What I Read: Oryx and Crake

Guess what, blog?! I read a book that isn’t a YA book. Go me!

Some quick and unnecessary facts about my reading experience for this book: 1) Got it for about $3 at the Brooklyn Flea. 2) It smells like aged old lady perfume. 3) It took me a while to read because of the smell.

Title: Oryx and Crake

Author: Margaret Atwood

Lady Margaret, this is the third of your books that I’ve read since Christmas, and therefore the third that I’m putting on this blog, here. My dear friend, Alison, thought I might not like it because it’s super science-fiction-y and that’s not really my thing; while I’ll admit that it is not my favorite of yours, it was still pretty darn good.

Oryx and Crake is another dystopian novel, like The Handmaid’s Tale, but it’s a result of today’s world (or closer to, anyway), and not a result of the world of the 1980’s. There are CDs and DVDs in this one! Anyway, the book is told through Snowman / Jimmy’s POV. He is, presumably, the last of our kind of human on Earth. He is revered by the new kind of human–the Crakers–that exist with him, and through his interactions with them and his flashbacks to his time as Jimmy we learn just how the world fell apart.

As with The Handmaid’s Tale, Atwood does a remarkable job explaining a new world to us in a way that is suspenseful without being obnoxious. Unfortunately, the last 100 pages or so are kind of dull because there isn’t much of anything left to reveal and there isn’t much of a plot running through this one. The characters aren’t particularly compelling, so those last pages were a bit difficult. Further, the ending wasn’t exactly satisfying.

But anyway, still a really good read. It’s an interesting take on what could happen if corporations and science run amok together and it’s definitely worth a read. 3.5/5 stars, although I rounded up to 4 for Goodreads. (That’s mostly due to me liking your other books, Margaret.)

For fun, my favorite quote: “So many crucial events take place behind people’s backs, when they aren’t in a position to watch: birth and death, for instance. And the temporary oblivion of sex” (10-11).


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