Day 516: Oryx and Crake

Cover for Oryx and CrakeBest Book of the Week!
Snowman may be the last human left on earth after the plague. He is not alone, though, because nearby is a race of human-like beings that his friend Crake bioengineered. Snowman himself lives like a vagrant—wearing nothing but a sheet in the unbearable heat from global warming, scrounging through the detritus of a lost civilization for food.

Snowman soon realizes that he will starve if he doesn’t return to the compounds for food. Not long before, he lived in a world where the privileged workers for the biochemical industry and their families lived apart in their own secure compounds. The other people, called pleeblanders, could fend for themselves. Gene splicing to create new species was rampant without regard for any consequences, and greed and consumerism all-important.

As Snowman makes his journey, he recalls his childhood with an embittered mother and oblivious father and his long friendship with Crake. Most fondly he remembers Oryx, the love of his life. Through these memories we learn how the world got into this dire situation.

This novel is both inventive and absorbing. Although Atwood’s descriptions of the pre-plague world with its abominations of nature seem comic at times, they are still horribly believable. This is dark humor with a knife edge about a world that has lost its sanity.

Oryx and Crake is the first of a trilogy, and I am looking forward to reading the other two volumes.

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9 thoughts on “Day 516: Oryx and Crake

  1. Alina (literaryvittles) May 8, 2014 / 3:14 pm

    I’ve read “The Handmaid’s Tale” by Atwood. Harrowing, and dangerously close to actually taking place. Have you read more books by Atwood? If so, would you recommend this one over the others you’ve read?

    • whatmeread May 8, 2014 / 3:22 pm

      Of course The Handmaid’s Tale is good. The Blind Assassin was also pretty good, as I remember. It got very good reviews and I think some awards. I don’t think I’ve read any other Atwood novels for quite some time.

  2. Naomi May 8, 2014 / 4:34 pm

    I loved this series! Your review and synopsis of the story are right on. I always like being reminded of these books when reading what others have to say about them.

    • whatmeread May 9, 2014 / 7:26 am

      I can’t wait to read the next one! I need to go home and see how far down it is in my pile!

  3. Candiss May 9, 2014 / 2:43 pm

    I absolutely loved this book. I stalled somewhere in the middle of book #2 in the trilogy – not because it isn’t good (It definitely is!) but because it wasn’t the right read for me at the time I tried to read it. I will definitely try again.

    I’ve read a few other Atwood books and enjoyed them all, but Oryx and Crake is probably my favorite of her works so far.

    I’m glad you enjoyed it, too!

    • whatmeread May 9, 2014 / 2:45 pm

      Have you read The Handmaid’s Tale? A classic. It’s quite old now, oldy but goody.

      • Candiss May 9, 2014 / 2:48 pm

        Yes! I read it a couple of years after it came out, when I was around 17, and it simply horrified me. I have never forgotten it. I agree with you: it’s a classic!

  4. Cecilia May 9, 2014 / 5:44 pm

    Glad to hear you enjoyed it. I don’t love dystopian fiction but at the same time I don’t have that much experience with it. I have heard such good things about this trilogy so maybe I should give it a try one of these days. Right now top on my Atwood TR list is Cat’s Eye. She is such a versatile writer!

    • whatmeread May 10, 2014 / 9:48 am

      I read Cat’s Eye a long time ago, but I don’t remember it.

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