Oryx and Crake : a novel

by Atwood, Margaret, 1939-

Format: Print Book ©2003.
Availability: Available at 31 Libraries 31 of 34 copies
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Summary
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 the absolute peak of her powers.


From the Hardcover edition.
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "Surely Atwood deserved a respite after The Blind Assassin (2000) won the Booker Prize, but the muse had more to say, hence this hijack-intense speculative novel, sister to one of Atwood's most indelible works, The Handmaid's Tale (1985). Jimmy is struggling to stay alive on a wreckage-littered Earth besieged by a brutal sun and overrun with smart and vicious test-tube-bred predators. Now calling himself Snowman (as in Abominable), he's preparing for an arduous scavenger expedition back to the formerly high-tech compound in which he lived and worked until the bioengineering industry ran amok and a catastrophic event put an end to civilization. Snowman is desperately lonely, but he isn't actually alone since he serves as guru for a strangely passive tribe unaware of the lost world of computers, bullet trains, Web porn, gene-splicing, and the plagues that Snowman so vividly and regretfully recalls. As Snowman remembers his friend, Crake, an emotionally remote genius, as well as the love of Snowman's life, an enigmatic survivor of childhood sexual abuse called Oryx, Atwood conjures a grim, all-too-plausible future in order to consider the possibly devastating consequences of our present ill-advised biotech pursuits. Rigorous in its chilling insights and riveting in its fast-paced "what if" dramatization, Atwood's superb novel is as brilliantly provocative as it is profoundly engaging. --Donna Seaman"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Atwood has visited the future before, in her dystopian novel, The Handmaid's Tale. In her latest, the future is even bleaker. The triple whammy of runaway social inequality, genetic technology and catastrophic climate change, has finally culminated in some apocalyptic event. As Jimmy, apparently the last human being on earth, makes his way back to the RejoovenEsencecompound for supplies, the reader is transported backwards toward that cataclysmic event, its full dimensions gradually revealed. Jimmy grew up in a world split between corporate compounds (gated communities metastasized into city-states) and pleeblands (unsafe, populous and polluted urban centers). His best friend was "Crake," the name originally his handle in an interactive Net game, Extinctathon. Even Jimmy's mother-who ran off and joined an ecology guerrilla group when Jimmy was an adolescent-respected Crake, already a budding genius. The two friends first encountered Oryx on the Net; she was the eight-year-old star of a pedophilic film on a site called HottTotts. Oryx's story is a counterpoint to Jimmy and Crake's affluent adolescence. She was sold by her Southeast Asian parents, taken to the city and eventually made into a sex "pixie" in some distant country. Jimmy meets Oryx much later-after college, after Crake gets Jimmy a job with ReJoovenEsence. Crake is designing the Crakers-a new, multicolored placid race of human beings, smelling vaguely of citron. He's procured Oryx to be his personal assistant. She teaches the Crakers how to cope in the world and goes out on secret missions. The mystery on which this riveting, disturbing tale hinges is how Crake and Oryx and civilization vanished, and how Jimmy-who also calls himself "the Snowman," after that other rare, hunted specimen, the Abominable Snowman-survived. Chesterton once wrote of the "thousand romances that lie secreted in The Origin of Species." Atwood has extracted one of the most hair-raising of them, and one of the most brilliant. (May 6) Forecast: Readers who know Atwood primarily as the author of The Handmaid's Tale will be thrilled by this return to the future; those who follow her work more closely will be even more impressed. This is a potential dystopian classic and should sell accordingly. Author tour. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Series Oryx and Crake trilogy
#1 - Oryx and Crake
#2 - The Year of the flood
#3 - MaddAddam
Subjects Triangles (Interpersonal relations) -- Fiction.
Genetic engineering -- Fiction.
Male friendship -- Fiction.
New York (State) -- Fiction.
Publisher New York :Nan A. Talese/Doubleday,©2003.
Edition 1st ed.
Language English
Description 376 pages ; 25 cm
ISBN 0385503857
Other Classic View