Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood

>Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood book cover

I really have a soft spot for dystopian / post-apocalyptic books. Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale was a great one. This one, not so much.

Essentially, Snowman and some new human-like species called the Crakers are the only ones to survive some massive earth-wide thing that kills off all the other humans. The book shows through flashbacks of Snowman’s life what happened leading up to that, and what exactly the Crakers are.

The main thing I like about this book is it’s general message; stop playing God. Stop “creating” animals by mixing up their genes, stop producing fake food, stop trying to surgically or chemically alter yourself, etc. We all know it’s going to lead to bad shit someday, but we just keep getting more scientifically “advanced” everyday. Makes me hate technology sometimes.

Overall though, I’d have to say that this book wasn’t particularly well done. It was hard to care about any of the characters, because the story moved along slowly and because Snowman (AKA Jimmy) was kind of a bland narrator. Crake would have made a much more fascinating narrator, and the story would have moved at a quicker pace. Plus, I really want to know Crake’s logic behind what he did. The only parts of the book that held my interest were when the weird scientific experiments / ideals of this not-too-distant future were being described. Partly because learning about a new post-apocalyptic society that an author has created is always interesting, and partly because there was a lot that needed to be explained to keep the story going. Honestly, I was really tempted about half-way through this book to just put it down and walk away. Figuring out what exactly had happened was the only thing that kept me going. Well, that and I hate to quit a book once I’ve already read so much of it.

Anyways, 2.5 stars. I may check out the sequel, Year of the Flood, because maybe it’ll be a little more fast-moving and will answer some of the questions I still have.



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