Friday, April 29, 2011

"He doesn't know which is worse, a past he can't regain or a present that will destroy him if he looks at it too clearly."

Oryx and Crake – Margaret Atwood

374 pages

Genre:  Dystopia

Summary:  In Oryx and Crake, Atwood imagines a post-Apocalyptic wasteland where few humans survived the catastrophic events the book is based around, and genetically altered animals roam freely. The story unfolds through the eyes of Snowman, a survivor, and is a blending of events from both his past and the present.

Review:  When I grow up, I want to be Margaret Atwood.  Atwood’s imaginative plots and the way in which she weaves her poetic language into a beautiful tapestry of images always leaves me in awe, and I find myself pulled seamlessly from my own world into hers. 

While Oryx and Crake wasn’t my favorite of Atwood’s novels, I thought it was still extremely well done.  The world Atwood has created is absolutely terrifying, but what’s even more frightening are the parallels that can be drawn to the world that we live in, especially as it relates to the spread of disease and the role of biogenetic engineering within society.  In the same vein, this book also raises a number of philosophical and moral questions for the reader to mull over, and the answer isn’t always cut and dry.

The characters were quite vibrant, and I especially liked learning about the mysterious Crake.  His motives were not always spelled out, and it was interesting to try and figure out what was driving his actions.  Snowman was also a well-drawn character, and I liked that the story was told from his point of view because he really didn’t seem to know what was happening.  I do wish I could’ve gotten to know Oryx as an adult a bit more, but I was still able to sympathize with her character.

Just a quick warning:  This book discusses child pornography, and the instances in which it is brought up can be quite difficult to read through, so be aware that the subject matter is present.

Ultimately, if you’re looking for a unique dystopia, definitely give Oryx and Crake a try.

Rating: 4/5

Other Books in this Series:  The Year of the Flood (Book 2)

Read Alikes:  The Road - Cormac McCarthy, 1984 – George Orwell, The Adoration of Jenna Fox – Mary E. Pearson, The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood