With breathtaking command of her shocking material, and with her customary sharp wit and dark humour, Atwood projects us into an outlandish yet wholly believable realm populated by characters who will continue to inhabit our dreams long after the last chapter. This is Margaret Atwood at the absolute peak of her powers.
©2002 O.W. Toad, Ltd.; (P)2003 Random House, Inc. Random House Audio, a division of Random House, Inc.
"Absorbing...expertly rendered...Virtuosic storytelling [is] on display." (The New York Times) "Chesterton once wrote of the 'thousand romances that lie secreted in the Origin of the Species.' Atwood has extracted one of the most hair-raising of them all, and one of the most brilliant." (Publishers Weekly)
Typical cat lady: lazy, sings off-key, craves spicy bloody marys.
Campbell Scott's narration blends serious doom with contemporary snark in a story about the end of the world that left me wanting to work backwards and change events for a hopeful finish. So cinematic and way before its time...before The Walking Dead, before Avatar, before I Am Legend...with a heartbreaking longing for the things we take for granted on planet Earth.
This is the third (and probably last) Margaret Atwood book I've read/listened to. From Surfacing and The Handmaid's Tale to Oryx and Crake, I have yet to find any of her work that can be described without using the word "bleak." She is clearly a writer of skill and depth, as well as renown, but reading her novels, for me, is like layering heavy blanket upon heavy blanket of despair, and I finish them only so I can throw off the accumulated weight. I always end up thinking she would be very much at home teaching a workshop in German Existentialsim, where the burden of our very existence is paralysing.
I value intelligent stories with characters I can relate to. I can appreciate good prose, but a captivating plot is way more important.
Post-apocalyptic sci-fi is my favorite genre, so I was excite to venture into Atwood's grim vision of the future.
...but I quickly found myself frustrated and bored. The narration jumps back and forth from present day to pre-collapse, which kills any dramatic build up inherent to the story. Take this tale and tell it linearly, chronologically, and you've got a much more engaging read.
This tale is particularly bleak, even within the context of the already depressing genre. Of all the apocalypse scenarios, the most frustrating are the ones where humanity destroys itself through incompetence and malice. In Atwood's future, there isn't a single likable, relatable human to be found, and I'm glad they all died.
The book ends on a note of perfect ambiguity, which is an annoying and cowardly technique that should have been retired forever after "The Lady Or the Tiger?", Frank Stockton's short story, which has been annoying readers for over a hundred years.
If I enjoyed ambiguous endings, I could take any book in the world and stop reading just shy of the last chapter. But that's not why I read books. I read books because I want to explore a story: Beginning, middle, AND end.
This one left me high and dry.
Worse than leaving us with an ambiguous scene, the novel actually leaves off right where the entire story might have gotten interesting. Atwood spent hours of our time painfully dragging us through the backstory just to find out where we were at the start of the novel. Now, at last we know what's going on, leaving us to wonder: "how will our characters deal with this world?"
I guess I'll have to buy the sequel to find out. Except I won't. I don't reward authors who waste my time.
Margaret Atwood's Oryx and Crake is a grim, depressing tale of well laid plans and good intentions going horribly awry. Snowman / Jimmy narrates an account of multiple, unrelated genetic engineering attempts to improve man combined with unchecked global warming leading to unsustainability for the human race. Jimmy, who may be the last remaining human lives with "meta-humans" that represent various attempts to overcome increasingly hostile conditions, relates the history in a series of flashbacks. Jimmy chronicles all the missteps along the way that caused the eventual plague that brought mankind low. While Jimmy was not directly involved, he peripherally participated.
The sci-fi elements mostly relate to genetic engineering that forms the bulk of intentional human transformation. The broader theme of the tale is one of powerful technology colliding with more traditional human response to change. The Luddites and anti-Luddites combine in a toxic soup that spells disaster for mankind resulting a world populated with semi-intelligent, but physically adapted proto-humans and Jimmy. There is nothing upbeat about the tale; man's hubris is simply on display.
The narration is quite well done given that the whole story is itself written in the narration mode.
this is a great book, very well researched and presented. I remember when this first came out there was a web link to info regarding her research and it was rather disturbing how little she altered things. she said she took existing conditions, (like religion in Handmaid) and extrapolated some possible progressions in the near future regarding food and genetic engineering and the internet etc. She was rather accurate in some ways and this is a great book, with lots of excellent word play too regarding names of companies and games and websites and many related developments have actually occurred recently and are becoming of concern. best of the trilogy.
Addicted to audiobooks & podcasts. 5 Stars=I Loved It, 4 Stars=Enjoyed it Thoroughly, 3=Kinda Good, 2=Bad/Boring, 1=Complete Waste of Credit
I really liked this one! It was my first Margaret Atwood selection and it definitely won't be the last. The story jumps around a bit but not to the point where it was confusing - it kept me guessing and trying to determine how the heck the character got into the predicament he was in. I found myself wondering what I would've done in his situation - if society collapsed and I was tasked with explaining life on earth to "newcomers"........ well, the possibilities boggle the mind. The commentary on modern technology and the implications of messing with our genetic makeup in a quest to achieve human perfection is handled beautifully in this story - everyone has that line they won't cross but everyone's line is in a different place so where do we stop? Slavery and abuse of those who cannot defend themselves is disgusting - but it is plausible that the victims actually believe the abusers are protecting them. Lots of thought-provoking, entertaining writing and a great narrator - an easy recommendation for Oryx and Crake.
This is going on my short list of best novels I've read. My only complaint is it was too short, and I've hoping for a continuation in another book as Atwood basically leaves you at a cliffhanger of sorts, but from what I can see a sequel from Atwood is unlikely...and it's almost 2007. Regardless, still a gripping and compelling story, a glimpse of a possible future given the state of the world today.
Starts off a little disconjointed, but the two stories soon come together. Great science fiction, well written.
I liked the book overall. The ending was somewhat sudden, but at the same time I think it was perfect -- Snowman had to come to terms with the future, and what it should or should not hold.
I'm not sure I should have gotten the book. After listening to an audiobook for a few hours, I get increasingly hooked, and end up spending all of my spare time listening to it -- commuting, cleaning house, grocery shopping, knitting, whatever -- and this book was a little dark for that. I think it darkened my outlook on life for a few days. But it would be great for a long drive; it was very interesting and entertaining.
The story itself is exceptional science fiction, capturing both the plausible arc of technology and its resulting apocalypse. In addition, it is a remarkable coming of age story in the technocracy of a not so distant future. This was my first Attwood and I will definitely read more. In addition, the narration is superior. Campbell Scott strikes exactly the right tone for this story, which in my mind makes listening preferable to reading. A slam dunk for audio books!
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