catfish, January 16, 2011 (view all comments by catfish)
Along with Atwood's first book in the cycle,Oryx and Crake, this is one of the most terrifying and absorbing dystopian novels I have read in a long time. The vision of the future is not so far away from reality, even though the world has pretty much descended into chaos-- controlled by large scientific corporations and despotic CorpSeCorps men. Gene-spliced creatures are taking over the earth and humans live in a false utopia of artificilly "grown" Chicken Nubbins, HappyCuppa, and ANooYoo rejuvenating products. God's Gardeners, a quasi religious cult, exists in the shadows, trying to bring man back to nature, but just as insidious in its fanaticism. Totally absorbing. I can't wait for the third (and final?) book.
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shharrower, January 5, 2011 (view all comments by shharrower)
Margaret Atwood continues to amaze me with this follow up to Oryx and Crake. Her story telling abilities far exceed anything I have found with other contemporary authors. Her descriptions of these second-hand connections with the story of others living in the time of Oryx and Crake made this the best book I read in 2010. I cannot imagine what a post-apocalyptic world she has in her mind and what is in store for the final book in the trilogy. Definitely read Oryx and Crake before this one though, will make it all the better for you.
Maura Hallam, January 5, 2011 (view all comments by Maura Hallam)
Margaret Atwood is one of my favorite authors, especially in books such as The Handmaid's Tale, Oryx and Crake, and this excellent follow-up to Oryx and Crake, where she creates dystopian worlds that still feel eeriely like our own. This backstory/prequel/sequel to Oryx and Crake was an engrossing page-turner for me.
Margaret Atwood's haunting companion to Oryx and Crake will leave you hungry for another book in this "speculative fiction" universe. Written in the alternating voices of young and initially naive Ren and nostalgic but wounded Toby, the novel explores themes of ecology, disaster, relationships, and religion in a world that feels eerily familiar. Unlike Oryx and Crake, this story is told solely from the perspective of women. Atwood's fascinating prose marvelously explores social issues and human nature.
by Michelle M
"Publishers Weekly Review"
by Publishers Weekly,
"Profoundly imagined.... This is a gutsy and expansive novel, rich with ideas and conceits." Publishers Weekly, starred review
by New York Times,
"A gripping and visceral book that showcases the pure storytelling talents she displayed with such verve in her 2000 novel, The Blind Assassin."
by New York Time Book Review,
"Atwood is funny and clever, such a good writer and real thinker.... As ever with Atwood, it is friendship between women that is noted and celebrated — friendship not without its jealousies but friendship that survives rivalry and disappointment, and has a generosity that at the end of the novel allows for hope.... We don't know how [human nature] will evolve, or if we will evolve at all. The Year of the Flood isn't prophecy, but it is eerily plausible."
by Washington Post,
"Canada's greatest living novelist undoubtedly knows how to tell a gripping story, as fans of The Blind Assassin and A Handmaid's Tale already know. But here there's a serious message too: Look at what we're doing right now to our world, to nature, to ourselves. If this goes on..."
by San Francisco Chronicle,
"One of the versatile Atwood's authorial calling cards, as far back as her early novel The Handmaid's Tale, has been that of ruthless investigator, never hesitating to cut to bone in describing real-as-life dystopias. In this work, however, she also appears to be having wild fun, gunning it like a daredevil race-car driver: The Year of the Flood serves as an old-fashioned alarm (moral, ecological), a zombie thriller and a series of swashbuckling pokes It modern institutions.... To Atwood's supreme credit, her story is enthralling.... Memorable characters, a tightly controlled pace and shockingly plausible scenes make it fly — to a mysterious, skin-prickling ending. If Atwood also inspires ways to prevent such a gruesomely likely future, we'll owe her far more than literary admiration."
by Chicago Sun-Times,
"Atwood unflinchingly holds aloft the sanctity of life — for all species — and the human quest for love."
by USA Today,
"The Year of the Flood is timely and gripping.... Atwood creates a totally believable futuristic world in which people, for the most part, are the beasts. Those who have retained their humanity are the outlaws. But no matter what the setting, Atwood just tells a good story, one filled with suspense and even levity."
by Philadelphia Inquirer,
"Atwood scores a 10 when it comes to creating, from the stragglers of the old one, a whole new world.... Toby, Ren, and their lost-soul friend Amanda, would be sympathetic characters in any setting. That Atwood conjures them into this madcap setting, where vultures open 'like black umbrellas,' misdeeds are punished by kidney removal, and bracelets are made of jellyfish, makes us love them even more."
by Minneapolis Star Tribune,
"The Year of the Flood consistently does what one expects of any work by Margaret Atwood: It entertains, spins out suspense and rewards a reader's basic impulse, all the while subtly and expertly maintaining its literary respectability."
by Elle Magazine,
"[The Year of the Flood] shows the Nobel Prize-worthy Atwood … at the pinnacle of her prodigious creative powers. Her weigh-in on the breakdown of the social covenant comes during a time of historic global change that her story eerily both mirrors and foretells."
by Associated Press,
"There is gallows humor, and then there is Margaret Atwood. The masterful Canadian writer is emerging as literature's queen of the apocalypse. And the dark visions Atwood again summons in The Year of the Flood prove quite illuminating."
"Atwood orchestrates her narratives into a heart-pounding, mysterious and surprisingly touching finale. She enchants us so convincingly that after her spell is over, the 'real' world seems temporarily transformed. The Year of the Flood is both a warning and a gift."
by Booklist, starred review,
"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."
by Kirkus Reviews,
"Another stimulating dystopia from this always-provocative author, whose complex, deeply involving characters inhabit a bizarre yet frighteningly believable future."
by Random House,
Set in the visionary future of Atwood’s acclaimed Oryx and Crake, The Year of the Flood is at once a moving tale of lasting friendship and a landmark work of speculative fiction. In this second book of the MaddAddam trilogy, the long-feared waterless flood has occurred, altering Earth as we know it and obliterating most human life. Among the survivors are Ren, a young trapeze dancer locked inside the high-end sex club Scales and Tails, and Toby, who is barricaded inside a luxurious spa. Amid shadowy, corrupt ruling powers and new, gene-spliced life forms, Ren and Toby will have to decide on their next move, but they can't stay locked away.
Margaret Atwood, whose work has been published in thirty-five countries, is the author of more than forty books of fiction, poetry, and critical essays. In addition to The Handmaid’s Tale, her novels include Cat’s Eye, short-listed for the Booker Prize; Alias Grace, which won the Giller Prize in Canada and the Premio Mondello in Italy; The Blind Assassin, winner of the 2000 Booker Prize; Oryx and Crake, short-listed for the 2003 Man Booker Prize; and The Year of the Flood. She is the recipient of the Los Angeles Times Innovator’s Award, and lives in Toronto with the writer Graeme Gibson.
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