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MaddAddam Hardcover – Aug 27 2013


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: MCCLELLAND & STEWART (Aug. 27 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0771008465
  • ISBN-13: 978-0771008467
  • Product Dimensions: 24 x 15.6 x 3.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 798 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,750 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A. Volk #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWER on Aug. 30 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
First, I have to admit that Margaret Atwood was a name that I was familiar with as a Canadian, but not as a reader. I bought this book because I have an interest in post-apocalyptic fiction (most often with zombies involved) and decided to take a chance and see if one of Canada's most famous current authors was really worth the fuss. I mention this to put my review in context. I also hadn't read the first two books in the trilogy as I heard this book had an introduction that made that unnecessary. So this really was pretty close to a blind review in terms of the author and this series. The outcome? I was not disappointed in the least!

This is a really interesting book. It has enough sci-fi and futuristic elements to capture one's attention as she narrates the story of humanity's dark future (mostly plausible technocratic society set in the not-too distant future). It also has plenty of moralizing, as the chief downfall of humanity is decadence, hubris, and greed (an old Roman Empire throwback), and the chief weapon is our oldest enemies- biology (Nature benefits most of all in this book). It has an interesting plot, that's prefaced by an introduction that makes knowledge of the earlier books unnecessary. Given that first book in the trilogy is almost a decade old, this also serves as a useful reminder for past readers of the trilogy. Finally, and most importantly, it's just plain good writing. Atwood is worth the fuss.

So what is the book about? The previous two books in the series are parallel views of a period of time, told from different perspectives. This book picks up where they both leave off, weaving the two into a coherent story.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Gary Fuhrman TOP 50 REVIEWER on Sept. 2 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book begins with a four-page summary of what happened in the first two novels of the trilogy, "Oryx and Crake" and "The Year of the Flood". But it's those who have read those two that will be most deeply affected by "MaddAddam", because it is the crown of the trilogy in every way, and the whole trilogy is a unified masterpiece. I'll aim this review mostly at those who are more or less familiar with the first two books.

First, it's all about characters whose lives you care about. Most of this book comes to us through Toby's point of view, but the bulk of the back-story this time is the life of Zeb as told to Toby. His voice makes the Atwoodian satire sharper than ever -- it's a devastating critique of our culture and the corporate-political nightmare it's turning into. Yet it's never preachy -- indeed some of Atwood's deepest barbs are saved for preachers. Nor are the various counter-cultures spared some laughs at their expense. Those familiar with some of the leading spiritual/scientific lights of our time (e.g. Vandana Shiva, Jane Goodall) will be both amused and gratified to see them elevated to the status of saints by the remnants of God's Gardeners. Much of the satire here comes through wordplay, and Atwood's deadpan delivery makes it all the more hilarious.

Besides, the storytelling here is compelling -- both Zeb's retrospective story and the narrative that begins where The Year of the Flood left off. As in every great novel, there are some unexpected turns toward the end which nevertheless make perfect sense in the context of everything that's gone before, even as they throw new light on that context. But I won't indulge in any spoilers here.

But it's not *only* a ripping good yarn.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Nicola Manning-Mansfield HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on Oct. 7 2013
Format: Hardcover
Wonderful! All the characters from the first two books come together in this final book of the trilogy which moves the plot forward showing us the present situation of the world and how the remaining humans and the genetically altered humans and animals are existing together. The second book, The Year of the Flood, is the weakest in the trilogy but I very much enjoyed those characters' return in this story. They were familiar faces and their characters were wonderfully developed in this book. It was also fantastic to finally get to know the "Crakers" so well, and a very important character develops from that group. Tension comes from the threat of three Painballers, gladiator-type survivors from a fight-to-the-death reality show, pre-Apocalypse. I was pleased to find no heavy emphasis on the eco-nonsense here and found Atwood's vision of her post-apocalyptic world quite plausible. I always enjoy Atwood's writing whether I'm thrilled with her books or not and this one is a page-turner that kept me glued to the book. I still think Oryx and Crake is the best of the trilogy, but this is a satisfying conclusion to the story.
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Format: Hardcover
Spoiler Alert (sort of)

"MaddAddam" is not a stand alone book. It's the third in a trilogy along with "Oryx and Crake" and "The Year of the Flood." If you haven't read the first two, this book is not likely to hold much appeal.

The storyline in the first two books happens concurrently and they don't necessarily need to be read in order. The timing of "MaddAddam" starts where the other two end and the specific storyline pickups right where the "Year of the Flood" left off.

While we're up to date on the timeline, this book is mostly a prequel -- filing in details of Zeb during his time before the Flood (the time of 'chaos'). Little is known about Zeb from the previous two books. He is a classic hero-anti-hero archetype -- smart, resourceful, the go-to-guy, the protector. And in this book we find out he was wealthy. Not wealthy from from industrial inventiveness as in Bruce Wayne or Tony Stark. The new way. Hacker wealth. Digital rip-off. Zeb's only target -- a sleazeball, evangelical, murdering father (maybe his father).

The backstory of Zeb's escapades and that of his brother (not brother), Adam, takes place in a not so distant future. While Atwood's description and branding of that future are well written, I did not find it particularly interesting. Just step outside, surf the Internet, suspend your cultural indoctrination. It's already out there. Happening in plain sight. If you're willing to look.

Rather than push a post apocalyptic story further along, Atwood cleverly goes for something far more luminous than that. The MaddAddam trilogy comes full circle. The end is the beginning and the beginning is the end. What?

Crakes are a post-Flood, trans-human, newly developed bio-species.
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