13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars STARK AND FRESH
Simply put, I loved ORYX AND CRAKE! Despite Atwood's grim futuristic plot of 'science gone mad' I found it difficult to put this book down. The first person narration of Snowman (Jimmy) jumps between the present (a bleak world existing primarily of him and the Crakers) and the past (events leading up to the destruction of humanity) as the details of the plot are...
Published on Jun 16 2003 by S. Calhoun
1.0 out of 5 stars dull to the extreme
Yikes! This book was so dull that I only got to halfway and quit. I could not endure the torture any longer. I read the second book first "The Year of The Flood" and it was a lot more interesting than this. Too much talk about sex and how it works and children used as sex objects. It felt like it was written by a man with sex on his mind. I have zero interest in those.
Published 2 months ago by A. Jacques
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars STARK AND FRESH,
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not Handmaid's Tale, But Not Bad,
This novel isn't as bad as the worst reviews promise, but not as good as the best claim. It's set on an intruiging premise, and although it took a little longer to get engrossed in Oryx and Crake than in some of her other work, it moves along at a nice and quite horrifying trot, pulling you in with the almost-recognizable familiarity of bio-engineered events. You like Snowman/Jimmy, it's just that....well, who exactly is the bad guy here? And maybe that's the point. In today's world, with PR spin and ducking politicians, there is no great antagonist we're struggling against--which would make life much clearer.
I noticed that Atwood's writing seemed a little less compelling, acute and participatory than in previous novels. Perhaps the writing reflects the detachment and bemusement of Snowman himself. Although what happens is shocking, it is relayed in a very methodical, non-emotional way.
The best thing about the book was the last few chapters--they surprised me, causing me to think for a lengthy period of time after I'd closed the book. In fact, that night I had very troubled dreams about the subject matter of destruction and a single person's capability for such in today's advanced world. It's been a long time since a book's premise made it into my dreams, so although it may not have gripped me with iron claws in the beginning, I suppose Oryx and Crake got me in the end.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not my favourite Atwood, but still memorable,
This is a good read, and also a very depressing vision of our future!
1.0 out of 5 stars dull to the extreme,
This review is from: Oryx and Crake: A Novel (Mass Market Paperback)Yikes! This book was so dull that I only got to halfway and quit. I could not endure the torture any longer. I read the second book first "The Year of The Flood" and it was a lot more interesting than this. Too much talk about sex and how it works and children used as sex objects. It felt like it was written by a man with sex on his mind. I have zero interest in those.
5.0 out of 5 stars my favorite of all great dystopian novels,
This review is from: Oryx and Crake: A Novel (Mass Market Paperback)Shortly before "Oryx and Crake" I've read "Player Piano" by Kurt Vonnegut; the setting of both novels is quite similar, but where Vonnegut draws the picture in, say, 2 dimensions, Atwood makes it full 3 dimensions, and with colors and smell and music. Vonnegut gets cynical and sarcastic and that doesn't help him in getting the real human nature out. But Atwood is not led away by her own problems or emotions; she seems to actually love human beings. And thus she got the human condition so right, it's even scary. I can't agree more - this is not 'science fiction', this is speculative fiction. It's things as they already are, only helped a bit into the future.
Also, it's impossible not to fall in love with either Oryx or Crake. I think I fell in love with both of them.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars So What?,
This review is from: Oryx and Crake: A Novel (Mass Market Paperback)I had reasonably high hopes for this novel, not because of Atwood's repute, not because of the accolades and nominations it received, but because I find it interesting how others interpret the fall of humanity. While Oryx and Crake proved to be a semi-interesting read, there are many areas in which this novel is lacking.
Other reviewers have touched upon the poor character development, and I have to agree. I didn't care about Jimmy/Snowman, Crake, Oryx, or any of the sub-characters. It is evident that considerably less time was used creating them than the plot and intricacies of her wasteland. This becomes a problem near the end as we're asked to understand and sympathise with these people but lack that closeness resulting from proper development.
Some parts of Oryx and Crake wear thin, quickly. Most prevalent are the names she uses for futuristic compounds and man-made lifeforms: names like RejoovenEssence, Pigoon, Wolvogs and ChickieNobs grow more ridiculous as you read them again, and again, and again. Take the Wolvogs for instance: with the appearance of domesticated dog breeds, they actually have the feral instincts of a wolf. Fine, but why not just call them wolves? Feral Dogs? Or why not come up with something new entirely?
Ultimately, the book can be interesting, but for something so subtly based on character, one should expect that the characters be more than the two-dimensional yawns that they are. The ending is a collosal let-down and rather predicatble, given the progression of the story. Overall, I'm left thinking "so what?" about virtually everything.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Unsatisfied,
By A Customer
This review is from: Oryx and Crake: A Novel (Mass Market Paperback)Generally, I found this to be an interesting story. Atwood uses vivid imagery to help set a scene of destruction, and beauty among the wreckage (ie: The sunset having tender colours).
However, I found that it was abruptly ended. It seems as if she did not know where else to take the story and ended it at a point where we are left wondering the outcome of Snowman and the Children of Crake. It may be considered an ending in which we are encouraged to consider for ourselves what possibly becomes of Snowman. Yet, personally, I find it unsatisfying. I wish there were just a few more chapters to read so that I may have a better understanding of the fate of this sci-fi world.
As well, the descriptions of the games Crake and Jimmy used to play, as well as some of the made up language used to suit the sci-fi world they live in, although detailed, still can leave a reader confused and maybe even a little bored.
Despite this, there were definitely moments when the novel was hard to put down, when it gave me shivers with it's eery and haunting descriptions. It was a novel that left you thinking about the world's horrendous fate even after the book had been closed.
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars What was she thinking?,The Year of the Flood and the third book.
One expects sadness and conflict in a dystopia; unfortunately, the sadness belongs to the reader who waits for a story to unwind slower than the end of a Canadian winter.
The book does have interesting ideas, but they are strung out [...] through characterization that is stunningly two-dimensional. Having weathered through to the end, I can confirm other reviewers comments: this is not an enjoyable read for fans of Atwood's other works. If only Atwood had an axe to grind, like Pullman in his trilogy His Dark Materials, one could at least enjoy the unconcealed vitriol.
No, Oryx and Crake is a barren landscape, a dearth of detail, and painfully obvious where it might be clever. I dare say I enjoy standing in line at the supermarket more than I did most chapters in the novel. Am I being harsh? Perhaps - but Atwood has failed to deliver to my expectations given her previous work.
Will I read on? I haven't decided...
5.0 out of 5 stars A marvelous foreshadowing of tomorrow...,
For those readers who are seeking identity with a given character or are needing each character to be fully developed, this is not a reality based book. You have to realize that this is a text of symbolism, not a 'fact and event' piece of fiction and, being so, it is what the text fully symbolizes and not the depth of the characters that really matters. The author has put out all the necessary factors to not only have this be a riveting story in its own right, but a possible foreshadowing of the future which may lie before us. The elements are the artificial defining of citizenry through intellectual abilities, the physical vs. rational potions of society, the power and control of the drug and biological companies and what happens when a mentally imbalanced person is placed in administrative charge of reality.
The book will leave the astute reader with a series of questions that he/she must ask about the life they see around them. Are we doing everything possible to not put humanity in a similar situation? How would I have done things differently if I were the Snowman? and What qualities did the Crakers exhibit that should be encouraged in our society? These are but a few. Read and enjoy..........
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Oryx and Crake: A Novel by Margaret Atwood (Mass Market Paperback - April 20 2004)
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