Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood

Oryx and Crake (MaddAddam Trilogy, #1)Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I have many mixed feelings about this book. On the one hand, it’s a unique portrayal of a dystopian future that has come about in an unusual way. On the other hand, I really didn’t like it. Snowman, around whom the story revolves, is a sexist, useless blob of paste and has only marginally improved by the end of the book. (Spoiler: Oryx and Crake is the first book in a trilogy. So there is time for Snowman to grow more as a person. But you aren’t going to get closure out of this one.) The story alternates between Snowman remembering his childhood and struggling to survive in a post-apocalyptic wasteland with a strange tribe known as the Crakers. Atwood leaves us wondering until the end of the book how his privileged – if lonesome and shallow – upbringing stumbled into a world where he is quite possibly the last human. Even before it falls apart, things are not in good shape. Society is as structurally sound and cohesive as a paper doily. A moldy one. Health care is hugely exploitative. The internet has four uses: email, online games, porn sites, and websites broadcasting live executions. Snowman’s preferred uses are the latter two. He does not restrict his porn consumption to single species offerings and vids with individuals pulled from his age group. And I don’t mean he’s into geriatric acrobatics. So consider yourselves warned. Pedophilia winds up featuring very heavily in the storyline of one of the characters, so it crops up over and over. And over. Really Snowman has zero redeeming qualities. Also Atwood spells all the business names wrong. “Helthwyzer” “Rejoov” and “Nooskin” are only some of the delightful tidbits you can stuff into your eyeballs. Apparently that is one of my biggest pet peeves. And the entire book is full of it. I tried, you guys. But I just don’t appreciate Atwood’s work.

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One thought on “Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood

  1. Cheryl Ernst

    Lol! Mixed feelings? From your review I was surprised that you gave it two stars, though the writing itself might merit that.
    Anyhow, love your writing: “a sexist, useless blob of paste”. Perfect.


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