Oryx And Crake by Margaret AtwoodOryx And Crake by Margaret Atwood

Oryx And Crake

byMargaret Atwood

Paperback | July 28, 2009

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Oryx and Crake is at once an unforgettable love story and a compelling vision of the future.

Snowman, known as Jimmy before mankind was overwhelmed by a plague, is struggling to survive in a world where he may be the last human, and mourning the loss of his best friend, Crake, and the beautiful and elusive Oryx whom they both loved. In search of answers, Snowman embarks on a journey--with the help of the green-eyed Children of Crake--through the lush wilderness that was so recently a great city, until powerful corporations took mankind on an uncontrolled genetic engineering ride. Margaret Atwood projects us into a near future that is both all too familiar and beyond our imagining.
Margaret Atwood is the author of more than forty volumes of poetry, children’s literature, fiction, and non-fiction, but is best known for her novels, which include The Edible Woman (1969), The Handmaid’s Tale (1985), The Robber Bride (1994), Alias Grace (1996), and The Blind Assassin, which won the prestigious Booker Prize in 2000. A ...
Title:Oryx And CrakeFormat:PaperbackDimensions:416 pages, 8 × 5.17 × 0.86 inPublished:July 28, 2009Publisher:Knopf CanadaLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:030739848X

ISBN - 13:9780307398482

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Rated 4 out of 5 by from Steady climb It was slow going in the beginning, but it definitely got very good in the second half. Will be continuing the series.
Date published: 2018-11-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from great read! A bit confusing but once you get past the first few chapters its easier to follow, definitely reccommend!
Date published: 2018-08-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good Book I decided to read Oryx and Crake before school started because I knew it would be part of the curriculum and I'm glad I did. I think this is one the books you need to read twice to understand because I had many questions throughout and was still left with some. However, finishing the trilogy would give a better understanding to the reader. Overall I would recommend to those who enjoy sci-fi and romance but if not then don't read it.
Date published: 2018-08-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Astounding Definitely a page turner, could not put this down.
Date published: 2018-06-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing I read this book and absolutely fell in love with it. I kept relating to it and was in total awe that I continued reading the next books in the series, though this is the best one. Definitely one to add to your "to read" list
Date published: 2018-06-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Incredible I absolutely love this book - by far my favourite from Margarat Atwood
Date published: 2018-06-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing I love post apocalyptic/dystopian fiction, and Oryx and Crake is by far one of my absolute favorites. It shocks you at every turn and the ending blew me away.
Date published: 2018-05-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it! I had to read this novel as part of my studies, but I loved it!
Date published: 2018-04-25
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Very confusing I read this book after reading my first Atwood novel, The Handmaids Tale. Well it was not at all what I was expecting To be honest, I had no idea what was going on most of the time and ended up putting it down after a few chapters. I don;t usually read sci-fi so maybe that's why I did not find it interesting at all
Date published: 2018-03-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it! This has got to be one of her best books. A great introduction to sci-fi for her.
Date published: 2018-03-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love! Margaret Atwood is a talented author with a gift for satire and intriguing stories that mirror our world creepily well. A wonderful dystopian tale! This book is extremely hard to put down once you start!
Date published: 2018-03-03
Rated 2 out of 5 by from eh Had to read it for school. It was ok, I guess. Verrrryyy slow with incredibly unlikable characters and an unsatisfying ending. Other people seem to like it, but it really wasn't for me. #plumreview
Date published: 2018-03-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from DEFINITELY RECOMMEND I hate reading novels but I actually really liked this book! it was entertaining throughout the whole thing!
Date published: 2018-03-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from LOVED this book! I LOVE Margaret Atwood's novels! This is definitely my favourite! Really pulled me in!
Date published: 2018-02-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Pretty Good! I’m usually not a huge fan of Atwood’s. However, once I started reading this novel, I became totally immersed.
Date published: 2018-02-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awesome! An immersive read so it goes by quick. Read for a class but would read again
Date published: 2018-02-14
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Interesting but very slow I liked this book well enough and the plot was very interesting... when it finally got to it and stopped being super confusing... which, granted, wasn't until around page 300... but I liked it in the end
Date published: 2018-02-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful and thought provoking It's another Atwood-favourite book of mine. She is just a master at words and pictures and characterization. I loved how the plot unraveled and how it kept me on my toes. I love smart authors and complex plots, and this book has both!
Date published: 2018-02-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from My kind of sci-fi Blending elements of a future run by corporations and greed with a survivalist story of the end times, this book is a slow reveal of the fall of an empire. I read this after Year of the Flood, and I think that helped keep my interest. While I love book 2 of the series, 'Snowman' isn't my favourite character.
Date published: 2018-02-07
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Interesting and boring This took me ridiculously long to read. It didn't tell me enough to keep me interested, but at the same time it told me too much and made the ending anticlimactic. The format just didn't work well for me. Also, the main character was probably the least significant, he was just the only one who could have told the story. I would have prefer an omniscient narrator rather than what was used, which was the third-person POV of Snowman. This meant that we didn't get to know any of the thoughts or intentions of the people who drove the story. I would guess that this was the intention, to give us an outside view. I don't know if I was supposed to figure out Crake's intentions, or why Oryx was so unusual, from what Jimmy/Snowman witnessed, or if it was supposed to remain a mystery. Nevertheless, the story was very well thought out, and I enjoyed it as a whole. I just would have preferred if it was told from start to finish, without gaps.
Date published: 2017-12-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I wish Margaret Atwood would write more books like this The only book of Atwoods that I had read prior to this was A Handmaids Tale. I didn't know what to expect from this book but I was pleasantly surprised. There were hints of HG Wells The Time Machine.
Date published: 2017-12-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love this book This is one of my favourite dystopian novels. Up there with 1984, and Brave New World!
Date published: 2017-11-24
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Oryx and Crake (MaddAddam #1) by Margaret Atwood Ok, so you know I love Margaret Atwood. She's observant, humorous, and makes razor-sharp social commentary. Oryx and Crake touches on so many topics, from humans playing as gods, science, jealousy, sexuality, and the most universally discussed topic, love. As the first installment in a trilogy--a series by Margaret Atwood? I'm intrigued--I felt that O+C could be a bit confusing at times. You are thrust right into the world with no introduction. What I enjoyed about this novel, how Atwood only slowly reveals information as the story progresses, was exhilarating and intriguing, but also frustrating. It made me feel a bit stupid at times because I was finding myself confused, unsure of whether I missed something or that information had just not be revealed. Also, warning, there is essentially no plot to this novel.
Date published: 2017-11-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Chilling This books is a reflection on morality in relation to scientific progress. A reflection on society without art, culture, or authenticity. It is an environmental warning, a cautionary tale of our impact on weather patterns, natural habitats, genetic engineering, etc. An analysis on patriarchy, on misogyny, on female oppression. An exposure of corporatism, artificiality, and consumerism... It has similarities to "Brave New World," with a dash of Stephen King... but all in classic Margaret Atwood fashion. Her abilities are so diverse. She has created one of the most unlikable male characters in my recent memory, but subtly hints at her opinion of Jimmy’s personality. She doesn’t make excuses for him; rather, she simply presents this unjustifiably flawed young man as a "case study," plops him into a morally-questionable future, and lets him loose. We’re supposed to judge Jimmy and Crake and the rest of them, we’re supposed to wrinkle our noses in distaste. And maybe that’s her main goal with this book; maybe she’s simply trying to provoke an unpleasant reaction from the reader. And perhaps if we’re content to accept what she tells us about this "fictional" future, there’s something about ourselves that we need to re-evaluate. (Because at no point does Margaret Atwood make it obvious; the onus is completely on us, the critical reader, to pick up on the unacceptable and be disgusted). Nothing she discusses in this book is new. A little exaggerated, yes, but only a little. Mass food production, corporate greed, medical corruption, climate change, animal extinction, personal detachment, materialism, willful ignorance, genetic experimentation, sex crime, sexual exploitation, misogyny, class systems… It’s all here – in this novel, and in the real world. That’s possibly the scariest thing about this story: that there’s nothing so far removed from reality that you can’t recognize it. It’s another one of my favourites. Be forewarned: it’s disturbing, slow-paced, and at times a little hard to follow. For me though, it all just added to the intrigue. This book turns the microscope lens onto our society. It asks us, "How are we any different?" Prophetic, unsettling, and intensely critical of where we’re headed, "Oryx and Crake" will leave you stunned and more than a little disgusted. I’ve never wanted to live in a mountain cabin more than I do now.
Date published: 2017-11-15
Rated 3 out of 5 by from A grim future a grim read Once again Atwood uses science fiction to explore an issue that few wish to talk about aloud. The issue deals with DNA gene splicing and the creation of cross-bred species. She is right in asking where do we cross the line, but it is a bleak post apocalyptic world, and I found this a tedious read, and I have read lots of Atwood. She takes far too long to reveal the world-ending event. Since it is part of a trilogy I will recommend it, the second book is much better..
Date published: 2017-10-30
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Groundbreaking in Unpleasant Ways Easily one of the most detestable books I've ever read. Atwood falls back on her "dystopia where women are all sad victims and men are all scum" tropes, but this time, with uncomfortable circumstances. Our hero used to be a "normal" teenager who got high and watched deep web child exploitation with his friend, before said friend turned their obsession with one of the abused kids they witnessed into a new wave of artificial humans. Really, really uncomfortable read with a lot of highly unpleasant themes. The book still gets 2 stars because Atwood is very good at building atmosphere in her words alone; other than that, Oryx & Crake is a disgusting mess.
Date published: 2017-10-27
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Great Twist in the End I found it a little slow at first but towards the end things really picked up. Quite a plot twist, so prepare yourself.
Date published: 2017-10-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from dystopian fiction This book was not at all what I was expecting it to be, but I still enjoyed it and found it mildly thought provoking despite the fact that I am not the biggest fan of Atwood's Science fiction work
Date published: 2017-10-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from amazing story Huge Margaret Atwood fan. This is a classic.
Date published: 2017-09-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love this book! I read this novel as part of a University literature course. Margaret Atwood has a dark ability to see into a fictional future which may not be as far off as we think.
Date published: 2017-09-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from 3rd Time's a Charm I'm on my third read and I still find new things that I hadn't noticed before. Great read every time!
Date published: 2017-09-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Reading matterial Great reading matterial, have read it twice so far...
Date published: 2017-09-17
Rated 4 out of 5 by from takes a few reads. This is one of those books you can go back to again and again -- and still be able to find something new to think about. One of my favourite of Atwood's books.
Date published: 2017-09-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Oryx and Crake Slow at the beginning, but great read overall!
Date published: 2017-09-05
Rated 3 out of 5 by from not bad. A decent dystopian future read
Date published: 2017-08-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved this book I couldn't stop reading it, it was such a good story with amazing characters! So imaginative!
Date published: 2017-08-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from awesome great story and characters
Date published: 2017-07-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Terrifc Such an incredible story to read
Date published: 2017-07-17
Rated 3 out of 5 by from not bad Atwood's books have always been a bit strange to me; this one is no different but it wasn't bad either,
Date published: 2017-07-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from My favourite Atwood Dystopia This is my favourite work by Atwood, having read several. This is one of her stronger dystopias in terms of execution, so I would recommend it over other works such as "The Heart Goes Last".
Date published: 2017-07-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from My first book by Margaret Atwood It was a bit confusing at times, and also very disturbing because I can honestly see a future of manufactured species and all kinds of things that went on in this book happening
Date published: 2017-07-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A cool dystopian Oryx and Crake is the first book I ever read by Margaret Atwood, and I loved it. It's a really interesting dystopian novel that everyone should read.
Date published: 2017-06-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from loved it! this book was amazing, had to read it for my english university class and i loved the new view it gave on hypothetically experiencing utopia
Date published: 2017-06-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from a really interesting book! this was wonderful, provided a new view of utopia
Date published: 2017-06-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A little bit of a struggle This is real reading and makes you think about the state of the world. I read this, however, when I was quite young and without realizing it was part of a series, and found it very difficult to relate to as a teenager. Would definitely re-read as an adult, to also get a deeper insight.
Date published: 2017-06-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Made me think Another Atwood book I decided to revisit. Atwood, it seems to me, is at her best when writing distopian fiction. And Oryx and Crake is excellent.
Date published: 2017-05-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Really good Had a hard time putting down the book
Date published: 2017-05-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I love it Funny, thought-provoking, and Atwood's dystopia always comes from a place you recognize.
Date published: 2017-05-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Highly recommend! One of my favourite Atwood works so far- would definitely recommend this to anyone who is a fan of her earlier works.
Date published: 2017-05-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Thought-provoking Seriously a book to make you think, especially in this day and age.
Date published: 2017-05-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Interesting Unlike any other book I've read. Many themes circulating in this novel that really make you think about humanity, society, the bigger picture
Date published: 2017-05-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Dang The book opens you up to humanities ugliniess and makes you wonder if there is truly any hope for us. Was Crake right? Is that the best we can dream?
Date published: 2017-04-28
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Can't wait to read the rest of the trilogy Great read and can't wait to read the next two.
Date published: 2017-04-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Really good! An interesting and thought-provoking dystopian novel!
Date published: 2017-04-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An Interesting Read One of my favourite dystopian novels. I recommend this to all my friends.
Date published: 2017-04-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Both wildly entertaining and unnerving Oryx and Crake flourishes where other dystopian novels falter. Jimmy the Snowman is heartbreakingly alone. The reader can feel the isolation in the chapters and can easily connect with the themes/characters. Both wildly entertaining and unnerving
Date published: 2017-04-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great trilogy Yet another amazing work from Canada's master storyteller
Date published: 2017-03-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Great story, characters, and ideas - another hit from Atwood
Date published: 2017-03-28
Rated 2 out of 5 by from WAY TOO MUCH DETAIL! A very boring read and way too much useless detail. The main idea of the book is great, and when she gets back on track with the story it is a good book, but the unnecessary detail got very annoying.
Date published: 2017-03-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from All time favorite Absolutely without a doubt, my favorite book of all time. And to go along with it, as a whole the trilogy is fantastic. Atwood is my favorite author, and this piece is a great example of how she makes you really think about what you are reading, not just in the context of the book, but what it says about society today, and possibly, in the future.
Date published: 2017-03-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Phenomenal Trilogy Oryx and Crake is such a fantastic read. I love Atwood's writing style and the depth her writing conveys. Atwood challenges the reader to critically think about how this story parallels to what our world looks like. I definitely recommend reading the entire trilogy.
Date published: 2017-03-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Read! Margaret Atwood never disappoints and Oryx and Crake is no exception.
Date published: 2017-03-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Read! Margaret Atwood never disappoints and Oryx and Crake is no exception.
Date published: 2017-03-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love love love this book! This is not only my fave Margaret Atwood novel, but also one of my fave books ever! I have read this a number of times (3 or 4 at least). Something just keeps me coming back to not only this book, but the rest in the series. This is a book of heartbreak. This is a very interesting story that drew me from the start.
Date published: 2017-03-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from My fav atwood series Bleak, heartbreaking and a tribute to the unquenchable human drive and capacity for equal parts evil and love. Would recommend to anyone new to her books.
Date published: 2017-02-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great read! This was my first Atwood book and it did not disappoint; she is definitely the queen of dystopian fiction. While it took me a while to get used to her writing style, midway through the book I was hooked. The story was fictional enough that it creates an escape, but many aspects of the story terrifyingly parallel our own world; it really gets you thinking about what can happen in the future.
Date published: 2017-02-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Incredible. Margaret Atwood is the queen of dystopian fiction; she provides such a logical timeline of events that her books often feel more like non-fiction. Her novels are intriguing and terrifying at the same time. This book was fast-paced, incredibly interesting, and held my attention completely from beginning to end. I'm definitely looking forward to reading the rest of the MaddAddam trilogy.
Date published: 2017-01-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Interesting This was my first Atwood book and I thought it was a little strange at the start. Good message and story if you make it through!
Date published: 2017-01-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Usually don't enjoy Atwood I am not a Margaret Atwood fan at all. I was required to read this book in High School and surprisingly it was the only book I ever enjoy during four years of English Classes.
Date published: 2017-01-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love Atwood This book is very well written and is a great dystopian novel!
Date published: 2017-01-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from These books are life changing It's hard to separate the books out from each other after completing the trilogy, but this book serves as an excellent set-up for the books to come. Her use of a maybe unreliable narrator is fascinating in that there is little revealed about the scope of physical space or the time that has passed since the waterless flood.
Date published: 2017-01-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Classic Can. Speculative Fiction, One of Atwood's Best Works Very engaging world, fascinating perspective on both humanity and the internet age. A must-read. One of the better Atwood novels I've read, I would definitely recommend this well over A Handmaid's Tale.
Date published: 2016-12-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Must-read I was advised to read The Year of the Flood as a standalone and not bother with this book, and I am happy to say that I didn't take the advice. Oryx and Crake not only provides an important beginning to the series, but it holds its own in the trilogy as a captivating read.
Date published: 2016-12-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great read I really enjoyed reading this, I've read it twice now. It's a very unique storyline and I think it will become a classic!
Date published: 2016-12-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love love love One of my all-time faves. I must've recommended this book to everyone I know already.
Date published: 2016-11-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Weird, but Great! Awesome start to a sci-fi trilogy. Characters are unique, and the plot is completely unique. A good place to start with Atwood, although it's not as good as the Handmaid's Tale.
Date published: 2016-11-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Unique and thought-provoking Margaret Atwood writes beautifully. I was so absorbed in this dystopian world and I loved how it made me think even after I finished it.
Date published: 2016-11-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from <3 Love this book, can't wait to read it again
Date published: 2016-11-24
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Disappointing I had really high hopes for this novel given all of the praise that it receives. Unfortunately, I was somewhat let down. Although the premise is intriguing, I don't think that the details were fleshed out enough to make it memorable. The Handmaid's Tale was much better.
Date published: 2016-11-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A must read Margaret Atwood always stuns with her writing and creative literary works, but this novel is above all others. This dystopian novel is chilling and revolves around what progress in science really means/leads to yet never loses touch of what it means to be human. HBO will soon be adapting it to a tv show. The book can have a slow start, but don't give up, I promise the end result is worth it
Date published: 2016-11-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The best book. I read this for my english class in University and fell in love with it. So many witty sections of writing and I bought the other two books in the trilogy and am going to read them. I would say this is one of my favorite books ever and would have never picked it up if it weren't for my professor.
Date published: 2016-11-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from this book is one of a kind Atwood has done it yet again! She took a story that has been in the making for many, many years and told us the destructive ending. Not only did she deliver a compelling narrative and imaginative characters, she managed to make the reader contemplate their way of life and encouraged the reader to decide if they want to go on that way.
Date published: 2016-11-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good read I really enjoyed this book, although it is not one of my favorite Margaret Atwood novels. Post apocalyptically chilling, it should serve as a warning to humankind.
Date published: 2016-11-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Amazing (and at some points confusing!) Novel I was really drawn into this book and it was an amazing ride. I can't wait to see what happens next!
Date published: 2016-04-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Atwood at her Finest I picked up this book for no extraordinary reason. It was on sale for 15$ and the cover was cool. Little did I know that I would be swept into a world of intrigue, suspense and philosophical discussions. Ever since The Hunger Games and Divergent came out, I've been tired of dystopian novels and speculative fiction. Oryx and Crake is different... it's dark, mesmerizing and very adult. It's a breath of fresh air to the genre. First off, the overall storyline is amazing. Going back and forth to the present and the past ensures that the reader is constantly asking questions. You are desperate to find out the ending... but you don't want to finish the book. The characters are intriguing, and a lot of them are people that you love-to-hate. To be honest, I hate Jimmy as a character... he's narcissistic, misogynistic and pretentious. But, his motives remain fascinating throughout the novel. Crake is extremely likable and a little scary... and Oryx... well... I don't know she's unique. I'm reading The Year of The Flood right now and I have to admit it isn't as good as Oryx and Crake... but this trilogy does prove that Margaret Atwood hasn't lost her wit and her willingness to provoke.
Date published: 2014-04-25
Rated 3 out of 5 by from An Intriguing Speculative Fiction Oryx and Crake is the story of Snowman who lives alone in a post-apocalyptic world where the coastal cities of North America are under water, and strange animals roam free. Flashbacks show us how Snowman came to be the last survivor of his kind after an epidemic killed the rest of the human race. At first, I must say that I was a little put off by the main character and narrator, Snowman. I didn’t particularly like him: he is an anti-hero, full of flaws. He is lazy and cowardly, and he doesn’t have much qualms about betraying his friends. But then, as the story progresses, I couldn't help but wonder what I would have done in the same situation. And the scary part of the book is that Margaret Atwood based her speculative fiction on real breakthroughs in genetic engineering. So the future of Oryx and Crake might become our future in a few decades… Please go to my blog, Cecile Sune - Bookobsessed, if you would like to read more reviews or discover fun facts about books and authors.
Date published: 2014-04-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Shockingly great read I found this book to be a great read. It is only my second Margaret Atwood book and I now wonder how she managed to stay off my literary radar for so long. Oryx and Crake is the story of a plague survivor as he deals with his present and reviews the events that brought him to his current situation. He tells us of his early years and his friendships, particularly that with the two title characters. We see the friends grow, drift apart and reunite. We learn that each has a hidden agenda of which the protagonist is unaware. We learn of his inability to develop a lasting relationship with any woman and we see how he rationalizes situations to make them fit his wishes. All of these memories unfurl while Snowman adapts to the new species that have survived the plague, develops ways to avoid the predators created by the now defunct technology in which he was raised, and tries to avoid becoming or creating a god for the species for which he has, unexplained until the end, been given responsibility. A novel about technology, its police state paranoia, the resistance and the result. How far in the future is this reality? Will we avoid it? Read Oryx and Crake and then read on.
Date published: 2013-08-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A possible future I’m finally working through the books I’ve read but neglected to review, and this one comes in 12 months after. Margaret Atwood is an icon in the Canadian, and international, literary scene. And this is why. “Oryx and Crake” is so brilliantly thought out and executed, and even with its dystopian setting, it shines through as being very relevant contemporarily. This was my first foray into the literary mind of Margaret Atwood, and this has now made me a fan. She does speculative fiction, as she calls it, with a very sensible mind – always knowing how it grounds to reality and how it touches the reader by not being overbearing in its dystopian theme. The characters – Snowman and Jimmy, Oryx and Crake – are made so relatable and accessible despite their mysterious identities. You feel Snowman’s solitude as he recounts memories from a previous life that he himself finds unfamiliar. Most importantly are the social commentaries and critiques of society past, present, and future. Atwood’s dystopia is quite terrifyingly possible which makes it all the harder to read mentally and emotionally. Being the first book in the MaddAddam trilogy, I only see more harrowing tales to come in its sequel, “The Year of the Flood,” which I’m eager to read, and the final unpublished book.
Date published: 2012-09-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Frighteningly Familiar This is my first Margaret Atwood book and I wasn't disappointed. At first, I did not know what to expect. In fact, I was sure that I was going to hate it. After all, Snowman seemed like a pretty strange character and who or what are Oryx and Crake? I made myself read it anyway, finding myself more engrossed into the story with each page I read. I have experienced other dystopian fiction and thought that this would be another intriguing but disturbing story. However, I found myself reading something more lighthearted and complex. Soon enough, I began reacting emotionally to Snowman's story. The novel is incredibly relatable to the trends of our outer world and the intricate feelings of our inner world. I recommend it with all my heart, definitely a good read!
Date published: 2010-08-17
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Page turner I am not usually a fan of sci-fi, but this story is very engaging. I was taken aback by the extrapolation of some of our social practises and scientific enterprises into an apocalyptic future. It all seem so believable, while being horrifying. The shred of humanity that remains at the end provides a very open-ended and thought provoking conclusion.
Date published: 2009-11-21
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Twisted For years I have heard what a wonderful writer Margaret Atwood is. The hype, the awards, the media attention, all-raving about this `marvellous' author. I thought, given the glowing reviews I had read, and the fact the storyline sounded appealing, I'd pick up a copy of Oryx and Crake. I wish I hadn't. While Ms. Atwood may be touted as a world-class writer, I beg to differ. Being able to write endless crass filth and garbage, peppered with foul language does not make for a good read. Uncomfortable yes, good no. I stopped my voyage into these repulsive pages short, and decided to use the book in the only manner that seemed fit. To date this has been the most expensive piece of kindling I have ever purchased. I can most assuredly say that I will not make this mistake again. To say you can write, then produce something that is full of disgusting visuals and inappropriate language is a slap in the face of all genuine authors. Unfortunately this is the type of swill that many people enjoy, and no wonder, since this tripe is flaunted as acceptable and the norm. To me the only thing this book accomplished was the destruction of numerous innocent trees to fuel the minds of the twisted. Save your money and time.
Date published: 2009-10-02

Read from the Book

1 MangoSnowman wakes before dawn. He lies unmoving, listening to the tide coming in, wave after wave sloshing over the various barricades, wish-wash, wish-wash, the rhythm of heartbeat. He would so like to believe he is still asleep.On the eastern horizon there's a greyish haze, lit now with a rosy, deadly glow. Strange how that colour still seems tender. The offshore towers stand out in dark silhouette against it, rising improbably out of the pink and pale blue of the lagoon. The shrieks of the birds that nest out there and the distant ocean grinding against the ersatz reefs of rusted car parts and jumbled bricks and assorted rubble sound almost like holiday traffic.Out of habit he looks at his watch - stainless-steel case, burnished aluminum band, still shiny although it no longer works. He wears it now as his only talisman. A blank face is what it shows him: zero hour. It causes a jolt of terror to run through him, this absence of official time. Nobody nowhere knows what time it is."Calm down," he tells himself. He takes a few deep breaths, then scratches his bug bites, around but not on the itchiest places, taking care not to knock off any scabs: blood poisoning is the last thing he needs. Then he scans the ground below for wildlife: all quiet, no scales and tails. Left hand, right foot, right hand, left foot, he makes his way down from the tree. After brushing off the twigs and bark, he winds his dirty bedsheet around himself like a toga. He's hung his authentic-replica Red Sox baseball cap on a branch overnight for safekeeping; he checks inside it, flicks out a spider, puts it on.He walks a couple of yards to the left, pisses into the bushes. "Heads up," he says to the grasshoppers that whir away at the impact. Then he goes to the other side of the tree, well away from his customary urinal, and rummages around in the cache he's improvised from a few slabs of concrete, lining it with wire mesh to keep out the rats and mice. He's stashed some mangoes there, knotted in a plastic bag, and a can of Sveltana No-Meat Cocktail Sausages, and a precious half-bottle of Scotch - no, more like a third - and a chocolate-flavoured energy bar scrounged from a trailer park, limp and sticky inside its foil. He can't bring himself to eat it yet: it might be the last one he'll ever find. He keeps a can opener there too, and for no particular reason an ice pick; and six empty beer bottles, for sentimental reasons and for storing fresh water. Also his sunglasses; he puts them on. One lens is missing but they're better than nothing.He undoes the plastic bag: there's only a single mango left. Funny, he remembered more. The ants have got in, even though he tied the bag as tightly as he could. Already they're running up his arms, the black kind and the vicious little yellow kind. Surprising what a sharp sting they can give, especially the yellow ones. He rubs them away."It is the strict adherence to daily routine that tends towards the maintenance of good morale and the preservation of sanity," he says out loud. He has the feeling he's quoting from a book, some obsolete, ponderous directive written in aid of European colonials running plantations of one kind or another. He can't recall ever having read such a thing, but that means nothing. There are a lot of blank spaces in his stub of a brain, where memory used to be. Rubber plantations, coffee plantations, jute plantations. (What was jute?) They would have been told to wear solar topis, dress for dinner, refrain from raping the natives. It wouldn't have said raping. Refrain from fraternizing with the female inhabitants. Or, put some other way . . .He bets they didn't refrain, though. Nine times out of ten."In view of the mitigating," he says. He finds himself standing with his mouth open, trying to remember the rest of the sentence. He sits down on the ground and begins to eat the mango.FlotsamOn the white beach, ground-up coral and broken bones, a group of the children are walking. They must have been swimming, they're still wet and glistening. They should be more careful: who knows what may infest the lagoon? But they're unwary; unlike Snowman, who won't dip a toe in there even at night, when the sun can't get at him. Revision: especially at night.He watches them with envy, or is it nostalgia? It can't be that: he never swam in the sea as a child, never ran around on a beach without any clothes on. The children scan the terrain, stoop, pick up flotsam; then they deliberate among themselves, keeping some items, discarding others; their treasures go into a torn sack. Sooner or later - he can count on it - they'll seek him out where he sits wrapped in his decaying sheet, hugging his shins and sucking on his mango, in under the shade of the trees because of the punishing sun. For the children - thick-skinned, resistant to ultraviolet - he's a creature of dimness, of the dusk.Here they come now. "Snowman, oh Snowman," they chant in their singsong way. They never stand too close to him. Is that from respect, as he'd like to think, or because he stinks?(He does stink, he knows that well enough. He's rank, he's gamy, he reeks like a walrus - oily, salty, fishy - not that he's ever smelled such a beast. But he's seen pictures.)Opening up their sack, the children chorus, "Oh Snowman, what have we found?" They lift out the objects, hold them up as if offering them for sale: a hubcap, a piano key, a chunk of pale-green pop bottle smoothed by the ocean. A plastic BlyssPluss container, empty; a ChickieNobs Bucket O'Nubbins, ditto. A computer mouse, or the busted remains of one, with a long wiry tail.Snowman feels like weeping. What can he tell them? There's no way of explaining to them what these curious items are, or were. But surely they've guessed what he'll say, because it's always the same."These are things from before." He keeps his voice kindly but remote. A cross between pedagogue, soothsayer, and benevolent uncle - that should be his tone."Will they hurt us?" Sometimes they find tins of motor oil, caustic solvents, plastic bottles of bleach. Booby traps from the past. He's considered to be an expert on potential accidents: scalding liquids, sickening fumes, poison dust. Pain of odd kinds."These, no," he says. "These are safe." At this they lose interest, let the sack dangle. But they don't go away: they stand, they stare. Their beachcombing is an excuse. Mostly they want to look at him, because he's so unlike them. Every so often they ask him to take off his sunglasses and put them on again: they want to see whether he has two eyes really, or three."Snowman, oh Snowman," they're singing, less to him than to one another. To them his name is just two syllables. They don't know what a snowman is, they've never seen snow.It was one of Crake's rules that no name could be chosen for which a physical equivalent - even stuffed, even skeletal - could not be demonstrated. No unicorns, no griffins, no manticores or basilisks. But those rules no longer apply, and it's given Snowman a bitter pleasure to adopt this dubious label. The Abominable Snowman - existing and not existing, flickering at the edges of blizzards, apelike man or manlike ape, stealthy, elusive, known only through rumours and through its backward-pointing footprints. Mountain tribes were said to have chased it down and killed it when they had the chance. They were said to have boiled it, roasted it, held special feasts; all the more exciting, he supposes, for bordering on cannibalism.For present purposes he's shortened the name. He's only Snowman. He's kept the abominable to himself, his own secret hair shirt.After a few moments of hesitation the children squat down in a half-circle, boys and girls together. A couple of the younger ones are still munching on their breakfasts, the green juice running down their chins. It's discouraging how grubby everyone gets without mirrors. Still, they're amazingly attractive, these children - each one naked, each one perfect, each one a different skin colour - chocolate, rose, tea, butter, cream, honey - but each with green eyes. Crake's aesthetic.They're gazing at Snowman expectantly. They must be hoping he'll talk to them, but he isn't in the mood for it today. At the very most he might let them see his sunglasses, up close, or his shiny, dysfunctional watch, or his baseball cap. They like the cap, but don't understand his need for such a thing - removable hair that isn't hair - and he hasn't yet invented a fiction for it.They're quiet for a bit, staring, ruminating, but then the oldest one starts up. "Oh Snowman, please tell us - what is that moss growing out of your face?" The others chime in. "Please tell us, please tell us!" No nudging, no giggling: the question is serious."Feathers," he says.They ask this question at least once a week. He gives the same answer. Even over such a short time - two months, three? He's lost count - they've accumulated a stock of lore, of conjecture about him: Snowman was once a bird but he's forgotten how to fly and the rest of his feathers fell out, and so he is cold and he needs a second skin, and he has to wrap himself up. No: he's cold because he eats fish, and fish are cold. No: he wraps himself up because he's missing his man thing, and he doesn't want us to see. That's why he won't go swimming. Snowman has wrinkles because he once lived underwater and it wrinkled up his skin. Snowman is sad because the others like him flew away over the sea, and now he is all alone."I want feathers too," says the youngest. A vain hope: no beards on the men, among the Children of Crake. Crake himself had found beards irrational; also he'd been irritated by the task of shaving, so he'd abolished the need for it. Though not of course for Snowman: too late for him.Now they all begin at once. "Oh Snowman, oh Snowman, can we have feathers too, please?""No," he says."Why not, why not?" sing the two smallest ones."Just a minute, I'll ask Crake." He holds his watch up to the sky, turns it around on his wrist, then puts it to his ear as if listening to it. They follow each motion, enthralled. "No," he says."Crake says you can't. No feathers for you. Now piss off.""Piss off? Piss off?" They look at one another, then at him. He's made a mistake, he's said a new thing, one that's impossible to explain. Piss isn't something they'd find insulting. "What is piss off?""Go away!" He flaps his sheet at them and they scatter, running along the beach. They're still not sure whether to be afraid of him, or how afraid. He hasn't been known to harm a child, but his nature is not fully understood. There's no telling what he might do.Voice"Now I'm alone," he says out loud. "All, all alone. Alone on a wide, wide sea." One more scrap from the burning scrapbook in his head.Revision: seashore.He feels the need to hear a human voice - a fully human voice, like his own. Sometimes he laughs like a hyena or roars like a lion - his idea of a hyena, his idea of a lion. He used to watch old DVDs of such creatures when he was a child: those animal-behaviour programs featuring copulation and growling and innards, and mothers licking their young. Why had he found them so reassuring?Or he grunts and squeals like a pigoon, or howls like a wolvog: Aroo! Aroo! Sometimes in the dusk he runs up and down on the sand, flinging stones at the ocean and screaming, Shit, shit, shit, shit, shit! He feels better afterwards.He stands up and raises his arms to stretch, and his sheet falls off. He looks down at his body with dismay: the grimy, bug-bitten skin, the salt-and-pepper tufts of hair, the thickening yellow toenails. Naked as the day he was born, not that he can remember a thing about that. 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."Don't even think about it," he tells himself. Sex is like drink, it's bad to start brooding about it too early in the day.He used to take good care of himself; he used to run, work out at the gym. Now he can see his own ribs: he's wasting away. Not enough animal protein. A woman's voice says caressingly in his ear, Nice buns! It isn't Oryx, it's some other woman. Oryx is no longer very talkative."Say anything," he implores her. She can hear him, he needs to believe that, but she's giving him the silent treatment. "What can I do?" he asks her. "You know I . . ."Oh, nice abs! comes the whisper, interrupting him. Honey, just lie back. Who is it? Some tart he once bought. Revision, professional sex-skills expert. A trapeze artist, rubber spine, spangles glued onto her like the scales of a fish. He hates these echoes. Saints used to hear them, crazed lice-infested hermits in their caves and deserts. Pretty soon he'll be seeing beautiful demons, beckoning to him, licking their lips, with red-hot nipples and flickering pink tongues. Mermaids will rise from the waves, out there beyond the crumbling towers, and he'll hear their lovely singing and swim out to them and be eaten by sharks. Creatures with the heads and breasts of women and the talons of eagles will swoop down on him, and he'll open his arms to them, and that will be the end. Brainfrizz.Or worse, some girl he knows, or knew, will come walking towards him through the trees, and she'll be happy to see him but she'll be made of air. He'd welcome even that, for the company.He scans the horizon, using his one sunglassed eye: nothing. The sea is hot metal, the sky a bleached blue, except for the hole burnt in it by the sun. Everything is so empty. Water, sand, sky, trees, fragments of past time. Nobody to hear him."Crake!" he yells. "Asshole! Shit-for-brains!"He listens. The salt water is running down his face again. He never knows when that will happen and he can never stop it. His breath is coming in gasps, as if a giant hand is clenching around his chest - clench, release, clench. Senseless panic."You did this!" he screams at the ocean.No answer, which isn't surprising. Only the waves, wish-wash, wish-wash. He wipes his fist across his face, across the grime and tears and snot and the derelict's whiskers and sticky mango juice. "Snowman, Snowman," he says. "Get a life."

Bookclub Guide

1. Oryx and Crake includes many details that seem futuristic, but are in fact already apparent in our world. What parallels were you able to draw between the items in the world of the novel and those in your own?2. Margaret Atwood coined many words and brand names while writing the novel. In what way has technology changed your vocabulary over the past five years?3. The game "Extinctathon" emerges as a key component in the novel. Jimmy and Crake also play "Barbarian Stomp" and "Blood and Roses." What comparable video games do you know of? What is your opinion of arcades that feature virtual violence? Discuss the advantages and dangers of virtual reality. Is the novel form itself a sort of virtual reality?4. If you were creating the game "Blood and Roses," what other "Blood" items would you add? What other "Rose" items?5. If you had the chance to fabricate an improved human being, would you do it? If so, what features would you choose to incorporate? Why would these be better than what we've got? Your model must of course be biologically viable.6. The pre-catastrophic society in Oryx and Crake is fixated on physical perfection and longevity, much as our own society is. Discuss the irony of these quests, both within the novel and in our own society.7. One aspect of the novel's society is the virtual elimination of the middle class. Economic and intellectual disparities, as well as the disappearance of safe public space, allow for few alternatives: People live either in the tightly controlled Compounds of the elites, or in the more open but seedier and more dangerous Pleeblands. Where would your community find itself in the world of Oryx and Crake?8. Snowman soon discovers that despite himself he's invented a new creation myth, simply by trying to think up comforting answers to the "why" questions of the Children of Crake. In Part Seven — the chapter entitled "Purring" — Crake claims that "God is a cluster of neurons," though he's had trouble eradicating religious experiences without producing zombies. Do you agree with Crake? Do Snowman's origin stories negate or enhance your views on spirituality and how it evolves among various cultures?9. How might the novel change if narrated by Oryx? Do any similarities exist between her early life and Snowman's? Do you always believe what she says?10. Why does Snowman feel compelled to protect the benign Crakers, who can't understand him and can never be his close friends? Do you believe that the Crakers would be capable of survival in our own society?11. In the world of Oryx and Crake, almost everything is for sale, and a great deal of power is now in the hands of large corporations and their private security forces. There are already more private police in North America than there are public ones. What are the advantages of such a system? What are the dangers?12. In what ways does the dystopia of Oryx and Crake compare to those depicted in novels such as Brave New World, 1984, Fahrenheit 451, and in Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale? What is the difference between speculative fiction — which Atwood claims to write — and science fiction proper?13. The book has two epigraphs, one from Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels and one from Virginia Woolf's To the Lighthouse. Why do you think these were chosen?14. The ending of the novel is open, allowing for tantalizing speculation. How do you envision Snowman's future? What about the future of humanity — both within the novel, and outside its pages?

Editorial Reviews

FINALIST FOR THE GILLER PRIZEFINALIST FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZEFINALIST FOR THE GOVERNOR GENERAL'S LITERARY AWARDA Globe and Mail Best Book “Oryx and Crake is Atwood at her playful, allegorical best.” The Globe and Mail “ If one measure of art’s power is its ability to force you to face what you would very much rather not, Oryx and Crake--the evocative tale of a nightmarish near-future--is an extraordinary work of art, one that reaffirms Atwood’s place at the apex of Canadian literature.” Maclean’s“Atwood has long since established herself as one of the best writers in English today, but Oryx and Crake may well be her best work yet.... Brilliant, provocative, sumptuous and downright terrifying.” The Baltimore Sun“Atwood’s great talent for narrative has never been displayed to better effect.” Toronto Star “Oryx and Crake is Atwood at her best--dark, dry, scabrously witty, yet moving and studded with flashes of pure poetry. Her gloriously inventive brave new world is all the more chilling because of the mirror it holds up to our own. Citizens, be warned.” The Independent “Wonderfully vivid, and the sardonic unveiling of future history makes for a strong narrative drive.” National Post “Perfectly constructed, funny, and satiric. It is inventive yet prophetic, in fact, apocalyptic and weirdly feasible.… It is brilliant.” Winnipeg Free Press “Contemporary novelists rarely write about science or technology. Margaret Atwood tackles both--and more.” The Economist