Two women have avoided it: the young trapeze-dancer, Ren, locked into the high-end sex club; and former SecretBurgers meat-slinger turned Gardener, Toby, barricaded into a luxurious spa. Have others survived? And what are the odds for the human race?
By turn's dark, tender, violent, thoughtful, and uneasily hilarious, The Year of the Flood is Atwood at her most effective.
©2009 O.W. Toad. All rights reserved. Margaret Atwood has asserted her right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.; (P)2014 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd.
"Atwood's mischievous, suspenseful, and sagacious dystopian novel follows the trajectory of current environmental debacles to a shattering possible conclusion with passionate concern and arch humor." (Booklist)
"Another stimulating dystopia from this always-provocative author, whose complex, deeply involving characters inhabit a bizarre yet frighteningly believable future." (Kirkus Reviews)
It's been a couple of years since I read Oryx and Crake and I think after listening to this one I need to go back and reread and see how they fit together. It's a strange book and it makes you think. The narrator does a fantastic job, and the inclusion of music (songs sung by the God's Gardeners cult) in the audio version was a nice touch.
60, Working Class autodidact Slow reader but well read. Audio Books have taken me from 25 books a years to 125 a year and has also allowed me to listen to many books that I would perhaps not have ever read. e'g Don Quixote, Uysses etc.
In my opinion this book " The Year of the Flood" returns Margret Atwood to the genius level she achive in " The Handmaidens Tale" in which she so closely foresaw some of the dangers of the Religious Right long before they became a reality. Here she pose so many Eco question and how they may be handled in an increasingly fratured sociaty. A sociaty we and the finacial crisse are fast building. Much food for thought.
On a pracial level, the destion to have the contents of the "Oral Hymnbook" done in song on the reading/recording adds an aditional level of enjoyment, Thanks to, whoever thought of that.
Great Book great recording.
The message for sustainability.
The correlation between today's societies obsession with looking young - botox, plastic surgery, fake body parts and those described in the story.
Her slow drawl is not what I prefer to listen to - I'd rather not, unless it is appropriate to the vernacular of the story.
Author of My Zombie Dog
This story was quite poetic and literary. I could appreciate the style of writing, with its many beautiful descriptive passages. I ENVY the writing style. The characters were tragically flawed in a brilliant way. But. It was just too painfully slow moving for me. I did not get through it all and dropped it three quarters of the way. By then, I just didn't care anymore if the world ended or not.
"Floated my boat"
Yup, it's up there with Oryx and Crake. I followed Toby and Ren with bated breath, those truly dreadful hymns notwithstanding. Nice how the God's Gardeners religion is cringeworthy yet ultimately effective. Loved Toby's arc. Could have done with more nuanced baddies, but hey, this is still top-quality stuff.
"A Sharp Divide"
I was both curious and dubious about this book after reading the reviews. I do like Margaret Atwood, and had read and loved Oryx and Crake. But the negative reviews meant I didn't buy it immediately.
Part of what changed my mind was the striking division in customer reviews: female readers loved it, male readers hated it. So I thought I'd find out for myself...
The production decision to arrange and perform the hymns was COMPLETELY wrong - bad idea, bad arrangements, bad performances! Fortunately, my audio-book reader meant I could listen to them at x2 speed, with the added bonus of making them sound like they were underwater!
Aside from that, I loved the book and the reading. Atwood has always been great at problematising the relationships between religion, science and society, and this could be the real triumph of the book.
As for the characters, I found them believable, engaging and sympathetic. Perhaps (this is just a suggestion!) some male readers can't relate to the experience of most of the earth's women as sexual commodities.
I wondered whether it made a difference as to whether one had read Oryx and Crake, as this book is something akin to a sequel. It also works to balance out the masculine perspective of the earlier work. I'd be interested to read a "positive" review from someone who hasn't read Oryx and Crake - if there's any out there?!
Be forewarned about the awful hymns! They would be readable as straightforward text, but are unbearable as "sincere" performed works. Fortunately, they only come at the ends of chapters, so you can just skip forward to the next chapter if your tech has that capability. Otherwise, grit your teeth and set your ears to "satire" - there actually aren't as many of them as there seems!
Totally agree about the terrible hymns, however, if they're taken as sending up banal modern religious music you can at least see the point of them. I started off thinking they were very clever but lost my tolerance towards the end. I also found my mind wandering off during the latter sermons but they didn't last too long. I had read Oryx and Crake and hadn't loved it. I downloaded The Year of the Flood because I heard a good review and then couldn't bring myself to listen to it as I was on holiday and didn't want anything too heavy. I was pleasantly surprised though. The female characters are engaging and I was completely hooked on the story. If you have read Oryx and Crake you will notice the clever overlapping of plotlines but it's not a prerequisite to enjoyment. I found the ending left me with more questions than answers - perhaps I need to listen to it again.
Been reading Margaret Atwood novels over the last 20 years, starting with the Edible Woman. This is the first time I've tried her on audiobook, which is a very different experience. Completely agree about the dreadful hymns. Maybe that's the joke and they're meant to be excoriatingly painful. I listen in the car on my way to work and I had to turn down the volume at traffic lights just in case anyone thought I was a fan of dubious religious folk music. That apart, the book is good and Atwood still has the ability to shock and engage.
"Mediocre pop music"
I buy audio books because my eyesight is poor. What I want is someone to calmly read me a book. What I don't want are: special effects, incidental music, readers putting on silly voices.
But this production is the worst of the lot: no sooner have you settled down for a relaxed "read", than it bursts into song. Not any song, but an embarrassingly bad, kind of modern hymn. OK, skip forward and settle down again. There's another - and another!
It would have been nice if there was a warning in the description, then I wouldn't have bought it. The worst of it is, I can't even return it, as (like an idiot) I bought books 2 and 3 of the trilogy at the same time.
"a bit cringy"
The second book of the trilogy concentrates on more than one character, and therefore the story feels a bit more scattered. I still, however, love how the tale is constructed, where bit by bit you see the puzzle coming together.
I don't necessarily liked the performance. Lorelai King is a wonderful narrator but the musical 'inserts' made me cringe.
"Better than I expected"
Yes, the narration was excellent and the characterisation was very well done
Perhaps make it more engaging, I didn't feel any affinity for the characters and therefore didn't care that much about them
Yes although without the bloody singing
The singing was annoying and I delayed getting the book because of other reviewers opinions of it. I agree with them, I felt it unnecessary for the book.
"Just Average. Long, meandering and average."
I quite liked the premised of the post apocalypse world - how would people survive? What happens when the aspects of modern culture that we take for granted are suddenly not available? (power, communication, law and order). This is what I was kind of expecting for this book (and frankly it could be my fault for making assumptions......)but it really didn't deliver. It focused more on the happenings of the 'green' religlious cult. It was unabridged so it was always going to be long I guess - but well - too long for too little is my thought.
This is a personal thing, but I found the narrators voice tremendousoly patronising.
Finally, and mst irratating where the songs. Listening either in the car or out jogging and not wanting to loose my place I had to simply endure the hyms that had been made up to supplement the story. It seemed like about every ten minutes you'd hear the words....From the Adam Oral Hymnbook - let us sing. Then some folk dude with his guitar would berate us about the dying earth etc....
Not big not clever. Not entertainment.
"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.
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