Oryx and Crake (Margaret Atwood)

28 June 2006

Oryx and Crake

Average Rating:

Graham MacDonald (11 July 2006 18:56)

I couldn't give Idlewild 5 stars and not do the same for this even more interesting and accomplished book. In response to Marc, I found the ending, although initially slightly anti-climactic, to be just what this book required. The point of the book is in Snowman's telling of the story so actually what happens after that is totally irrelevant without some kind of a sequal or at least another couple of hundred pages. This was not the story Margaret Atwood was telling so she leaves us to make up our own minds. I appreciate though that some people need a conclusion and this book certainly lacks that, but I've never been one of those people so 5 stars it gets. All I can say about this book on top of that is read it... then read it again! Absolutely superb!

P.S. This is one of the most depressing and terrifying books you will ever read.

Marc Reynolds (7 July 2006 16:07)

This would have got 5 stars from me up until the very end. I'm not sure Margaret Atwood knows how to finish a book well (A problem she shares with Neil Stephenson). An interesting plot that is let down by an ubrupt finish, without any real conclusions. It did spark a lot of discussion about the intent of the story - which I suppose is the intent itself.

Avril Stringer (3 July 2006 18:08)

Read this book and enter a world gone genetics mad. The future is full of hybrids - plant and animal. It is easy to see how today's technology could be used in this way and have disastarous consequennces. There is a warning in this book.

Not only is genetics discussed in this book but so is the way of the world and society in general. There is a 2-teir system which is not fully explained - you either live in a 'gated', high security community and get an education. Or you live in the cities where it appears to be full of drugs and violence. I think this is a bit too stereotypical a way of living and not something that could work in reality, only in science fiction. But this was a small part of the story, as was the concept that the Third World has still not caught up, even with all of this technology.

Margaret Atwood's style is to start towards the end of a story and jump backwards and forwards to tell the story - this leaves you guessing as to what is going on and she does it very well. This style of writing means you do have to persevere a little until the pieces start to fit together. There was a tedious bit in the middle which could have been shortened, when he was reliving games with his childhood friends. This does have some bearing on the outcome of the story.

Overall, I enjoyed this book - it was an interesting vision of our future and it will be interesting to see how much progress will be made in the next 20 years.