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Oryx and Crake Audiobook

Oryx and Crake

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Publisher's Summary

The narrator of Atwood's riveting novel calls himself Snowman. When the story opens, he is sleeping in a tree, wearing an old bedsheet, mourning the loss of his beloved Oryx and his best friend Crake, and slowly starving to death. He searches for supplies in a wasteland where insects proliferate and pigoons and wolvogs ravage the pleeblands, where ordinary people once lived, and the Compounds that sheltered the extraordinary. As he tries to piece together what has taken place, the narrative shifts to decades earlier. How did everything fall apart so quickly? Why is he left with nothing but his haunting memories? Alone except for the green-eyed Children of Crake, who think of him as a kind of monster, he explores the answers to these questions in the double journey he takes - into his own past, and back to Crake's high-tech bubble-dome, where the Paradice Project unfolded and the world came to grief.

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.

What the Critics Say

"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)

What Members Say

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  •  
    Kim Spokane, WA, United States 03-27-13
    Kim Spokane, WA, United States 03-27-13 Member Since 2009

    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

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    "A unique surprise"

    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.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mel USA 10-31-12
    Mel USA 10-31-12 Member Since 2009

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Science Run Amok"

    Richard Hammond: "Welcome to Jurassic Park!" ...

    Dr. Ian Malcolm: "God help us we're in the hands of engineers." ..."Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could they didn't stop to think if they should."

    Oryx & Crake is like looking at our world through a horribly warped window -- corporate communities, bioengineering, tissue regeneration, and wild hybrids like *pigoons*, *rackunks*, *wolvogs*, and the delicious *chickienobs* (if you've eaten chicken nuggets...you never will again). Atwood again makes a powerful eloquent statement that won't sit well with all readers. Reminiscent of reading Brave New World, Robinson Crusoe, The Last Man, and Matheson surely must have read this book to write his I Am Legend. The ending, so problematic to readers, reminded me of the last scene in Planet of the Apes -- adapted from the French novel by Pierre Boulle -- an impactful scene that left more questions than answers.

    I'm convinced that what Atwood has in her office, next to her typewriter and pads of paper, that no other author has is a crystal ball. Written in 2003 (and short-listed for the Booker award) this novel still is frighteningly accurate and prophetic, and if you don't think so just research GMO's, *Frankenfoods*, global warming, or even dig into the Monsanto company (which seems to be represented here with *OrganInc Farms*). I found that the advantage to reading this book 10 yrs. after it was published is being able to read so many good reviews, ranging from 5* to 1*, and putting them in perspective. This is a novel that will impact people very differently, and while it wasn't my favorite Atwood book, it was intriguing and left me looking at the world differently, and I do recommend to readers that like a bleak, but intelligent apocalyptic experience. Thought-provoking look at science run totally amok, with a healthy dose of Freud's Eros and Thanatos thrown in just to mess with your head.

    Dr. Ian Malcolm: ..."The complete lack of humility for nature that's being displayed here is staggering."

    34 of 40 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christine Carey 05-26-10 Member Since 2007

    p_sunshine

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    "I couldn't finish this one."

    I got through a little over 4.5 hours of the 10 hour book and just had to set it aside, which is unusual for me. Sure, the book is bleak and dark, set in a world where we've genetically modified everything, and the first 20 minutes or so I found completely awesome, but over the next 3 hours, I found myself caring less and less about the main character and came to the conclusion that I've read stories like this before, and seen them done better. EARTH ABIDES comes to mind. Hell, FEED, a post-apocolyptic zombie novel where bloggers are the real news reporters is set in a more believable and well thought-out world than ORYX AND CRAKE, which somehow managed to be both simplistic and over the top while leaving me emotionally cold.

    I guess this is the book I should have expected by an author who was offended when two of her books (O&K and HT) were labeled sci-fi. "Science fiction has monsters and spaceships; speculative fiction could really happen... ORYX AND CRAKE is a speculative fiction, not a science fiction proper. It contains no intergalactic space travel, no teleportation, no Martians... Science fiction (as opposed to what she wrote) is talking squids in outer space." A smidgen more understanding of how good sci-fi works would have made this story much more enjoyable.

    13 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Morgan 03-13-06
    Morgan 03-13-06
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    "Excellent"

    This is a dark and absorbing listen that calls to mind other poetic dystopias: Woman on the Edge of Time by Marge Piercy and The Fifth Sacred Thing by Starhawk. I'll listen to it again. This is a book that haunts.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael 11-04-03
    Michael 11-04-03
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    "I Enjoyed This Book"

    This is a well-written "end of the world as we know it" book that reminds me of 1950's science fiction. Those old sci-fi tales warned of the dangers of the new atomic age while this author envisions a future where genetic engineering has gone wild.
    I don't object to the non-linear time line of the book and I don't agree with those that feel that the ending is a mystery. Careful readers will pick up on the big clue Atwood gives us at the end.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jim Dearborn, MI, USA 12-24-03
    Jim Dearborn, MI, USA 12-24-03
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    "If you love Margaret Atwood, listen to this book."

    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.

    41 of 51 people found this review helpful
  •  
    mindusq san francisco 10-16-13
    mindusq san francisco 10-16-13 Member Since 2008

    Typical cat lady: lazy, sings off-key, craves spicy bloody marys.

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    "Razor sharp, chilling and bleak"

    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.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael G Kurilla ROCKVILLE, MD, United States 09-18-14
    Michael G Kurilla ROCKVILLE, MD, United States 09-18-14 Member Since 2017
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    "Near future, realistic and plausib dystopic vision"

    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.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C.Dale 09-29-06
    C.Dale 09-29-06

    Clydesdale

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    "Compelling, could not 'put it down'"

    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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    james salem, OR, United States 09-25-06
    james salem, OR, United States 09-25-06 Member Since 2006
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    "great apocalyptic story"

    Starts off a little disconjointed, but the two stories soon come together. Great science fiction, well written.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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