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Showing 1-10 of 520 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 677 reviews
on March 16, 2017
Margaret Atwood is one of my favorite authors. (If you haven't read The Handmaid's Tale, you really need to order it now). Her stories about possible future worlds are riveting and always contain enough plausibility for me to completely suspend my skepticism. Even though these future scenarios are often difficult and dire, her characters adapt and navigate them with pragmatic cleverness - and even humor. I recently finished this last book of the trilogy and find myself still thinking about the characters. I don't want to let them go.
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on July 31, 2017
Great book and epic ending to a wonderful trilogy. I read the first two books- Oryx and Crake and Year of the Flood- for school, but I loved them enough that I wanted the third to finish off the trilogy. It was a really fast read which was amazing and fit right in with the rest of the trilogy. I would highly recommend this book, along with the others. Overall, it is a great, thought-provoking book.
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on October 11, 2013
I have only recently become a Margaret Atwood fan. I love science fiction, alternate reality and books of that genre. My first experience with this author was "The Handmaids Tale", and I must admit I was instantly hooked on the narrative style of writing. A few of the phrases in this book were a bit overused, but all in all... I loved the story. The book leaves a satisfying end to the trilogy, But I feel that there is also room to expand upon the story should she so desire in the future. I would not mind a few more books set in this universe, but if MaddAddam is the end, I can certainly feel as though the story has been completed.

If you are reading this review as a consideration to purchase the book... do yourself a favor and make sure to read the first two prior to embarking on this one. There is just so much backstory in those books which makes this one all the more satisfying.
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on April 6, 2015
Read the first two, and I thought they were both pretty good... this last book is a dog though. It reads like the author is trying to unscramble an egg. Which is to say, it's problematic. Plot holes accumulate, and the lack of direction gives you plenty of time to consider both the problems with the story, and the problems with the writing.

------------------ SPOILERS AHEAD -------------

OK, I will try not to reveal too much, but the layers of improbability that bring person after person together, and connect them all to Snowman the Jimmy at first make the world fee very small and lacking depth... but then as the book concludes and character after character is removed you think. Well, maybe the writer just doesn't want to worry about writing about these people anymore. It has a perfunctory feel, and missed opportunities abound. I mean 3 of Jimmy's exes survive the apocalypse and get reunited with him... so maybe something interesting would happen? Nope.

Timelines are soft. Zeb / Toby age at seemingly different rates than other characters. OR something like that. Whatever it is, the time between key moments appears to shift with various narratives.

One little nit to pick... Toby's rifle. At some point i was so bored by the rambling pillow narrative of Zeb that I started thinking about toby and her rifle, and her time riding out the killer flu... and how the author so carefully describes many such details for key characters... but nope. just a thing, don't worry about it. I'm sure the rifle was at the spa.
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on July 18, 2017
The MaddAddam Trilogy was one of my most favorite reads. I loved all three books. I was lucky enough to have them all three to read together. If I had only one I would have been sad to not finish the story. I loved them and I love Margaret Atwood. I would highly recommend the books even to those readers who are not into fantasy. What she writes could very well happen in our future times.
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on October 12, 2014
Many of the comments I want to make on this book have already been covered by zashibis's very thorough review; however, I have some things to add. I loved the first two books of the trilogy - YOTF more than Oryx & Crake - but this book felt disappointing. I agree with zashibis that it felt like a first draft.

* Spoilers Below *

My main issue with this novel was its lack of a meaningful adversary. Yes, the painballers are horrible, evil people. However, there are two of them, and an entire community of armed Maddaddamites and Gardeners, as well as telepathic Crakers and giant pigoon boars and sows on the other side. The final battle feels like the final battle of Avatar... if all of the animals and Navi were only battling two people. The first novel really positioned Crake as a kind of adversary. He was much more interesting, more complex, and engaging as the person who orchestrated the world's demise - not to mention that for much of the novel the reader isn't really sure who has orchestrated the demise (or if it's a natural disaster). In the second novel, Blanco is a terrifying villain, but the larger adversary is the Corps and everything it represents.

In this novel, even the pigoons I assumed would attack the cobb house end up on the same side. So every chapter or so we're reminded that the two Painballers with limited weaponry are still at large and need to be killed. When HBO makes this trilogy into a series, I really hope they expand the number of Painballers or perhaps keep Blanco until the end - it seems so random for him to die so early in the narrative when he keeps coming back into it in YOTF.

Beyond that issue, I agree with the way women in the novel are portrayed. Amanda is reduced to nothing. Understandable - after everything that she's been through - but we get no insight into her subjectivity; as far as the reader is concerned, becoming a mother and seeing the Painballers die "cures" her of her PTSD. Ren is a nonentity. Toby remains a strong character, but her possessiveness of Zeb seems completely unnecessary, as does Swift Fox's annoying flirtatiousness with Zeb that mysteriously disappears after a while. Both of these traits make these female characters seem like 2-dimensional stereotypes. Atwood usually has such complexity in her female characters.

I also felt Zeb's backstory dragged. Part of what I found so fascinating in Oryx and Crake was that this seemingly boring, average joe character could have such an engaging narrative. Yet here we have an interesting character with an uninteresting narrative. Why do we need such a long, tiresome account of his Bearlift episode? It didn't seem to have much importance in the story, unless he wanted to boast about his survival skills.

I had other issues with the novel, but I wanted to mention some of the things that did work. The Crakers seemed silly to me in the first novel, and while they retain some of that silliness in Maddaddam, the relationship between Toby and Blackbeard adds some interesting development to the story and recalls Toby's sadness about not being able to have children in YOTF. Their relationship felt appropriate for the larger trilogy narrative. I also have found the religious commentary in this novel and YOTF - while slightly silly - fascinating. It's an interesting commentary on religion - how on the one hand it can seem so silly and implausible, but on the other hand can provide a moral compass or have groundings in reality (speaking from the perspective of an agnostic here). The act of recording historical events without fully understanding them shows how a religious text can contain truth while distorting it at the same time, and hence is subject to constant interpretation.

I am disappointed that the third book was so weak in comparison to the other two, but I'm still glad I read it. I hope Aronofsky can address some of the plot point issues when adapting the novel for television.
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on September 3, 2013
MaddAddam by Margaret Atwood is the third and final part of Atwood's dystopian speculative fiction series that began with Oryx and Crake and The Year of the Flood. While Oryx and Crake and The Year of the Flood took place during the same time period, MaddAddam continues the story on from the point the first two novels left off. MaddAddam is being released on September 3rd.

Having read the first two novels, I would encourage everyone to read them first before proceeding on to MaddAddam, however several reviewers feel MaddAddam can stand on its own merit. (Okay, let's be honest, anything Margaret Atwood writes can stand on its own merit.) There is a review of what happened in the first two novels at the beginning of MaddAddam that neatly summarizes the narrative in Oryx and Crake and The Year of the Flood, leading up to the current action.

The story of Jimmy, the Crakes, Toby, Zeb, Ren, and Amanda are all continued. This future depicts a society that has been wiped-out by a plague created by Crake. In the backstory we know that before the waterless flood, corporations ruled. Gene splicing and genetic alterations were common. Now human beings as we know them are almost all wiped out and the genetically altered wildlife and plant life flourish. I'm unsure about how much of the story to tell because I don't want to spoil anything for anyone who is planning to read all three books. If you look at today's headlines, though, Atwood's speculated outcome doesn't seem far-fetched at all.

Can I just say "Wow!"and "Bravo!" In MaddAddam Atwood did an astounding job continuing her story telling, mythology-making, and world building until they reached a credible conclusion. Yes, the big themes are heavy, cautionary, and serious and there are many profound statements and observations:
"But hatred and viciousness are addictive. You can get high on them. Once you've had a little, you start shaking if you don't get more." (Location 323-324)
"Perfection exacts a price, but it's the imperfect who pay it."( Location 719)

But there are also many humorous, lighthearted moments. Take these two exchanges between Toby and the Crakes:

"I am doing this thing with my hands on my forehead because I have a headache. A headache is when there is a pain in your head.
Thank you. I am sure purring would help. But it would also help if you would stop asking so many questions.
Yes, I think Amanda must have a headache too." (Location 1486-1489)

"Stupid means things Crake didn't like. There were a lot of things Crake thought were stupid.
Yes, good, kind Crake. I will stop telling this story if you sing.
Because it makes me forget what I am telling.
Thank you.
So then Adam's father..." (Location 1815-1819)

Very Highly Recommended - one of the best.

Disclosure: My Kindle edition was courtesy of Random House via Edelweiss for review purposes. However, it should also be noted that while I'm thrilled to have received a review copy, I per-ordered my own personal copy of MaddAddam.
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on August 7, 2017
I would recommend this series to anyone who enjoys post apocalyptic themes.
The reason for four stars instead of five: it was a but difficult to transition between books; the voices changed frequently. At the same time, this made for very interesting character development.
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on September 17, 2016
Of the three books in the trilogy, Oryx and Crake was my clear favorite. Perhaps because it keeps you guessing, trying to figure out how this state of affairs had come to be. The year of the flood and MaddAddam lose a bit of the magic for me - dealing as they do, with a new reality. At the end of the trilogy, many questions remain, leaving me with a vague sense of dissatisfaction. Overall well worth the read but not quite what I'd hoped from the first book.
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on May 14, 2014
Reluctantly, I must concur with the less favorable ratings of this final volume in a brilliant trilogy. Others have said all that needs to be said: Atwood seems to have lost interest. What we have is a B-grade adventure story, coupled with flashback stories of the pre-disaster. In the first volume, Oryx and Crake, we have a devastating account of the fall, which is really a sharply satirical look at the society we have now. The Year of the Flood offers some view of the survivors and especially the eco God's Gardeners. But what happens then? What ruin do they finally come to, or how can they rebuild? These are extremely hard questions, as anyone trying to think ahead in a period of runaway global warming (and Atwood's apt villain, genetic engineering gone mad) well knows. The relative weakness of this book reflects the difficulty of that task. My disappointment is that Atwood only partially even tackled it, preferring instead a minimal story and flashbacks. If you do read it, though, go to the end, as the very last pages are better.
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