|Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake|
This is my first attempt with Atwood. Being Canadian, I’m surprised it took me this long to pick up a novel by one of our most celebrated authors. Also, she’s written what many consider one of the greatest post-apocolyptic novels out there with The Handmaid’s Tale. Being that it’s one of my favorite genres, I’m a little confused and to how this flew under my radar for so long.
Told through a series of flashbacks and present occurances, Margaret Atwood presents us with a dystopian tale involving a love triangle and humanity’s search for perfection.
The novel follows Snowman, or Jimmy depending on what part of the story is being told, as the designated babysitter of an entire race of humans. Created by his childhood friend Crake, the Crakers are perfect. They’re devoid of jealously, greed, racism and many other things that cause all sorts of nasty problems in society. During a later point in the book, Crake describes all that went into creating these humans and the “features” he installed. Not only was it interesting but it extremely creepy seeing living things described as products.
It goes without saying at this point but Atwood is one hell of a writer. Her prose while strong and heavily descriptive was not really all that demanding; which made reading a breeze. She did at one point offer up one of the better descriptions of the human race I’ve ever read:
“It was like a giant sulg eating its way relentlessly through all the other bioforms on the planet, grinding up life on earth and shitting it out the backside in the form of pieces of manufactured and soon-to-be-obsolete plastic junk”.
I’m looking forward to The Year of the Flood mostly because I hate “open-ended” endings. Not giving anything away here but Atwood doesn’t wrap things up cleanly at the end, leaving the reader to draw his or her own conclusions.