Oryx and Crake (MaddAddam Trilogy #1)

Oryx and Crake (MaddAddam Trilogy #1)

by Margaret Atwood
4.2 325


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Oryx and Crake (MaddAddam Trilogy #1) by Margaret Atwood

A stunning and provocative new novel by the internationally celebrated author of The Blind Assassin, winner of the Booker Prize

Margaret Atwood's new novel is so utterly compelling, so prescient, so relevant, so terrifyingly-all-too-likely-to-be-true, that readers may find their view of the world forever changed after reading it.

This is Margaret Atwood at the absolute peak of her powers. For readers of Oryx and Crake, nothing will ever look the same again.

The narrator of Atwood's riveting novel calls himself Snowman. When the story opens, he is sleeping in a tree, wearing an old bedsheet, mourning the loss of his beloved Oryx and his best friend Crake, and slowly starving to death. He searches for supplies in a wasteland where insects proliferate and pigoons and wolvogs ravage the pleeblands, where ordinary people once lived, and the Compounds that sheltered the extraordinary. As he tries to piece together what has taken place, the narrative shifts to decades earlier. How did everything fall apart so quickly? Why is he left with nothing but his haunting memories? Alone except for the green-eyed Children of Crake, who think of him as a kind of monster, he explores the answers to these questions in the double journey he takes - into his own past, and back to Crake's high-tech bubble-dome, where the Paradice Project unfolded and the world came to grief.

With breathtaking command of her shocking material, and with her customary sharp wit and dark humour, Atwood projects us into an outlandish yet wholly believable realm populated by characters who will continue to inhabit our dreams long after the last chapter. This is Margaret Atwood at theabsolute peak of her powers.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780771008696
Publisher: McClelland & Stewart Ltd.
Publication date: 11/01/2005
Series: MaddAddam Trilogy Series , #1
Pages: 400
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.75(d)

About the Author

Margaret Atwood was born in Ottawa in 1939, and grew up in northern Quebec and Ontario, and later in Toronto. She has lived in numerous cities in Canada, the U.S., and Europe.

She is the author of more than thirty books, novels, short stories, poetry, literary criticism, social history, and books for children.

Atwood's work is acclaimed internationally and has been published around the world. Her novels include The Handmaid's Tale and Cat's Eye, both shortlisted for the Booker Prize; The Robber Bride; Alias Grace, winner of the prestigious Giller Prize in Canada and the Premio Mondello in Italy, and a finalist for the Booker Prize, the Orange Prize, and the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award; and The Blind Assassin, winner of the Booker Prize and a finalist for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. Her new novel is Oryx and Crake. She is the recipient of numerous honours, such as The Sunday Times Award for Literary Excellence in the U.K., the National Arts Club Medal of Honor for Literature in the U.S., Le Chevalier dans l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in France, and she was the first winner of the London Literary Prize. She has received honorary degrees from universities across Canada, and one from Oxford University in England.

Margaret Atwood lives in Toronto with novelist Graeme Gibson.


Toronto, Ontario

Date of Birth:

November 18, 1939

Place of Birth:

Ottawa, Ontario


B.A., University of Toronto, 1961; M.A. Radcliffe, 1962; Ph.D., Harvard University, 1967

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Oryx and Crake 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 325 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
phorbus More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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!
BrassMonkey More than 1 year ago
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.
bake_some_crake More than 1 year ago
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.
Mockingbird53 More than 1 year ago
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!
Sam_Holloway More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous 3 months ago
SheilaDeeth More than 1 year ago
Dystopian, relevant, scary, balancing believability with cool imagination and haunting characterization, Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake invites readers into a perfect, perfectly ruined world, revealing a hauntingly possible path that leads to ruination. It’s a truly scary story, very peacefully and calmly told. It’s a truly dismaying interpretation of where our genetically engineered, profit-driven, powered-by-advertising world could eventually lead us. And it’s funny, touching and sad, just like real life. Snowman is the protagonist, living a fragile life among strangely unfamiliar people, and remembering the way things used to be. His friend Crake grows from child to man in that remembered world, sympathetic perhaps, but lacking empathy, brilliant and driven, filled with all the skills to succeed and hiding secrets underneath. Meanwhile Jimmy follows behind, clever in his own way but always on the outside looking in, sad and disappointed with a life that’s let him down. Meanwhile big business needs both of them, one to create and one to advertise. And the woman loved by both perhaps needs neither. Can we build a world on lies? Can we build relationships without truth? Can we build a new vision for the future without destroying the past? And can we continue along this gene-splicing, instant-gratifying, well-advertised, and well-trodden path without our world falling apart? Oryx and Crake asks deep questions in the guise of a novel filled with emotional and physical threat and ease, despair, and eventual hope. It’s a cool, deeply involving read, one that leaves the reader hauntingly wanting more, and yet feels powerfully complete – the outsider still outside, still looking in, still seeing more than his heart is willing to admit. Disclosure: A friend told me I’d love it and she was right.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
BlackAsh13 More than 1 year ago
Oryx and Crake just as the synopsis says, is a love story in which the world is crumbling to pieces in the background. It is also a commentary on the prevailing trends in society that somehow science and technology can make you, and the food you eat, better. BlyssPlus pills and Joltbars for everybody! Margaret Atwood's writing is excellent and she has weaved a wonderful tale. She slowly and methodically reveals the details of the world in which her main character, Jimmy/Snowman, lives. The slow reveal kept me intrigued throughout despite. But this is done with the primary context being the telling of Snowman's story, which really tugged at my heart. Jimmy/Snowman's story was so sad. I really felt for him throughout the book. His whole life was full of disappointment and loneliness. Atwood wrote both Oryx and Crake as very enigmatic and cryptic characters and I did not care for that. It was never clear what either of them were about and they never really let Jimmy into their lives. I'm sure there was a purpose in this but it detected from the story for me. I also did not enjoy the ending as I really wanted to know what was next for Snowman, but I suppose that the ending was fitting. All in all, it was very enjoyable.
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All I want is more. I love it...
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