Margaret Atwood: Oryx and Crake

Margaret Atwood: Oryx and CrakeOryx and Crake was not the first book by Margaret Atwood that I read. In 2009, I came across The Handmaid’s Tale and was deeply impressed.

The same also rings true for this first book of what is a whole trilogy. The first pages confused me – what was the guy with the mango doing there? I needed two chapters to really get “into” the book – it’s setting, protagonist, and the writing. The story unfolds slowly. Bit by bit we get to know who that guy is who calls himself Snowman. In the beginning there are many questions: Why does he live in a tree? Who are the “Crakers”, and why is he responsible for them? Who are Oryx and Crake, and why are they referred to as some kinds of Gods? Where are all the other people? And what the hell went wrong with the whole place anyway?
Piecing the puzzle together bit by bit was what made the story so appealing to me.

Atwood has one of the most vivid imaginations I have come across so far – and the unsettling thing about it is that all of what she imagined might actually not be so far from a future reality. She just pushed it to the edge, making up gruesome creatures, a strictly divided society, ugly diseases and viruses, and a really bleak setting for it all.
The background stories of Snowman, Oryx, and Crake were fascinating to me, and they were also the reason why I could hardly ever put this book down. I really loved to find out how these three were connected and how their fates intertwined. That said, I also liked the post-apocalyptic setting and was impressed by Atwood’s imagination once more.

I can highly recommend this book to anyone who is into sci-fi and dystopian literature. I liked it so much that I decided to read the other two books, The Year After the Flood, and Maddaddam, too. And after that everything else that Margaret Atwood has written.

Margaret Atwood: Oryx and Crake

Virago (2013)
Paperback, 433 pages
Originally published in 2003
Genre: Dystopian literature, Science-fiction, Post-apocalyptic fiction, Speculative fiction


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