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Oryx and Crake

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

14 out of 17 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

2 out of 12 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.

    14 out of 17 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.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • 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!

    2 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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  • 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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 11, 2013

    Great

    Yes. Great.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 6, 2013

    Help!!!!!!!!!!!!

    What is the third book called

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 17, 2013

    One of the greats- a must read, especially for sci-fi or apocalypse fans

    This is one of my all-time favorite books. The characters are wonderful, the setting is very interesting, and the plot takes some unexpected turns here and there. This is an excellent read for sci-fi fans, post-apocalypic scenario fans, and pretty much anyone who likes to read a good book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2012

    Great book!

    Very good. Different approach to most dystopian novels.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2012

    An incredible book

    This book is certainly in my top 5 favorite books. Margaret Atwood imagines a future not so far away.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2012

    Blah

    I didnt read it but the sample is really good !!!

    0 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 29, 2011

    Loved it!

    This was an awesome book! I had to read it for a college class but it kept me inrerested the whole time. I would def. Recommened reading this

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 14, 2011

    A well-crafted story

    Thusfar I have only read two books by Margaret Atwood, and I have enjoyed them both! She creates characters that are so real and believable.

    Oryx and Crake is very creepy at times, but in man aspects does ring true to the science-ruled world that is springing up all around us. Like The Handmaid's Tale, this novel is eerily insightful, but, unlike The Handmaid's Tale, Oryx and Crake is at times very funny!

    As usual, Atwood reveals more than enough of the story to enlighten the reader, but holds just enough back that redaders at actually forced to think and speculate on their own. Well done! I am looking forward to reading The Year of the Flood, which is sitting on my shelf right now.

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  • Posted April 13, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Great dystopian literature

    If you liked the Handmaid's Tale, you will definitely like Oryx and Crake--I didn't think Atwood could outdo herself but she has with this one!

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  • Posted January 7, 2011

    A very unique read

    This book is very unique to anything I have ever read. Atwood follows the dystopia genre while making it her own. Her non-linear approach to the story keeps the pages turning. I honestly am jealous of her writing talent. By all means pick up or download a copy.

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  • Posted November 21, 2010

    Quiet Apocalypse

    Oryx and Crake / 978-1-400-07898-1 In what seems an impossible step, Atwood has shown that she can evolve as a writer to the point that she actually surpasses herself - "Oryx and Crake" is, in its own way, an even better dystopia than "Handmaid's Tale". It is also, surprisingly for Atwood, written entirely from the perspective of a male protagonist, and written compellingly. Atwood has cleverly lifted the most predominant aspects of our culture and has carried them to a logical extreme. We are a bloodthirsty culture that thrives on Reality TV shows - we already show real life people marrying, reproducing, and divorcing on television; Atwood gives us suicide reality television - with close-up interviews, tearful goodbyes, and graphic deaths, all in high definition color. We have genetic advancements and scientific progress; Atwood gives us the genetically altered pig, ripe for organ removal, with twelve human hearts all lined up inside it in a row. These pigs will, ironically, be one of the few species which survive the end of the world. What is most compelling about this novel is that Atwood makes no judgments. A genetically engineered virus wipes out humanity, but it is left to us to decide whether the scientists should have been stopped long ago, or whether they should have been allowed even more leeway, research-wise, in order to protect us. Newly engineered humans - humans that more closely resemble plants or animals than people - are the only ones immune to the supervirus, but is their existence a victory of science or a perversion of nature? They do not have freewill in the sense that we do - they do not fully understand or appreciate love, loss, or jealousy - they mate when they come into season, and they die after short, brief lives. Their existence impacts the earth far less dramatically than our own, but is this necessarily an improvement? Atwood provides us with the facts, and we alone decide whether it is heaven on earth or hell. ~ Ana Mardoll

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  • Posted September 29, 2009

    Engaging and well written

    Although not an original concept, M Atwood does not disappoint with the execution of her craft. Good summer read.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 24, 2009

    Remembering Aynn Rand and Aldous Huxley

    Oryx and Crake was very compelling and disturbing at the same time. The novel reminded me of Aldous Huxley's Brave New World in the sense that it delved into the future while building a somewhat believable outcome of the future of cloning, pharmaceuticals, and greed. It looked into the lives of the isolated wealthy and pitied the common person. The only complaint was the ending. I was very disappointed that it didn't provide a conclusion worthy of the build up. This is definitely a must read for anyone who read and loved the earlier works of the futuristic writers like Huxley and Rand.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2009

    Very thought provoking....

    I bought this book on a recommendation from a friend. To be honest at first I was not really that into this book, but then I got hooked and it became an enjoyable read. It was very thought provoking, and really involved which made it an exciting read!

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