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on September 4, 2017
By now we have written 1000s of dystopias, projected the folly of our ways forward so many times it's like we are testing morbid futures like a swimmer putting a toe in the cold water before an inevitable plunge. In this novel Atwood projects the effects of gene craft. A thing so easily done it happens in high school projects by sweaty hormonal boys unimpressed by the world of their parents. One boy is so unspecial that he is every-boy, he's us the reader, confused by change and unable to find a home for his desires that constantly weaken him. Atwood presents crude solutions to mans vices, a sort of teenage final solution.through it all the story unravels like a mystery as each piece finally slots into place.
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on March 14, 2017
Beautifully written. Oryx and Crate is a spellbinding tale of a dystopian future but with all too. many recognizable elements to be dismissed. Eerie, mesmerizing, a story of longing, friends, love, as well as one of isolation and superior.
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on February 19, 2016
I love science fiction and a friend recommended this book to me. I'd always heard of the title and had seen it at book stores but I decided to give it a read. Unfortunately I ordered a used copy and a couple of the pages were ripped and believe it or not there was a huge hole in two of the pages where someone had burned them so I missed out on some of the plot. Anyway, the story was great. I really enjoyed imagining the world Atwood created and it's an interesting scenario to try to wrap your head around. I thought the book was very well written and it was hard to put down sometimes because it was so suspenseful. I did not like the abrupt ending though. I'm not sure if there was supposed to be a sequel or what so that was disappointing but I am glad I gave it a chance.
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on September 17, 2017
The first, and scariest, of the brilliant dystopian Maddaddam trilogy. I just bought this for my Kindle to reread. I'll follow Atwood anywhere, into any genre. This is one of her best novels. And she's still writing!
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on May 13, 2017
So smart, so well thought out and multi-leveled. From the very start Atwood lays out a rich, detailed recounting of how the end came about, who and why, and what remains. Was love really to blame, the desire for, or lack thereof? Jimmy, the protagonist, is, on the surface, jaded, deadened, over saturated by violent videos and porn, a lover with no soul, is ultimately crippled and compelled by love. Book Two, here I come....
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on March 29, 2015
A wonderful book of a future gone wrong, with an imagination run wild yet coherent . A future not too far from today, and not impossible to imagine so that the fear that this could actually take place is very real and gripping. The odd realities and odder creatures are strange but bizarrely not farfetched. It makes one wonder what laboratories are cooking up, what science can do if in the wrong hands, and how we would all react. We can feel ourselves as an additional "snowman" confused, losing it, but with no choice but to live on. The novel is a warning, and also a deep investigation into human psychology, into civilisation, into purity (the crakers....) and the lack of it (us).
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on July 18, 2017
Very interesting, well developed, but actually very slow beginning with no understanding where the story was going. However, the last part of the story was intriguing,I couldn't put the book down until the end.
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on January 25, 2015
I love this book. Oryx and Crake is the first in the Madd Addam trilogy. Set in a future that at first seems inexplicable (how could people set back and let the system errode to this?) This is a really unique world view that becomes believable on many levels as the world as seen through the eyes of one character may only represent that character's worldview. Atwood tosses a lot of humor in, but not in a silly, off-hand way. This book is not humorous in it's final message but has some serious social and environmental statements to make. In a world where gene-splicing is the new hot contest around the globe, how does one protect it's people or perhaps more importantly, it's secrets? A really fun read, it's not preachy, just leaves you thinking.
Atwood has an easy-to-read style that moves you right along, builds strong characters and keeps you guessing with humor, but also with some profound innuendo. If you like SF/ f or environmental fiction, you've got to read the whole Madd Addam trilogy.
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on August 13, 2015
I read "The Year of the Flood" a good while back and always meant to get to this. Finally I did. This is not as poetic as YotF but scarier.

Many years ago I read an SF about some astronauts who took a fast trip and were heading home after many relative years. They were discussing what changes would have occured - trchnological changes mostly.
"These little things", a hitherto silent crewmqn said. He then began to talk about what changes they might expect from genetics.
Anybody recognize that book?

In any case it was nowhere near as profound as this one.

"Being old's not so bad. My daughter keeps me fed and I don't have to work anymore". And hopefully I won't live to see what Monsato and their ikk are cooking up for their profit driven, ethicless future. Not Crakers, I'm sure.
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VINE VOICEon August 26, 2013
I would never call Margaret Atwood a fun author or an easy reader; hers are not mass entertainment but literature with a message, always with a message. You have to be able to go with the message, to think about the issues, and to spend a lot of time reflection on what you've read before continuing to the next chapter or section. This is very much the case in book one of her MaddAdam trilogy, "Oryx and Crake."

The novel is told through the thoughts both current and memories of one man calling himself Snowman who has taken upon himself to shepherd a newly created hominid species he has named Crakers after his best friend the scientist who may have ushered in a human apocalypse. I've chosen this term "human apocalypse" very careful because as Snowman reveals his world and his history to us we learn that what has happened is a backlash of nature, it isn't the wrath of god, it is the work of humans whose greed has clashed with morals and ethics and fears in a plague and the resulting breakdown of human civilization. Snowman's memories are a jumble making them confusing and frustrating to work through as a reader but the collective disgust at what has happened and our main characters torn emotional state become more engaging if you keep reading. Atwood has done a good job of describing the state of mind of a borderline madman and survivor but this will be off-putting for many potential readers.

The science and attitude toward consumerism and culture have drawn the greatest criticisms from many reviewers but I think we have to place the book in the context of the years in which it was created and when it came out. For many people the fear of an overwhelming anti-science, anti-environment, and mega-corporate control seemed very real and very much on their way at the beginning of the 21st century; some might say recent "changes" and developments have only slowed that destruction of humanity and democracy down by only a few years while others will say we've changed and avoided a few horrors. Regardless this novel is built upon the fear that the worse will come and most of us will merrily follow long until it is too late.

The other two books in the series may give us a different view or perhap re-enforce this terror come reality. I look forward to reading them.
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