Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Oryx and Crake

I took at break from my 100 book list to read something contemporary for a change. This was just along the shelf from Lucky Jim (next on the list) so I grabbed it.

I first read Margaret Atwood during my A-levels when The Handmaid's Tale was on the syllabus. I have enjoyed all of her book (I think I've read them all) and this was no exception. This falls in with her dystopia novels and is very different from the more domestically based offerings such as The Edible Woman, The Robber Bride and Cat's Eyes.

Oryx and Crake is set in a future where the main protagonist Snowman, aka Jimmmy, appears to be the last human being alive. He moves around his world, whilst we are privy to flashback to his childhood and life before the 'event' which leads to his lonely existence.

Several reviews complain that the science fiction side of this novel is not well enough explored or researched, but I do not find this a problem. The futurist events are all progressions of current real life work and projects that we read about everyday in the paper - genetic modifications and selection for example - and this make the conclusion all the more haunting.

Hard-core Sci-Fi fans might consider it a little light-weight, but it is gripping and hugely readable, so give it a go.

If you liked Oryx and Crake, you might also try Never Let Me Go.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've read The Handmaid's Tale (fantastic) and I'd like to read more Atwood. Is this a good place to start or should try summink else first?

8:53 PM  
Blogger Kate said...

Well it's quite a quick read and along the same lines as THT - but I think The Handmaid's Tale had the edge. Personally I loved Alias Grace and The Blind Assassin. Her early stuff is much more domestic and less man-friendly I would say.

6:00 AM  
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