanwhile, gene-spliced life forms are proliferating: the lion/lamb blends, the Mo'hair sheep with human hair, the pigs with human brain tissue. As Adam One and his intrepid hemp-clad band make their way through this strange new world, Ren and Toby will have to decide on their next move. They can't stay locked away . . .
By turns dark, tender, violent, thoughtful, and uneasily hilarious, The Year of the Flood is Atwood at her most brilliant and inventive.
©2009 Margaret Atwood; (P)2009 Random House
my favorite part of this is the Earth religionists and their sermons and songs. & actually I would rather Atwood had lifted that element out and produced a completely unrelated novel of nature religionists, or survival of an isolated cult or something & I think she very well may have given us another masterpiece like Handmaid or Oryx. Unfortunatley it is tied to the Oryx story, which was great, but all we really have here is that same story retold from different characters perspectives until it reaches the same point at which Oryx ended. OK fine, but aside from elements like the religion, or the nature artist who may be my favorite in this book, it is basically the Oryx story but from the city view. If you like Oryx, I think this is worth doing just for the songs and sermons.
I am a huge Atwood fan, and have listened to Oryx and Crake at least twice. The reader is good, though I really liked the male reader in O&C a bit more. I enjoyed the connections between the two books, and the different perspective it lends. The music was a bit strange at first, but it does a great job of adding to the "goofiness" of the God's Gardeners (think hippie folksy 70s Christian music), along with Adam One's "sermons". The story tells well, and it has that same Atwood tongue-in-cheek cynical world view. If you liked Oryx and Crake, you'll like this one too. Not a world I'd care to live in, but very thought provoking and engaging.
The audio books I get tend to be either 1) scifi or 2) things for my husband and me to listen to on long road trips--humor or history
With great imagination, Atwood creates a world that is scarily recognizable as an all-too-possible future. Drug companies that seed their products with maladies to which only they control the remedies . . . fast food that is no longer recognizable as anything grown from the earth . . . leading to the growth of "fanatic" vegetarian cults . . . Yet, the overall effect of the book was somewhat tedious. The author did not employ her wry humor often enough, and the sections describing life before the "dry flood" felt too long. Disclaimer: I have not read Oryx and Crake, which I now realize is a prequel to this book.
Atwood's strengths are her mesmerizing use of language, metaphor, and imagery. She is one of the greatest word people of our generation. Usually, her characters have amazing and interesting psychological depth that you can immerse yourself into. Her stories, while engaging, are secondary to her style. "Oryx and Crake", and "Handmaid's Tale", are examples of her best work. "Year of the Flood," is not. The plot wrapped up many of the loose ends in O&C, but Atwood's poetic artistry was missing from her writing style. O&C was literature; YotF was a plot, and not a great one at that. There was some poetry in the songs, but the campfire/folk music style was more annoying than enriching. If you are an Atwood fan, you should probably read it, so that you can say that you did. If you haven't read her, try one of her other books before judging her.
Oryx and Crake was a fabulous read and listen as was MaddAddam. I wasn't able to finish the book After The Flood but thought if I listened to it it may make a difference. Well that didn't work. Listening to this reminded me of watching cement set......very slow. There was nothing compelling about this book that made me want to listen. I could not not even finish it.
I love Margaret Atwood. I just didn't like this book.
Narration was decent; the narrator just didn't have good material to work with.
It was hard to make this experience worse but the hymns did the trick.
I kept feeling like I was a block away from Oryx & Crake... It's been quite a while since I read that one and I kept getting the feeling that this story would be much deeper and more interesting if I remembered more of O&C. BIGtime. At least that story seemed to be going somewhere, this one kinda rambled a bit. The characters are kinda interesting but not terribly so. It just seemed like a shadow play off O&C. And the songs were terrible. IF they had been hummed or sung by the appropriate character (a more traditional approach), it would have fallen within the context of the story. As a fully realized musical production however.... it was very jarring and off-putting. I fast forwarded through every one after the first (which kind of defeats the author's intent). Anyway. Not terribly interesting but not horrible, just ok. I feel like I should re-read Oryx & Crake now (which I DID enjoy quite a LOT :)
this book serves as an unauthorized sequell to orxy and crake. some of the loose ends from orxy and crake are tied up with this book.
i found "the year of the flood" to be too coincidental at times. too many pieces that fit together too easily.......too many people who all happened to know each other in a previous time.
I did enjoy the story very much but I absolutely hated the singing parts. Luckily, the audio recording is cued well so you can just skip over them and not miss any dialouge
After reading and loving "Oryx And Crake", I was eagerly anticipating the release of "The Year Of The Flood". And happily, I was not disappointed. "The Year Of The Flood" is a companion book to "Oryx And Crake", meaning this story takes place during the same time as "Oryx And Crake". It's not a sequel. Through the stories of Ren and Toby, we learn more about what it was like to live in the pleeblands, outside of the Helthwyzer complex. We also learn about the Gardeners, a cult-like group that has unforeseen influence on the men instrumental to the catastrophe to come (Snowman and Crake).
Why did I rate this only four stars? Because I found the first few chapters very confusing. It took a while for me to figure out what was going on. If this happens to you, don't give up. The payoff is well worth the time and effort. I also found the first half of the book a bit slow. The characters were very interesting, though, and by the time I reached the halfway point, I could not put this audiobook down. I am not sure if Ms. Atwood is planning to write a sequel, but I would love to read it. I'd especially love to read more about Zeb and Adam One and their time at the Helthwyzer complex. Really enjoyed this one!
Yes,the music for the songs is pretty cheesy, but taken in context, I think the bland catchiness is just perfect for the hymnal of God's Gardeners,and the lyrics are often quite funny. I enjoyed this listen very much, as I found the narrators quite good, and I was intrigued by Atwood's dystopia and it's details. Another reviewer found the ending "unresolved," but I found the open-endedness thought-provoking as the author gives us plenty of clues as to what might happen (nothing particularly happy or pretty, in my opinion). I have read a lot of speculative fiction of the dystopic/post-apocalyptic variety and I appreciated Atwood's humor.
Agree with the first review by Valerie. The music was awful.
I do not agree with the other reviews though this was a great story. I had a hard time putting it down.
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