Gonzalo, September 21, 2011 (view all comments by Gonzalo)
This was a tightly written "science fiction" look at a future world that is not out of the realm of possibility. It does not moralize as such, but makes comparisons about our technological and materialistic society that are an an indictment of our curent way of life.
As well, I found it a really good read, and it held me thoughout the entire book.
gooser114, September 1, 2011 (view all comments by gooser114)
The story opens with Snowman describing his current situation and environment. There has been some kind of event that has eliminated humans and a new species has emerged. Through flashbacks and memories of Snowman the story of how this has occurred is explained.
I was captivated by this story. The way the story was told through the intermingling of Snowman’s current state and through his memories created confusion and made the discoveries more impactful. I didn’t feel a particular connection to any of the characters, but it made the detachment that Snowman felt more real. If you like dystopian literature this is a great book to turn to.
Gypsi, April 2, 2011 (view all comments by Gypsi)
When Oryx and Crake first opens, the reader meets the narrator (Snowman) and is immediately aware that there has been a disaster of gigantic proportions. The information about Snowman's past and this event trickle slowly, through his reflections and memories, at first more tantalizing and mysterious than informational and explanatory. By the time Oryx and Crake is finished, everything has become crystal clear for the reader, through a delightful process of hints, deductions and knowledge told outright, and then Atwood laughs at the self-satisfied reader with yet another conundrum as it ends. If you have read The Handmaid's Tale then you are familiar with this particular delicious style of Atwood's. Oryx and Crake delivers a fully satisfying, if often unsettling, reading experience.
I can't say that I "enjoyed" all of the novel, as the pre-apocalyptic world of Oryx and Crake is one not so much an alternate reality but a possible future was unnerving to me. Kiddie porn sites and snuff films are common viewing material for even young teens. The division between classes has become such that the elite live in guarded compounds which are like small cities. Personal freedoms have been lost, or more accurately, cheerfully given up; scientific discovery, often frightening and unnatural, has become the most important advancement for society. Probably the scariest part of the book is the close resemblance to our current society, and the question that poses of just how easy would it be to find ourselves in that situation, led their by the banner of "progress".
Oryx and Crake is a thrilling, terrifying and often uncomfortable read. It is not for the faint of heart or apathetic of mind, but makes excellent material for much thought and discussion.
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ajhagg, January 28, 2011 (view all comments by ajhagg)
I'm a sucker for the post-apocalyptic, and I love the way this book imagines a future in which the most normal of men becomes something of God to the innocent offspring of the end of the world, all the while he's just trying to survive. The way Atwood describes the pre-apocalyptic world in flashback seems far too close to the truth.
CMB, January 12, 2011 (view all comments by CMB)
I've read this book a few times now and each time I love it more. What a fascinating story and one you don't want to end. Margaret Atwood is just an amazing writer.
Reading a dystopian novel that so closely matches the current political and cultural situation seems like an exercise in depression, yet part of the truly visceral response to this novel seems due to the realization that it could so easily happen in real life. Oryx and Crake are two larger-than-life characters who are connected to Snowman, the narrator of this post-apocalyptic story. The unraveling of their story and the crisis at the culmination of it are a testament to Atwood's talent. Bleak, uncomfortable, and eerie, Oryx and Crake is a cautionary tale of science and progress. Atwood's Year of the Flood is a companion book, and, when read together, they show a deeply layered picture of a frightening world.
"Review A Day"
by Richard A. Posner, The New Republic,
"The genre of doom-laden futuristic fiction has its share of classics ? such as H.G. Wells's The Time Machine, Aldous Huxley's Brave New World, and George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four ? and these works are now joined by Margaret Atwood's splendid novel." (read the entire New Republic review)
by Kirkus Reviews,
"[I]ngenious and disturbing....A landmark work of speculative fiction, comparable to A Clockwork Orange, Brave New World, and Russian revolutionary Zamyatin's We. Atwood has surpassed herself."
by New Yorker,
"Towering and intrepid....Atwood does Orwell one better."
by Washington Post,
"Set in a future some two generations hence, Oryx and Crake can hold its own against any of the 20th century's most potent dystopias — Brave New World, 1984, The Space Merchants — with regard to both dramatic impact and fertility of invention, while it leaves such lesser recent contenders as Paul Theroux and Doris Lessing in the dust."
by Baltimore Sun,
"Atwood has long since established herself as one of the best writers in English today, but Oryx and Crake may well be her best work yet.... Brilliant, provocative, sumptuous and downright terrifying."
by San Diego Union-Tribune,
"A book too marvelous to miss."
"Rigorous in its chilling insights and riveting in its fast-paced 'what if' dramatization, Atwood's superb novel is as brilliantly provocative as it is profoundly engaging."
by Publishers Weekly,
"[R]iveting, disturbing....Chesterton once wrote of the 'thousand romances that lie secreted in The Origin of Species.' Atwood has extracted one of the most hair-raising of them, and one of the most brilliant."
by Seattle Times,
"Her shuddering post-apocalyptic vision of the world . . . summons up echoes of George Orwell, Anthony Burgess and Aldous Huxley. . . . Oryx and Crake[is] in the forefront of visionary fiction."
by Daily Telegraph,
“Brilliantly constructed. . . . Jimmy and Crake grip like characters out of Greek tragedy. . . . Atwood herself is one of our finest linguistic engineers. Her carefully calibrated sentences are formulated to hook and paralyse the reader.”
by Dallas Morning News,
“Atwood does not disappoint.”
by USA Today,
“Biting, black humor and absorbing storytelling.... Atwood entices.”
Oryx and Crake is at once an unforgettable love story and a compelling vision of the future. Snowman, known as Jimmy before mankind was overwhelmed by a plague, is struggling to survive in a world where he may be the last human, and mourning the loss of his best friend, Crake, and the beautiful and elusive Oryx whom they both loved. In search of answers, Snowman embarks on a journey-with the help of the green-eyed Children of Crake-through the lush wilderness that was so recently a great city, until powerful corporations took mankind on an uncontrolled genetic engineering ride. Margaret Atwood projects us into a near future that is both all too familiar and beyond our imagining.
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