17 of 17 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 June 16 2003 by S. Calhoun
3.0 out of 5 stars Decent book, will continue with the next two
Admittedly, this was my first Atwood book as I've never found myself in front of her books. I liked it Oryx and Crake and I'm a fan of post-apocalyptic plots, but even under these auspices, I was never fully taken with it, not like McCarthy's 'The Road', which my mind seemed to reference throughout even though they're only linked by a tenuous post-apocalyptic thread. I...
Published 5 months ago by SBuckle
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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?,
Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)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...
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars O.W. Toad Jumps the Shark?,
By A Customer
This review is from: Oryx and Crake (Hardcover)I was very excited about this book, noted the release date, was first on the library's list to get it. I am a tremendous Margaret Atwood fan and have thought often of her poem "The Loneliness of the Military Historian" since 9-11, so I went into this book with great expectations. The first many pages did not disappoint. Throughout the book, there are passages where Atwood is up to her usual snuff, wonderful, unexpected, sly. Unfortunately, throughout the book there are also wooden sections that read like she let an untalented undergraduate at the document to add a few paragraphs.
The sections of the book dealing with Snowman in his decaying present are excellent. The sections where we go back to see how Jimmy came to all this range from witty to just plain poor. They read like filler. Like expositionary bones left as markers while writing the Snowman story. Like she meant to come back to them and write them better later.
After a few especially prosaic segments, it occured to me that it's entirely possible Atwood's daughter has reached college age and that this book was completed in a hurry so that the tuition bill could be paid. Who knows (or cares?) if that's the case? Whatever made this book be pubished in this condition, it's a dang shame. I hope that work of this quality isn't what we'll be seeing from Atwood in the future.
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..........
4.0 out of 5 stars Slow Starter,
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing!,
This review is from: Oryx and Crake: A Novel (Mass Market Paperback)This book was recommended to me by a friend, and I LOVED it! Atwood is at her best in this original piece of literature. Set in a pseudo-post-apocalyptic setting, this novel is filled with dark humour and a plot line with twists and turns. The characters are well developed, and even the less likeable characters are understood.
FYI- this is not a happy summer beach read- if you want an interesting, seemingly not too-far-off themed read, then this is the book for you. If happy is what you're looking for then DO NOT read this book.
5.0 out of 5 stars Not the best, but not the worst either.,
5.0 out of 5 stars Even better than "The Year of The Flood". Thought provoking literature!,
This review is from: Oryx and Crake: A Novel (Mass Market Paperback)"Oryx and Crake" is an amazing, thought provoking piece of literature. This book was wonderful not only for its addictive plot, but also for the philosophical questions it raised regarding an 'ideal' human nature. I had read "The Year of The Flood" previous to this and thought that the book was an absolutely amazing piece of driven, purposeful literature, but "Oryx and Crake" is truly the better of the two books. Initially, I thought that "Oryx and Crake" was not going to compare to "The Year of The Flood" because the latter book seemed so intricate and weaving, but as more was revealed to the nature of 'Paradice' and the creation of a 'perfect' being, I found that "Oryx and Crake" addressed pressing issues of existence more contemplatively, though, admittedly, not directly. If you are looking for a book where everything is black and white, this is not it, and in literature things rarely are. Read this book if you wish to be intellectually challenged, but at the same time wish to read something that isn't dry or out of touch with contemporary ethical and moral issues.
4.0 out of 5 stars Dystopian Masterpiece,
This review is from: Oryx and Crake: A Novel (Mass Market Paperback)Reason for Reading: Atwood has a new book coming out in September '09 which, while not a sequel to this one, is set in the same world and could be called a parallel novel. So I decided I should read this one first.
Comments: Humankind has been wiped out as far as we know and Snowman lives in a tree, to keep safe from the genetically altered predator animals and is the guardian over the new race of genetically created "people". Snowman alternately tells of the life he leads now with the story of his past and how "the end of the world" came to be.
It is an incredibly realistic version of a possible future that really is frightening to think about. Science has become God and anything that it can do it will do. Society encourages s*xual pursuits, body altering procedures, mind altering substances, reality TV to the extreme and all this without any morals or ethics. Any crackpot who may raise such an issue is pooh-poohed with a wave of the hand and dismissed as an insignificant insect. This is a world that in many ways we can see our own world now easily becoming. Very scary stuff.
A powerful book. Written with Atwood's usual mastery of narrative. A real-page turner and time takes on a different dimension as you read and suddenly look up and notice *that* much time has gone by already. Written only 6 years ago now, this already has become a classic of the dystopia genre and a must read for serious readers of such.
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Oryx and Crake: A Novel by Margaret Atwood (Mass Market Paperback - April 20 2004)
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