The Year Of The Flood by Margaret AtwoodThe Year Of The Flood by Margaret Atwood

The Year Of The Flood

byMargaret Atwood

Paperback | July 27, 2010

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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?

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:The Year Of The FloodFormat:PaperbackDimensions:448 pages, 8 × 5.2 × 0.95 inPublished:July 27, 2010Publisher:Knopf CanadaLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:030739798X

ISBN - 13:9780307397980

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Rated 2 out of 5 by from Boring Not as good as Oryx and Crake! This one is disappointing and boring at times. The characters do not have the same feeling of the first book and I wish I hadn't ruined the effects of Oryx and Crake by reading this.
Date published: 2018-02-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The world needs more Solarpunk Solarpunk sci-fi isn't easy to find, and this book blends Atwood's environmentalism seamlessly into a captivating story worth reading and worth sharing.
Date published: 2018-02-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from amazing One of my faves from Atwood to date....a true page turner!
Date published: 2018-02-07
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Interesting An interesting read that is well written and gives unique speculation of what the future of our world could be.
Date published: 2017-12-27
Rated 2 out of 5 by from The Year of the Flood (MaddAddam #2) by Margaret Atwood I’m really tempted to take a cheap shot at Margaret Atwood and call her the George Lucas of literature since I was very disappointed in this follow-up to Oryx & Crake.The Year of the Flood centers around two women, Ren and Toby, through the course of their lives before, during and after the disaster that occurs in O&C. Tobey has been victimized by bad luck and a vicious man to end up having to hide with the God’s Gardener’s. Ren’s mother fell for one of the Gardeners and left her husband, taking Ren from the cushy corporate compound they had been living. Oryx and Crake did just fine as a standalone book. Giving me another version of events from an outsider’s perspective really didn’t add anything to it. More, since I knew how it was going to end, I wasn’t nearly as involved in this story as I was O&C. Plus, while O&C ended on an ambiguous note, Year of the Flood gives us resolution to that book, only to introduce a new ambiguous ending. Also, there are far too many coincidences to be remotely plausible about survivors who knew each other before the Flood constantly running into each other after the big disaster. It’s less of an apocalypse and more like a class reunion. I probably shouldn’t be this hard on a book that had some great writing, but I really liked Oryx and Crake so reading this one left me feeling like I got a plate of reheated leftovers and it’s making me bitter.
Date published: 2017-12-07
Rated 2 out of 5 by from The Year of the Flood (MaddAddam #2) by Margaret Atwood I’m really tempted to take a cheap shot at Margaret Atwood and call her the George Lucas of literature since I was very disappointed in this follow-up to Oryx & Crake.The Year of the Flood centers around two women, Ren and Toby, through the course of their lives before, during and after the disaster that occurs in O&C. Tobey has been victimized by bad luck and a vicious man to end up having to hide with the God’s Gardener’s. Ren’s mother fell for one of the Gardeners and left her husband, taking Ren from the cushy corporate compound they had been living. Oryx and Crake did just fine as a standalone book. Giving me another version of events from an outsider’s perspective really didn’t add anything to it. More, since I knew how it was going to end, I wasn’t nearly as involved in this story as I was O&C. Plus, while O&C ended on an ambiguous note, Year of the Flood gives us resolution to that book, only to introduce a new ambiguous ending. Also, there are far too many coincidences to be remotely plausible about survivors who knew each other before the Flood constantly running into each other after the big disaster. It’s less of an apocalypse and more like a class reunion. I probably shouldn’t be this hard on a book that had some great writing, but I really liked Oryx and Crake so reading this one left me feeling like I got a plate of reheated leftovers and it’s making me bitter.
Date published: 2017-12-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from This second book in the trilogy wins first place. Compared to Oryx and Crake this book is an easy read. The plot ties together and it is a good story. This will leave you FLOODED with good reading. After reading this the third is a must read.
Date published: 2017-11-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Story A great story from a great author.
Date published: 2017-09-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from This book is a real insight to the time period This book is a real insight to the time period
Date published: 2017-09-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Change of Direction I was impressed to see the shift from the standard Margaret Atwood book.
Date published: 2017-09-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The Year of the Flood Few few pages were disorienting following Oryx and Crake, but it was a great sequel!
Date published: 2017-09-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Classic Atwood Just finished this novel in three-days. A great introductory book for those eager to try Atwood after reading one of her more popular titles. Interesting characters, and the back-and-forth story-telling pulls you in. Found the telling of one of the younger characters a bit juvenile, but honest. Can't wait to read Oryx and Crake.
Date published: 2017-08-17
Rated 4 out of 5 by from great sequel great story and characters
Date published: 2017-07-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from More enjoyable than the first I found this a better read than Oryx and Crake and also easier to follow
Date published: 2017-07-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Terrific read Pleasantly surprised; thought it would be a bit unoriginal in terms of the idea but it was enjoyable.
Date published: 2017-06-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great sequel A great sequel and helps answer so many questions. Love the trilogy.
Date published: 2017-05-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love this! My favourite dystopian series. The Year of the Flood answers a lot of questions from Book 1.
Date published: 2017-04-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Another fantastic piece Just as with Oryx and Crake, I could not put it down and I definitely encourage anyone to add the entire trilogy to their reading lists.
Date published: 2017-03-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent Sequel Loved it, loved the whole series
Date published: 2017-03-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent sequel Just like Oryx and Crake I love this book so much and have read it many times. I really enjoyed the characters in this novel. It is a toss up between this and the first one which would be my fave novel ever. They are both just so good. It is truly a must read.... this whole series is!
Date published: 2017-03-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great sequel As with the first novel in the trilogy, I found this to start off slow; however, by the middle of the book, I couldn't put it down. I really enjoyed the narrative of this novel and the characters involved. I did find it hard to differentiate between Toby and Ren sometimes, but both of their stories and backgrounds were intriguing and enabled me to gain perspective to their current situation and choices. I kept having to stop myself while reading because things Atwood includes in her dystopian world are eerily similar to things happening today. This was probably my favourite book in the trilogy.
Date published: 2017-02-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved this Book This book was amazing. I loved reading it and could not put it down. My favourite one of the series.
Date published: 2017-02-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Fantastic sequel. This is the second book in a series - although it's a little different than a typical sequel because it's a new story told in parallel to the events of the first book - so I'll try to keep this as spoiler-free as possible. I thought the book started off a bit slow. The first half almost felt more like the first book in a series, rather than the second, because so much time was spent establishing the lifestyles, personalities, beliefs, etc. of the Gardeners. Atwood almost had to build an entirely new world. And I don't necessarily think that was a bad thing, but it did affect my enjoyment a little as I preferred the faster pace of Oryx and Crake. I probably would have given this book five stars had it been my first experience of the world, rather than my second. Although, who knows, because one of the reasons I loved this book was the constant mention of little (and big, I guess) things that tied into the events in Oryx and Crake. I really loved both perspectives, although it took a lot of brain power to differentiate between them at times due to how the story was told. Toby's perspective was most interesting to me; but, I also enjoyed Ren's story and the commentary on sex/sexuality her perspective allowed. I probably could have done without all of Adam One's speeches, but I suppose I would have been confused without them a lot of the time. Still not sure how I feel about all the Adams and Eves in general...especially Adam One. The creepiest part of this book was definitely all the situations that are actually happening now that Atwood only considered dystopian, not reality, back in 2009. Trump's Wall, the dwindling bee population, drones in every shape and size - even a little insect, the belief that America is so superior to the rest of the world that even with terrible living conditions, war, famine, etc., it's still better to live there than anywhere else, the internet being so full of true and false information presented as fact that people believe either nothing or everything... and those are just the obvious points that jumped out at me. I'm sure I explained a couple of those points poorly, but this was a truly unsettling read at the beginning of 2017. While I didn't enjoy this quite as much as Oryx and Crake, I still thought it was a fantastic sequel and I can't wait to get my hands on MaddAddam to see what happens next!
Date published: 2017-01-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Team Toby All The Way! Such a great heroine! And I really like the contrast of the two leads. Captivating survival story
Date published: 2017-01-08
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Just OK Although I haven't read the first book in this series, I was still able to follow the premise of the second. However, I just couldn't get into it. I love Margaret Atwood but there are very few "positive" moments that happen in this book and the series of unfortunate events makes this novel difficult to read.
Date published: 2016-12-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Story Continued Just like the first book in the trilogy I found I was unable to put down this second book.
Date published: 2016-12-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best of the trilogy The Year of the Flood is my personal favourite in the MaddAddam series.
Date published: 2016-12-11
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Meh Not nearly as good as the first one, but still okay.
Date published: 2016-11-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Another great novel! This book was amazing. Another great novel from Margaret Atwood
Date published: 2016-11-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good follow up novel! Can't say I enjoyed this as much as I liked Oryx and Crake (which you don't necessarily have to read to enjoy this one). Had some interesting world building but felt a bit long.
Date published: 2016-11-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing! I loved this book. I read it quite a bit after the first but I still caught all the ties between the two. It was just awesome how she mentioned and put the events from one book into this one. I cannot wait to read the next one!
Date published: 2016-04-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Can't wait to read the third of the I love how Atwood weaves all the threads from the first book seamlessly and effortlessly!
Date published: 2014-08-09
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Well written Well written but tiresome on the sermons and songs. The first book is much better.....I look forward to starting the 3rd in the series.
Date published: 2014-07-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic Read. Atwood delivers yet again.
Date published: 2014-05-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Beware of the Waterless Flood! The Year of the Flood, the second book in the MaddAddam trilogy, came out 6 years after Oryx and Crake in 2009. It is not a sequel, but rather a companion to the first novel as it takes place on a concurrent time. Toby and Ren survived the epidemic that killed most of the human race. A series of flashbacks informs us that Toby was a therapist in a spa and Ren an exotic dancer in a nightclub. Even though the two women are very different, they have something in common: they were once members of the God’s Gardeners, a group of pacific, religious and ecological people who knew that the Waterless Flood was coming. The book follows Toby and Ren’s separate stories of survival both before and after the epidemic. The Year of the Flood is more interesting and more engrossing than Oryx and Crake in large part thanks to the two main characters, Toby and Ren. They have more depth and are more likable than Jimmy, the crazy, self-destructive narrator of the first book in the MaddAddam trilogy. In addition, it’s fun to see other characters present in Oryx and Crake pop up from time to time. However, I found the discourses of the God’s Gardeners’ leader, Adam One, to be long and cumbersome at times, even though I understand that they were used to give the reader more insight about the cult. In the whole, this book was excellent, and I am looking forward to reading MaddAddam for the conclusion of the trilogy. 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 4 out of 5 by from Fantastic Read. I enjoyed Oryx and Crake a little better than Year of the Flood but both are excellent books and although many have written that you don't need to read Oryx & Crake, I think you do, not because the story continues on from Book 1 to 2 but because your perspective of the characters in Oryx & Crake may or may not subtly change for you when you hear Ren's perspective of Jimmy & Crake (for example). Already I must say that Atwood is a literary genius in her ability to build complex characters devoid of any clear cookie cutter protagonists or antagonists. Through her characters I often found myself being self-critical of my own life and-or the way I view the world and not in a bad-punitive way but in a interesting way. I am looking forward to reading MaddAddam.
Date published: 2014-01-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic Read. An amazing book!! Margaret Atwood never disappoints me!
Date published: 2014-01-24
Rated 3 out of 5 by from The Year of the Flood Not sure this book could change the nation . . . or even the world, but if you are into dystopian themes, you may find it interesting. Ms. Atwood's wordplay is fantastic! First of five I'm reading for Canada Reads 2014.
Date published: 2014-01-15
Rated 1 out of 5 by from The Flood Very disappointing. More of the same. Plot is far-fetched. In the big world, the survivors find and know each other. Especially Blanco who keeps popping up. Too simplistic. This puts me off bothering to read Maddam.
Date published: 2013-11-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Part Deux I read "Oryx and Crake" a while ago and absolutely loved it. Till this date, I still remember where I spent a chunk of time reading it, and how I felt at that precise time and space. It says a lot about how a book can evoke such memories. So when I decided it was time to read "The Year of the Flood," I wasn't sure what I would be getting out of it. "The Year of the Flood" caught me by surprise. There is an overlap with "Oryx and Crake" yet it feels so different from it. We are introduced to new characters in a different setting, while in the same world. It does a great job in providing a parallel to what happens in the first MaddAddam book, and like it, it is the present, the future, and the past, all rolled into a dystopian narrative. It begs the question, how could you keep surviving knowing what you have done and what you have to do in order to face the reality of the post-apocalypse world? And that similar tone in the storytelling, despite how different the format and structure of "The Year of the Flood" was to "Oryx and Crake," was what tied both books together so well.
Date published: 2013-10-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good read But definitely not a happy ending. Looking forward to the third instalment.
Date published: 2013-10-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The Year of the a Flood Excellent follow up to 1st book in series, can't wait to read 3rd.
Date published: 2013-09-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent Follow-up to Oryx and Crake Atwood's second novel in her dystopian MaddAddam triology is just as great as Oryx and Crake. Rather than being a 'sequel', YotF paralles O&C's storyline, only we see a different part of America from two different characters eyes. Toby and Ren are our 2 heroines in this novel, which focuses on the pleeblands (poor inner city sections) rather than the privaleged corporation run compounds in O&C. Both of these ladies eventually become a part of one of the many Pleebland cults, known as "God's Gardener's", a sort of 'green' group. The book's namesake refers to the Waterless Flood that the God's Gardener's all believe will happen soon to wipe out the evil that humans have become and done to nature. YotF is a very cool follow-up to O&C, because there are a lot of character cross-overs from both novels. The ending ties in with the ending of O&C and that is where the finale, MaddAddam, picks up....
Date published: 2013-09-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very scary! So easy to picture this being the world we actually live in,
Date published: 2013-09-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Brilliant..... This is an intelligent book series and close to plausible events in our time (which kind of gives you the willies). Atwood is definitely the Orwell of our times. A good read... all 3 books in this series.
Date published: 2013-09-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Brilliant..... Another great story in the MaddAdamm Trilogy. Definitely worth reading all 3 books.
Date published: 2013-09-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The saga continues This book stands alone and can be read without first reading Oryx and Crake, but they belong together. We meet two girls who have survived a pandemic, have seen it start, run its course and now deal with the aftermath. They meet in a group of religious survivalists where they are forced to hide from a technological police state. We learn how each arrived there, see their friendship grow, how they avoid the perils at the bottom of a dysfunctional society, how they are forced apart, and how they finally meet again. Having survived the plague is not enough, for there are other people who have also survived, people who are extremely dangerous, and who will destroy our heros just to satisfy an ancient grudge. Through all this, the nagging question is how do the God's Gardeners have any knowledge of the coming plague. They continually talk about it and yet do not have the technology to be involved. How did any of these people survive? Only one was in an environment that would protect from the disease and she was at a primarly release point for the plague. Much becomes clear, but I must get MaddAddam. Will this remain a trilogy in three parts? Read on and find out.
Date published: 2013-08-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Fantastic Look On The Future There were several occasions where I was told this book isn't that great unless you read Orxy and Crake, I would beg to differ. Margaret Atwood has a beautiful imagination that allowed her to write such a deeply compelling and savage look at the future. It appears so bleak and desolate in the wake of what could eradicate humankind, but she is able to create a glimmer of hope for her characters. I thought it was a wonderful and creative read and would recommend it to anyone who likes to think about surviving a barbaric future.
Date published: 2011-01-05

Read from the Book

T H E G A R D E NWho is it tends the Garden,The Garden oh so green?’Twas once the finest GardenThat ever has been seen.And in it God’s dear CreaturesDid swim and fly and play;But then came greedy Spoilers,And killed them all away.And all the Trees that flourishedAnd gave us wholesome fruit,By waves of sand are buried,Both leaf and branch and root.And all the shining WaterIs turned to slime and mire,And all the feathered Birds so brightHave ceased their joyful choir.Oh Garden, oh my Garden,I’ll mourn forevermoreUntil the Gardeners arise,And you to Life restore.From The God’s Gardeners Oral Hymnbook 1TOBYYEAR TWENTY- FIVE, THE YEAR OF THE FLOODIn 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 any sound of traffic to drown them out. Do they notice that quietness, the absence of motors? If so, are they happier? Toby has no idea. Unlike some of the other Gardeners — the more wild-eyed or possibly overdosed ones — she has never been under the illusion that she can converse with birds.The sun brightens in the east, reddening the blue-grey haze that marks the distant ocean. The vultures roosting on hydro poles fan out their wings to dry them, opening themselves like black umbrellas. One and then another lifts off on the thermals and spirals upwards. If they plummet suddenly, it means they’ve spotted carrion.Vultures are our friends, the Gardeners used to teach. They purify the earth. They are God’s necessary dark Angels of bodily dissolution. Imagine how terrible it would be if there were no death!Do I still believe this? Toby wonders.Everything is different up close.The rooftop has some planters, their ornamentals running wild; it has a few fake-wood benches. It used to have a sun canopy for cocktail hour, but that’s been blown away. Toby sits on one of the benches to survey the grounds. She lifts her binoculars, scanning from left to right. The driveway, with its lumirose borders, untidy now as frayed hair-brushes, their purple glow fading in the strengthening light. The western entrance, done in pink adobe-style solarskin, the snarl of tangled cars outside the gate.The flower beds, choked with sow thistle and burdock, enormous aqua kudzu moths fluttering above them. The fountains, their scallop-shell basins filled with stagnant rainwater. The parking lot with a pink golf cart and two pink AnooYoo Spa minivans, each with its winking-eye logo. There’s a fourth minivan farther along the drive, crashed into a tree: there used to be an arm hanging out of the window, but it’s gone now.The wide lawns have grown up, tall weeds. There are low irregular mounds beneath the milkweed and fleabane and sorrel, with here and there a swatch of fabric, a glint of bone. That’s where the people fell, the ones who’d been running or staggering across the lawn. Toby had watched from the roof, crouched behind one of the planters, but she hadn’t watched for long. Some of those people had called for help, as if they’d known she was there. But how could she have helped?The swimming pool has a mottled blanket of algae. Already there are frogs. The herons and the egrets and the peagrets hunt them, at the shallow end. For a while Toby tried to scoop out the small animals that had blundered in and drowned. The luminous green rabbits, the rats, the rakunks, with their striped tails and racoon bandit masks. But now she leaves them alone. Maybe they’ll generate fish, somehow. When the pool is more like a swamp.Is she thinking of eating these theoretical future fish? Surely not.Surely not yet.She turns to the dark encircling wall of trees and vines and fronds and shrubby undergrowth, probing it with her binoculars. It’s from there that any danger might come. But what kind of danger? She can’t imagine.In the night there are the usual noises: the faraway barking of dogs, the tittering of mice, the water-pipe notes of the crickets, the occasional grumph of a frog. The blood rushing in her ears: katoush, katoush, katoush. A heavy broom sweeping dry leaves.“Go to sleep,” she says out loud. But she never sleeps well, not since she’s been alone in this building. Sometimes she hears voices — human voices, calling to her in pain. Or the voices of women, the women who used to work here, the anxious women who used to come, for rest and rejuvenation. Splashing in the pool, strolling on the lawns. All the pink voices, soothed and soothing.Or the voices of the Gardeners, murmuring or singing; or the children laughing together, up on the Edencliff Garden. Adam One, and Nuala, and Burt. Old Pilar, surrounded by her bees. And Zeb. If any one of them is still alive, it must be Zeb: any day now he’ll come walking along the roadway or appear from among the trees.But he must be dead by now. It’s better to think so. Not to waste hope.There must be someone else left, though; she can’t be the only one on the planet. There must be others. But friends or foes? If she sees one, how to tell?She’s prepared. The doors are locked, the windows barred. But even such barriers are no guarantee: every hollow space invites invasion.Even when she sleeps, she’s listening, as animals do — for a break in the pattern, for an unknown sound, for a silence opening like a crack in rock.When the small creatures hush their singing, said Adam One, it’s because they’re afraid. You must listen for the sound of their fear.2REN YEAR TWENTY- FIVE, THE YEAR OF THE FLOODBeware of words. Be careful what you write. Leave no trails.This is what the Gardeners taught us, when I was a child among them. They told us to depend on memory, because nothing written down could be relied on. The Spirit travels from mouth to mouth, not from thing to thing: books could be burnt, paper crumble away, computers could be destroyed. Only the Spirit lives forever, and the Spirit isn’t a thing.As for writing, it was dangerous, said the Adams and the Eves, because your enemies could trace you through it, and hunt you down, and use your words to condemn you.But now that the Waterless Flood has swept over us, any writing I might do is safe enough, because those who would have used it against me are most likely dead. So I can write down anything I want.What I write is my name, Ren, with an eyebrow pencil, on the wall beside the mirror. I’ve written it a lot of times. Renrenren, like a song. You can forget who you are if you’re alone too much. Amanda told me that.I can’t see out the window, it’s glass brick. I can’t get out the door, it’s locked on the outside. I still have air though, and water, as long as the solar doesn’t quit. I still have food.I’m lucky. I’m really very lucky. Count your luck, Amanda used to say. So I do. First, I was lucky to be working here at Scales when the Flood hit. Second, it was even luckier that I was shut up this way in the Sticky Zone, because it kept me safe. I got a rip in my Biofilm Bodyglove — a client got carried away and bit me, right through the green sequins — and I was waiting for my test results. It wasn’t a wet rip with secretions and membranes involved, it was a dry rip near the elbow, so I wasn’t that worried. Still, they checked everything, here at Scales. They had a reputation to keep up: we were known as the cleanest dirty girls in town.Scales and Tails took care of you, they really did. If you were talent, that is. Good food, a doctor if you needed one, and the tips were great, because the men from the top Corps came here. It was well run, though it was in a seedy area — all the clubs were. That was a matter of image, Mordis would say: seedy was good for business, because unless there’s an edge — something lurid or tawdry, a whiff of sleaze — what separated our brand from the run-of-the-mill product the guy could get at home, with the face cream and the white cotton panties?Mordis believed in plain speaking. He’d been in the business ever since he was a kid, and when they outlawed the pimps and the street trade — for public health and the safety of women, they said — and rolled everything into SeksMart under CorpSeCorps control, Mordis made the jump, because of his experience. “It’s who you know,” he used to say. “And what you know about them.” Then he’d grin and pat you on the bum — just a friendly pat though, he never took freebies from us. He had ethics.He was a wiry guy with a shaved head and black, shiny, alert eyes like the heads of ants, and he was easy as long as everything was cool. But he’d stand up for us if the clients got violent. “Nobody hurts my best girls,” he’d say. It was a point of honour with him.Also he didn’t like waste: we were a valuable asset, he’d say. The cream of the crop. After the SeksMart roll-in, anyone left outside the system was not only illegal but pathetic. A few wrecked, diseased old women wandering the alleyways, practically begging. No man with even a fraction of his brain left would go anywhere near them. “Hazardous waste,” we Scales girls used to call them. We shouldn’t have been so scornful; we should have had compassion. But compassion takes work, and we were young.That night when the Waterless Flood began, I was waiting for my test results: they kept you locked in the Sticky Zone for weeks, in case you had something contagious. The food came in through the safety-sealed hatchway, plus there was the minifridge with snacks, and the water was filtered, coming in and out both. You had everything you needed, but it got boring in there. You could exercise on the machines, and I did a lot of that, because a trapeze dancer needs to keep in practice.You could watch TV or old movies, play your music, talk on the phone. Or you could visit the other rooms in Scales on the intercom videoscreens. Sometimes when we were doing plank work we’d wink at the cameras in mid-moan for the benefit of whoever was stuck in the Sticky Zone. We knew where the cameras were hidden, in the snakeskin or featherwork on the ceilings. It was one big family, at Scales, so even when you were in the Sticky Zone, Mordis liked you to pretend you were still participating.Mordis made me feel so secure. I knew if I was in big trouble I could go to him. There were only a few people in my life like that. Amanda, most of the time. Zeb, sometimes. And Toby. You wouldn’t think it would be Toby — she was so tough and hard — but if you’re drowning, a soft squashy thing is no good to hold on to. You need something more solid.From the Hardcover edition.

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?

Editorial Reviews

#1 NATIONAL BESTSELLER FINALIST FOR THE TRILLIUM BOOK AWARDFINALIST FOR CBC CANADA READSLONGLISTED FOR THE INTERNATIONAL IMPAC DUBLIN LITERARY AWARDLONGLISTED FOR THE SCOTIABANK GILLER PRIZEA Globe and Mail Best BookA New York Times Notable Book “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