The Year Of The Flood

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The Year Of The Flood

by Margaret Atwood

Knopf Canada | July 27, 2010 | Trade Paperback

4.25 out of 5 rating. 16 Reviews
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From the Booker Prize-winning author of Oryx and Crake, the first book in the MaddAddam Trilogy, and The Handmaid's Tale. Internationally acclaimed as ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR by, amongst others, the Globe and Mail, the New York Times, the New Yorker, and the Village Voice

In a world driven by shadowy, corrupt corporations and the uncontrolled development of new, gene-spliced life forms, a man-made pandemic occurs, obliterating human life. Two people find they have unexpectedly survived: Ren, a young dancer locked inside the high-end sex club Scales and Tails (the cleanest dirty girls in town), and Toby, solitary and determined, who has barricaded herself inside a luxurious spa, watching and waiting. The women have to decide on their next move - they can't stay hidden forever.  But is anyone else out there?

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 448 pages, 3.15 × 2.05 × 0.37 in

Published: July 27, 2010

Publisher: Knopf Canada

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 030739798X

ISBN - 13: 9780307397980

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– More About This Product –

The Year Of The Flood

by Margaret Atwood

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 448 pages, 3.15 × 2.05 × 0.37 in

Published: July 27, 2010

Publisher: Knopf Canada

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 030739798X

ISBN - 13: 9780307397980

Read from the Book

T H E G A R D E N Who is it tends the Garden, The Garden oh so green? ’Twas once the finest Garden That ever has been seen. And in it God’s dear Creatures Did swim and fly and play; But then came greedy Spoilers, And killed them all away. And all the Trees that flourished And gave us wholesome fruit, By waves of sand are buried, Both leaf and branch and root. And all the shining Water Is turned to slime and mire, And all the feathered Birds so bright Have ceased their joyful choir. Oh Garden, oh my Garden, I’ll mourn forevermore Until the Gardeners arise, And you to Life restore. From The God’s Gardeners Oral Hymnbook 1 TOBY YEAR TWENTY- FIVE, THE YEAR OF THE FLOOD In the early morning Toby climbs up to the rooftop to watch the sunrise. She uses a mop handle for balance: the elevator stopped working some time ago and the back stairs are slick with damp, so if she slips and topples there won’t be anyone to pick her up. As the first heat hits, mist rises from among the swath of trees between her and the derelict city. The air smells faintly of burning, a smell of caramel and tar and rancid barbecues, and the ashy but greasy smell of a garbage-dump fire after it’s been raining. The abandoned towers in the distance are like the coral of an ancient reef — bleached and colourless, devoid of life. There still is life, however. Birds chirp; sparrows, they must be. Their small voices are clear and sharp, nails on glass: there’s no longer
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From the Publisher

From the Booker Prize-winning author of Oryx and Crake, the first book in the MaddAddam Trilogy, and The Handmaid's Tale. Internationally acclaimed as ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR by, amongst others, the Globe and Mail, the New York Times, the New Yorker, and the Village Voice

In a world driven by shadowy, corrupt corporations and the uncontrolled development of new, gene-spliced life forms, a man-made pandemic occurs, obliterating human life. Two people find they have unexpectedly survived: Ren, a young dancer locked inside the high-end sex club Scales and Tails (the cleanest dirty girls in town), and Toby, solitary and determined, who has barricaded herself inside a luxurious spa, watching and waiting. The women have to decide on their next move - they can't stay hidden forever.  But is anyone else out there?

About the Author

Margaret Atwood, whose work has been published in over thirty-five countries, is the author of more than forty books of fiction, poetry, and critical essays. In addition to The Handmaid's Tale, her novels include Cat's Eye, shortlisted for the Booker Prize; Alias Grace, which won the Giller Prize and the Premio Mondello in Italy; The Blind Assassin, winner of the Booker Prize; and Oryx and Crake, shortlisted for the Booker Prize. She lives in Toronto with writer Graeme Gibson.

Editorial Reviews

"A gripping and visceral book that showcases Atwood's pure storytelling talents."
- The New York Times

"A heart-pounding thriller."
- The Washington Post

"Atwood is funny and clever. [She] knows how to show us ourselves, but the mirror she holds up to life does more than reflect. . . . The Year of the Flood isn't prophecy, but it is eerily possible."
- The New York Times Book Review

 "A gripping read, revealing Atwood in her most masterful storytelling mode. . . . The book is a cracked mirror of the times we live in."
- The Gazette

Bookclub Guide

1. How does the friendship between Amanda and Ren grow, despite their differences and the restrictions they face? They meet as children. Who was your greatest ally when you were that age? What do you think of Ren''s treatment of Bernice?

2. What survival skills do the novel''s female characters possess? Do they find security or vulnerability at Scales and Tales, the AnooYoo Spa, and within the community of Gardeners? What strength does Pilar find in nature, while Lucerne is drawn to artificial beauty?

3. How do Adam One''s motivations compare to Zeb''s? In their world, what advantages do men have? Are they really "advantages"?

4. Discuss Toby''s parents and their fate. What does their story illustrate about the dangers of an unregulated and corrupt drug industry? What motivates Toby to become a healer?

5. How does Adam One''s explanation of creation and the fall of humanity compare to more standard Judeo-Christian ideas? What does he offer his followers, beyond an understanding of the planet and the creatures that inhabit it?

6. Discuss the father figures in Ren''s life: her stepfather, Zeb; her biological father, Frank; and eventually Mordis. What did they teach her about being a woman? How did they shape her expectations of Jimmy?

7. As a refugee from Texas, Amanda is an outsider, facing constant risk. Would you have harbored her? Why is Ren so impressed by her?

8. What is the result of a penal system like Painball? How does it influence the citizens'' attitude toward crime?

9. Should Toby have honored Pilar''s deathbed wish that she become an Eve? How did the lessons in beekeeping serve Toby in other ways as well?

10. Crake''s BlyssPlus pill offers many false promises. What are they, and what was Crake really striving for (chapter 73)? If human beings are the greatest problem for the natural world, could they also provide solutions less drastic than Crake''s? How?

11. In what ways do the novel''s three voices-Toby''s, Ren''s, and Adam One''s-complement one another? What unique perspective is offered in each narration?

12. Explore the lyrics from The God''s Gardeners Oral Hymnbook. What do they say about the Gardener theology and the nature of their faith? Adam One does not always tell the truth to his congregation. Is well-meant lying ever acceptable?

13. Margaret Atwood''s fiction often displays "gallows humor." Can a thing be dire and funny at the same time? Must we laugh or die?

14. The Year of the Flood covers the same time period as Oryx and Crake, and contains a number of the same characters - ("Snowman," a student at the Martha Graham Academy and "the last man on earth") and Glenn ("Crake," who studied at the Watson-Crick Institute), as well as Bernice, Jimmy''s hostile college room-mate, Amanda, a live-in artist girlfriend, Ren ("Brenda,") whom he remembers briefly in Oryx and Crake as a high-school fling, Jimmy''s mother, who runs away to become an activist, and the God''s Gardeners, whom he mentions as a fringe green cult. Re-read the final pages of both books. What do you predict for the remaining characters? Should the Gardeners execute the Painballers? Why? Why not? Would you?

15. What parallels did you see between The Year of the Flood and current headlines?

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