Oryx and Crake
Oryx and Crake is at once an unforgettable love story and a compelling vision of the future.
Snowman, known as Jimmy before mankind was overwhelmed by a plague, is struggling to survive in a world where he may be the last human, and mourning the loss of his best friend, Crake, and the beautiful and elusive Oryx whom they both loved. In search of answers, Snowman embarks on a journey–with the help of the green-eyed Children of Crake–through the lush wilderness that was so recently a great city, until powerful corporations took mankind on an uncontrolled genetic engineering ride. Margaret Atwood projects us into a near future that is both all too familiar and beyond our imagining.
My opinion: Just as I said in Wednesday’s post, I did not expect to enjoy this book. It’s been sitting in my TBR list for years, but I wasn’t motivated to pick it up and read it. I enjoyed The Handmaid’s Tale by the same author, but didn’t enjoy Cat’s Eye or The Blind Assassin.
I ended up loving this book and it’s now on my all time favorites list! I understand why some people wouldn’t be a fan of this book. I kept thinking, “I shouldn’t be enjoying this as much as I am.” It was similar to the what I thought when I read The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro.
Oryx and Crake switches back and forth between Snowman/Jimmy’s experiences in his present situation and his past. Snowman is on a journey, retracing his steps, which makes him remember and analyze his past experiences and interactions. The creatures he encounters on his journey are horrifying and his remembrances of his formative years and the events leading up to his present situation are even more horrifying.
That’s a large part of why this novel is so thought provoking. The society Jimmy grew up in was messed up. Not only because of the gross examples of science infringing on everything from beauty products to food to reproduction, but also the rampant poverty and sex trafficking taking place in much of his world. However, did that justify how events played out?
This would be a great book club read for adults. If you enjoy dystopian/apocalyptic books you very well may like Oryx and Crake. If you like books that are somewhat vague and leave room for readers’ interpretations (which I like), you will also enjoy this novel.
Why I gave this book 5/5 stars: Thought provoking, I managed to sympathize with some of the characters in spite of their many flaws, and enjoyed the hints throughout. It’s great that Atwood was able to pose so many questions to make the reader think instead of blatantly answering them all.
Have you reviewed this book? Let me know and I’d be happy to post a link.