Customer Reviews for

Oryx and Crake (MaddAddam Trilogy #1)

Average Rating 4
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(156)

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(45)

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(14)

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(8)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

17 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

Oryx and Crake

Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood is a tale of human existence on the brink and speculative fiction at its best with strong dystopian overtones. Atwood introduces the protagonist Jimmy, a.k.a. Snowman, in a post-apocalyptic world destroyed and taken over by biological c...
Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood is a tale of human existence on the brink and speculative fiction at its best with strong dystopian overtones. Atwood introduces the protagonist Jimmy, a.k.a. Snowman, in a post-apocalyptic world destroyed and taken over by biological contamination. Jimmy lived in a wealthy scientific community isolated from the poor and contaminated population of the Pleeblands. He grows up being the latter end of a generation of geniuses and holds a rather uncaring and sardonic view of life. Jimmy's best friend Crake is a genius and becomes a successful bioengineer and innovator of complex organisms. Upon Crake's location of Oryx, an adolescent object of Jimmy's thoughts, a complex love triangle suddenly precipitates between Jimmy, Oryx, and Crake just as the world falls into disaster. After the catastrophe Snowman struggles to survive in the vicious world after human habitation and tries to reconnect with the past. The climax of the novel is a convergence of Jimmy's two timelines in an epic déjà vu revelation and suspenseful conclusion.
In her novel Atwood presents a possible future of the human race according to a modern view of human nature. Her transcendence of science fiction into speculation and contemplation evokes shock and disgust at the path society is on. One branch of that path and hidden theme in the story is the sick and ironic nature of perfection: one can strive for perfection, but the flaws will always be more explosive. Like the engineer of a time bomb, Atwood locks up secrets and understanding to the complex and at times, confusing story; only when the time is right are they revealed to give the reader an overwhelming sense of epiphany. This technique stimulates the reader intellectually by drawing out predictions and hypothesis as to the origins of some of the developments. Atwood's characters are particularly inventive; their personalities are very normal, but seem out of context in a futuristic world. Her utilization of characters as conveyors of theme does not lessen the attachment and fondness for the characters that grows in the reader. Perhaps the most intriguing and amazing aspect of the novel is the possibility of some of the same events playing out in the human world in the near future. Atwood's startling realism in her fiction gives her work life, uniqueness, and awe.

posted by 1385185 on May 24, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

3 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

What a waste, no stars would be best!!

If I could give NO stars I would!!!This book was so bad that I couldn't find anyone else to hand it off to. As a avid reader I was very disappointed, I never even finished, it was that BORING!!! Was there even a plot to this story?? IF so I could not find it. MY sister ...
If I could give NO stars I would!!!This book was so bad that I couldn't find anyone else to hand it off to. As a avid reader I was very disappointed, I never even finished, it was that BORING!!! Was there even a plot to this story?? IF so I could not find it. MY sister who reads even more than me couldn't finish it either!! And we rarely ever do that. Save your money for a GOOD book.

posted by Anonymous on February 3, 2006

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2009

    Oryx and Crake

    Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood is a tale of human existence on the brink and speculative fiction at its best with strong dystopian overtones. Atwood introduces the protagonist Jimmy, a.k.a. Snowman, in a post-apocalyptic world destroyed and taken over by biological contamination. Jimmy lived in a wealthy scientific community isolated from the poor and contaminated population of the Pleeblands. He grows up being the latter end of a generation of geniuses and holds a rather uncaring and sardonic view of life. Jimmy's best friend Crake is a genius and becomes a successful bioengineer and innovator of complex organisms. Upon Crake's location of Oryx, an adolescent object of Jimmy's thoughts, a complex love triangle suddenly precipitates between Jimmy, Oryx, and Crake just as the world falls into disaster. After the catastrophe Snowman struggles to survive in the vicious world after human habitation and tries to reconnect with the past. The climax of the novel is a convergence of Jimmy's two timelines in an epic déjà vu revelation and suspenseful conclusion.
    In her novel Atwood presents a possible future of the human race according to a modern view of human nature. Her transcendence of science fiction into speculation and contemplation evokes shock and disgust at the path society is on. One branch of that path and hidden theme in the story is the sick and ironic nature of perfection: one can strive for perfection, but the flaws will always be more explosive. Like the engineer of a time bomb, Atwood locks up secrets and understanding to the complex and at times, confusing story; only when the time is right are they revealed to give the reader an overwhelming sense of epiphany. This technique stimulates the reader intellectually by drawing out predictions and hypothesis as to the origins of some of the developments. Atwood's characters are particularly inventive; their personalities are very normal, but seem out of context in a futuristic world. Her utilization of characters as conveyors of theme does not lessen the attachment and fondness for the characters that grows in the reader. Perhaps the most intriguing and amazing aspect of the novel is the possibility of some of the same events playing out in the human world in the near future. Atwood's startling realism in her fiction gives her work life, uniqueness, and awe.

    17 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 21, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Read this before it's illegal.

    Somehow both stunning and frightening. The story, the characters, and the message are beautiful--not that anything else should ever be expected from Atwood. In my opinion, this is the best she's ever written--and that's saying something.

    8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 8, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Read this before you read "The Year of the Flood"

    If you read "Flood" first, you'll have trouble liking the main character, Jimmy, in this one. And there are good things about Jimmy. I empathize with him, because, like me, the things he's good at are not particularly marketable. In a world where saleability is the only thing anyone cares about, an actual genius could be considered inferior if they weren't good at the things someone is willing to buy. We're on our way to this world, but I don't think we're there yet. A depressing glimpse at a possible future.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2012

    Highly recommended

    Oryx and Crake was the first book by Margaret Atwood that I've read, and I really enjoyed it! I found the writing so accessible and readable, and loved the plot, I thought the two stories, and how they relate to each other, very engrossing; I cannot wait to read The Year Of The Flood!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 21, 2010

    A More Realistic Version of 2012

    This book is intriguing, disturbing, yet entertaining all at the same time. My main interest in the book was actually the past story told within the present. Many times during the present I felt as if the book had slowed down to a halt in the midst of entertaining action and ideas. The disasters discussed in the book are completely plausible with current technology which raises insightful thought about our current state of the world. I gave the book 4 stars rather than five because despite being entertaining for the most part, Atwood seems to castigate the majority of the human population and provides a constant sense of pessimism to any new science, technology, math, business, or "non-word" type of people. Eventually I came to feel that Atwood would be happy if everyone was an English or art fanatic from the way she glorified "Jimmy" yet continually dished technology oriented personas such as Crake. I feel scared to do a simple math equation after this book.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 28, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Brilliant and fascinating

    One of my favorite Science Fiction books. It was a little difficult waiting for the climax of the story, which came more towards the end, but it was worth waiting for. I dreamed about this book for weeks. Loved it.

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 3, 2006

    What a waste, no stars would be best!!

    If I could give NO stars I would!!!This book was so bad that I couldn't find anyone else to hand it off to. As a avid reader I was very disappointed, I never even finished, it was that BORING!!! Was there even a plot to this story?? IF so I could not find it. MY sister who reads even more than me couldn't finish it either!! And we rarely ever do that. Save your money for a GOOD book.

    3 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 19, 2011

    Very Thought Provoking

    Read it, it's worth your time if you ever think about the grim possibilities of our future if mankind lets it's quest for perfection get out of hand. A thought provoking story filled with dark humor and frighteningly realistic scientific possibilities. You will care for the protagonist and understand him more and more as you read his story unfold in a series of flashbacks. 5 stars.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 26, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Fantastic book, clearly from the soul of Margaret Atwood

    Wonderful imagery and gripping storyline, from one of the best authors of our time. Similar to Handmaid's Tale in a doomed-future kind of way, but original and independent, nonetheless. I just want to know what happened at the end!?

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2004

    Utter Drivel!

    DO NOT READ THIS BOOK! If I can spare just one person from the dissapointment of this book, then I've done my Job. Briefly, here's why Oryx & Crake is banal tripe: 1. The main character is completely unsympathetic and has no arc. 2. The MC's relationships are shoddy, incomplete and uninteresting. 3. There¿s no conflict (or very little) throughout the story and the MC is never put in any real and lasting jeopardy. 4. The actions (and writing) seem forced and deliberate - there are no surprises in this story. 5. The concepts Ms. Atwood puts forth regarding 'our' future are ludicrous to the point of being laughable (except the story's so bad that you want to cry). She never substantiates any of her conclusions about the future, she just throws them out there as if she just thought them up and thought that they'd be 'really neat'. They're not. 6. Even at the end of the story, no conclusions have been made. Our MC has learned nothing, has not grown in any way, and leaves us just the same as when we started, with nothing. I could go into greater detail, but I already feel that I've done this book (and Margaret Atwood) more credit than it deserves. If I could give this book NO STARS a surely would. As for the author, I will never read anything written by her again.

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 14, 2014

    a good read

    I liked this book a lot - once I was able to keep the characters straight. Not all the characters are easy to like and I still cared about them. This novel makes me even more aware of how careful we need to be with our environment, our science and how much we need to question our government and what it is up to!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 12, 2013

    Yuck

    What a horrible, sad book.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 18, 2012

    Disturbing and engrossing read...

    I don't want to give too much away, but yet again (as with "The Handmaid's Tale") Margaret Atwood extrapolates and constructs a chilling future from our decaying, collapsing post-industrial world. The book hits every cultural note with perfect pitch, and leaves the reader chilled. Excellent.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 26, 2012

    Futuristic & a fun read.

    I enjoyed this book, as I do all of Margaret Atwoods work. So many twists & turns, but no real explanation at the end.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2012

    Do Not Buy It

    This book was recommended highly. I don't see why.

    1 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 23, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Another futuristic masterpiece

    Ms. Atwood does it again with this wonderful story that looks at a future when clones are all that is left of the human race.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 15, 2005

    A good read!

    The book made you want to keep reading to find out what happend to this civilization that seemed very '1984'-ish. Everything was great until the end. I think Atwood ended the book too sharply, leaving me wanting just a little more.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2003

    Disappointing

    I was really looking forward to this book. I recently finished Handmaid's Tale and was enthralled by it. Unfortunately this book is so boring, I decided to stop after a hundred or so pages. The main (only)character has some nice psychological depth. But the story is so bad, I stopped caring. Don't bother.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2015

    Captivating!

    All I want is more. I love it...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 19, 2014

    One of my most favorite books of all time!

    Atwood is amazing. I have read this book several times. There are so many layers to the characters and story. A+!!!!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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