jksquires, September 17, 2013 (view all comments by jksquires)
I was eagerly awaiting the third in the trilogy, and I was not disappointed. Someone said that Margaret Atwood is the greatest living Canadian author--I'll go one step further and say she's the greatest living author. No one else could create this incredible dystopian future and even though you'd think speculative fiction about the end of civilization as we know it would be completely bleak, MaddAddam actually teems with life and humor. Oryx & Crake is probably my favorite of the three because of the tragedy of the title pair, but all of them are brilliant works of literature.
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qharwan, September 5, 2013 (view all comments by qharwan)
A satisfying end to a fantastic series. I'm not sure how much to say about this book. If you haven't read the first two set in this world, go start them! If you've read them, try to wait patiently for this final book.
It's funny, terrifying, witty, heartbreaking, and hopeful. It's a great new Margaret Atwood novel.
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The Lost Entwife, August 29, 2013 (view all comments by The Lost Entwife)
Given how different from each other Oryx and Crake and The Year of the Flood were, I wasn't sure what to expect going into MaddAddam by Margaret Atwood. I knew a few things though: 1. I would be highly entertained, 2. I would finally get some answers, and 3. I would experience fantastic writing. All three counts were expected and fulfilled easily. But I want to elaborate more on the first one.
The charm (and yes, I said charm in reference to a book about, pretty much, the end of the world that involves strange, genetically-altered pigs and man-made people who turn blue) of MaddAddam was in the storytelling. Think back to Oryx and Crake; remember Snowman's storytelling to the Crakers? Well, there is more of that sort of thing in MaddAddam but interjected with some humor as Snowman-the-Jimmy has had an unfortunate mishap that puts him out of commission for a while, as we learn in The Year of the Flood.
So, humor - in spite of the overlying message here (that being how living, breathing, intelligent beings tend to gravitate toward the worship of some sort of diety) Atwood twists the tales of Crake, Zeb and the Bear, and the invisible "Fuck" from a first-person perspective that, like you or I would be, is annoyed by some of the Crakers idiosyncrasies. I laughed out loud more than once while reading this installment of the trilogy and fell in love with the MaddAddamites.
This is the book that gives you insight into Adam One and Zeb. This is the book who answers questions about the Eves, and what happens to Snowman-the-Jimmy, and how the Crakers will continue to develop. This story deals with the consequences of creating pigs with human DNA and also what happens when someone decides to press the restart button on humanity but misses a few humans in the process. There's conflict, love, death, hope, despair, and everything else you can imagine would be in a bit melting pot of all of the leftovers from a self-involved and self-important world.
I thought MaddAddam was a fitting, beautiful ending to a brilliant trilogy and I already cannot wait for my next read-through... Yes, I've put all three books on my yearly re-read list. If you haven't experienced Margaret Atwood, I'd suggest this trilogy if you are into a bit of science-fiction or really, even if you are not - because she makes it easy to read and thought-provoking at the same time. I'll stop rambling now because you really should start reading.
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Nan A. Talese -
In the powerful finale to her too-close-for-comfort dystopian/apocalyptic trilogy (following the mind-blowingly awesome Oryx and Crake and The Year of the Flood), Atwood leaves us with an epic tale filled with survival, humor, and — ultimately — hope. If you haven't read Oryx and Crake yet, go buy it immediately. And save yourself a second trip by grabbing The Year of the Flood and MaddAddam while you're at it. You can thank me later.
by Kaitlin B.,
I was so excited to read the final installment of Atwood's dystopian trilogy. Questions such as "Who is MaddAddam?" and "What exactly is the origin of the green/religious group God's Gardeners?" are finally answered. The novel also covers the hopeful futures of the characters from the previous books, including the superhuman Crakers and the genetically modified "pigoons" — giant pigs that host human organs for transplant. More than just fun, this series was written with Atwood's usual keen discernment regarding the human race and inspired a lot of introspection on my part. I would recommend it to anyone!
by Kaitlin B.
by Rachel G.,
Margaret Atwood doesn't just imagine a potential world for us; she guides us to a world we are likely to encounter. While most of society continues to abuse the Earth and play God with gene splicing, God's Gardeners work to gain mutual respect with the Earth. And this is just the beginning. Months after reading, I still bring this vision of our inevitable future with me. An ambitious, triumphant end to my most-beloved trilogy.
by Rachel G.
"Publishers Weekly Review"
by Publishers Weekly,
"The final entry in Atwood's brilliant MaddAddam trilogy roils with spectacular and furious satire. The novel begins where Oryx and Crake and The Year of the Flood end, just after most of the human species has been eradicated by a man-made plague. The early books explore a world of terrifying corporate tyranny, horrifying brutality, and the relentless rape of women and the planet. In Oryx and Crake, the pandemic leaves wounded protagonist Jimmy to watch over the Crakers, a humanoid species bioengineered to replace humankind by the man responsible for unleashing the plague. In The Year of the Flood, MaddAddamites wield science to terrorize corporate villains while God's Gardeners use prayer and devotion to the Earth to prepare for the approaching cataclysm. Toby, a God's Gardener and key character in the second book, narrates the third installment, in which a few survivors, including MaddAddamites, God's Gardeners, Jimmy, and the Crakers, navigate a postapocalyptic world. Toby is reunited with Zeb, her MaddAddamite romantic interest in Year of the Flood, and the two become leaders and defenders of their new community. The survivors are a traumatized, cynical group with harshly tested self-preservation skills, but they have the capacity for love and self-sacrifice, which in a simpler story would signal hope for the future of humankind. However, Atwood dramatizes the importance of all life so convincingly that readers will hesitate to assume that the perpetuation of a species as destructive as man is the novel's central concern. With childlike stubbornness, even the peaceful Crakers demand mythology and insist on deifying people whose motives they can't understand. Other species genetically engineered for exploitation by now-extinct corporations roam the new frontier; some are hostile to man, including the pigoons — a powerful and uniquely perceptive source of bacon and menace. Threatening humans, Crakers, and pigoons are Painballers — former prisoners dehumanized in grotesque life-or-death battles. The Crakers cannot fight, the bloodthirsty Painballers will not yield, and the humans are outnumbered by the pigoons. Happily, Atwood has more surprises in store. Her vision is as affirming as it is cautionary, and the conclusion of this remarkable trilogy leaves us not with a sense of despair at mankind's failings but with a sense of awe at humanity's barely explored potential to evolve. Agent: Phoebe Larmore, Larmore Literary Agency. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Ten years after Oryx & Crake rocked readers the world over, Atwood brings her cunning, impish, and bracing speculative trilogy — following The Year of the Flood — to a gritty, stirring, and resonant conclusion....Atwood is ascendant, from her resilient characters to the feverishly suspenseful plot involving battles, spying, cyberhacking, murder, and sexual tension....The coruscating finale in an ingenious, cautionary trilogy of hubris, fortitude, wisdom, love, and life’s grand obstinacy."
by The New York Times Book Review,
"Atwood has brought the previous two books together in a fitting and joyous conclusion that's an epic not only of an imagined future but of our own past, an exposition of how oral storytelling traditions led to written ones and ultimately to our sense of origin....Atwood's prose miraculously balances humor, outrage and beauty. A simple description becomes both chilling and sublime....In so much genre fiction, language is sacrificed to plot and invention. It's a pleasure to read a futuristic novel whose celebration of beauty extends to the words themselves."
"Thoughtful, sardonic, and full of touches that almost resemble a fairy tale, MaddAddam will stick with you long after you've put it down. It's an apocalypse story about new life, and a condemnation of humanity that ends, however uneasily, with a celebration of it."
by Miami Herald,
"MaddAddam is sharp, witty and strong enough to stand alone....Peppered with witty neologisms, Atwood's character-driven novel is terrific precisely because of close attention to detail, to voice, to what's in the hearts of these people: love, loss, the need to keep on keeping on, no matter what....[T]his novel sings."
by The Wall Street Journal,
"[S]ardonically funny....[Atwood] certainly has the tone exactly right, both for the linguistic hypocrisy that can disguise any kind of catastrophe, and for the contemptuous dismissal of those who point to disaster....MaddAddam is at once a pre- and a post-apocalypse story."
by Minneapolis Star Tribune,
"[T]here is something funny, even endearing, about such a dark and desperate view of a future — a ravaged world emerging from alarmingly familiar trends — that is so jam-packed with the gifts of imagination, invention, intelligence and joy. There may be some hope for us yet."
by The Vancouver Sun,
"Margaret Atwood continues to flourish as she approaches her fifth decade of publication....A thrilling and enchanting — funny, sad, clever, audacious — tale of grumpy, deflated, and perilous post-apocalyptic times, year 0.6."
by Los Angeles Times,
"[T]he imaginative universe Atwood has created in these books is huge....It's a dystopia, but it's still fun....Atwood doesn't just ask what if, she raises an eyebrow and says, See where we're going? Yet she's not a pessimist: She's invented a future large enough to include, after the end of the world, people falling in love."
by Boston Globe,
"This unsentimental narrative exposes the heart of human creativity as well as our self-destructive darkness....MaddAddam is fueled with edgy humor, sardonic twists, hilarious coincidences."
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