Oryx and Crake (MaddAddam Trilogy, #1)
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Oryx and Crake (MaddAddam Trilogy #1)

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3.97 of 5 stars 3.97  ·  rating details  ·  95,597 ratings  ·  6,524 reviews
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...more
Mass Market Paperback, USA Edition, 374 pages
Published March 30th 2004 by Anchor (first published 2003)
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Best Dystopian and Post-Apocalyptic Fiction
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Michael
So, you go to Wal-Mart to buy your groceries because it's so damn cheap, but then you realize Wal-Mart is hiring very few full-time employees and not offering reasonable health care to its employees and it's walking employees through the process of how to get Medicare, not to mention they're closing down small businesses by exploiting foreign economies to get the lowest possible fucking cost; so, Wal-Mart's making YOU pay medical benefits for ITS employees, and replacing good jobs with shitty on...more
Tatiana
Dec 04, 2013 Tatiana rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Tatiana by: Gypsy Ryan, Misty
I wonder if all Margaret Atwoods books are like this one? Having read "Oryx and Crake" and "The Handmaid's Tale," I am curious now how many other ways of horrifying me she has up her sleeve.

"Oryx and Crake" is a dystopian (or as Atwood calls it herself, a speculative fiction) novel set in a future where genetic engineering rules the world. The story is told from the POV of Snowman, a seemingly last Homo sapiens sapiens on Earth. He is surrounded by the new breed of humans - passive, docile Chil...more
Lindsay
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
karen
eh.

bore-x and crake. this is a very all right book. i was just unwowed by it. initially, i liked the pacing of the book, and the way the story was spooling out between the present and past, doling its secrets out in dribs and drabs. but the characters just seemed so flimsy, and i was ultimately left with more questions than explanations. and the cutesy futuristic products and consumer culture bits are best left in the hands of a george saunders, not the queen of the long pen. however - and this...more
Manny
Snowman has spent a terrible night, full of confused, whiskey-sodden dreams, and when the Children of Crake call to him from the bottom of his tree he is still mostly asleep.

"You don't exist!" he shouts. "You're not even characters in a Margaret Atwood novel! You're just part of a review. And Manny won't write it until Jordan's finished the book as well."

None of this makes sense to Snowman, and it makes even less sense to the Children of Crake.

"What is a novel?" asks Eleanor Roosevelt.

"And who...more
Jennifer (aka EM)
I'm coming back to the authors who marked my literary 'coming of age': Vonnegut, Atwood. These two, for me, are the grand-daddy and grand-mammy of my bookish adolescence. They were life rafts held out by a couple of high school teachers. I grabbed them and held on. I simply cannot review either properly, so wrapped in nostalgia is my own point of view; so personal my reaction. I'm reading them now to see how they hold up and what they have to say to me 30 years later; and in Atwood's case, to pi...more
Kemper
Geez. That was the most depressing apocalypse ever.

A guy called Snowman is playing caretaker and prophet to a strange new race of people he calls the Crakers in the ruins of civilization. As Snowman forages for supplies, his recollections make up the story of what caused a massive biological and ecological disaster that has apparently wiped all the old humans out except for him.

Snowman’s past takes place in our near future where he was once known as Jimmy in a society where genetic engineering w...more
Rebecca
Feb 16, 2009 Rebecca rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Rebecca by: Stephanie
I am calling complete, and total, bullshit.

There are so many things wrong with this book that it's hard to know where to begin. For starters, the idea of having a couple of different timelines going at once, and shift tenses according--present tense for the present, regular past tenses for the past--causes some serious grammatical problems, and is an utter BS plot device. I'm not a huge fan of telling a story through flashbacks, but it can be done reasonably while retaining proper grammar. It's...more
Aloha
I started this book knowing that this is a post-apocalyptic novel. I knew that Snowman had survived some sort of mass destruction of mankind because of an experiment gone awry and is fighting for survival. The story started with Snowman sleeping in a tree, waking up in a survival mode, with the last of his provisions. He then observes the children at a distance, obviously not surprised or afraid of them. They knew him as they approached him and chanted his name, “Snowman, oh Snowman.” Who are th...more
Cori
Aug 07, 2007 Cori rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: those who don't mind feeling uneasy.
From my blog:

This book was creep-tastically good. Seriously. Reading it disqueted my soul in a way that made me lose my appetite and really hope that this is fiction and not prophecy.

Atwood has a knack for writing dystopian novels that are set in the near-enough future to be completely relevant. She basically takes things that we have today, and stretches them into a terrifying future (as she did in the Handmaid's Tale, one of my all-time favorite books). In Oryx and Crake, genetic engineering,...more
Annalisa
May 12, 2010 Annalisa rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Margaret Atwood fans
Recommended to Annalisa by: Tatiana
I'm struggling to pin a rating on this book. Atwood, as always, is a beautiful writer. The first fifty or so pages I drank up her language, her description and setting. But I have to confess that I didn't like the book. Part of that could be as a parent (of an 8-year-old girl no less) there were parts of Oryx's history that I struggled to read. Child pornography (and abuse) is about the only thing that makes we want to get violent and start castrating guys. After reading that section, I struggle...more
Ratiocination
A mainstream author writing science fiction badly. Basically, tries to have it both ways: referencing real-world, present-day biotechnology without bothering to be accurate about it. I didn't enjoy reading it, and I don't like the implication-- that writing SF just involves throwing terminology around. One wouldn't have much patience for a legal thriller that ignored basic courtroom procedure; one wouldn't have much patience for a medical drama that got human anatomy wrong. I don't have much pat...more
Amanda
Sep 14, 2013 Amanda rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Speculative Fiction/Dystopian Fans
Shelves: blog
I've read a few of Margaret Atwood's poems and short stories, but this is my first official Atwood novel (I now imagine a collective gasp from all the hardcore The Handmaid's Tale fans . . . not to worry, that's on my reading list as I've already procured a copy). I've always heard people rave about how wonderful Atwood is and I can now say that I finally know what all the fuss is about.

A dystopian novel, Oryx and Crake is set in a not-so-distant apocalyptic future in which mankind has been era...more
Louisa
May 07, 2014 Louisa rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2014

Oh man. This was disappointing. After my high from having read The Handmaid's Tale, the fall was steep and I am feeling the pain of having read a 300 page plus book that didn't seem to do anything for me except cause me to be depressed, deflated, bored and underwhelmed. Oh, and I wanted to punch Jimmy/Snowman in the face. That is all.
Rowena
The blurb says Oryx and Crake is a love story. I must be missing something!There's nothing really romantic about this story, it's a novel that questions society's ethics and morals. Dystopian novels always make me feel a bit paranoid, this one more so because we actually have the technologies Atwood described in the book, and genetic experimentation is always a hotly-debated topic. How far are we willing to go, and what will the repercussions be?

This book was very entertaining, and a quick read....more
Jason
5 Stars

Oryx and Crake really needed a second read through for me to appreciate the quality of this story. Atwood has created a well thought out, well written, and a detailed post apocalyptic novel that others will be measured against. The style of this book along with the writing is what sets it apart. This is not a heavy action novel, nor is the world very different from countless other fictional ones. The characters are very identifiable but not really remarkable. The cause of the worlds end i...more
Greg
Dec 28, 2009 Greg rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Greg by: Aerin
I've read a lot of dystopian future books, and this was by far the most unsettling of the bunch. I think one of the reasons I enjoy reading these types of novels is the plausibility that surrounds the settings they take place in, and Oryx and Crake struck me as far more plausible than any of the others I've read. Partly because it doesn't take place all that far in the future, and partly because most of technology that the story depends on already exists, or is right around the corner. I think m...more
Emily May
Sometimes I'm torn between wishing I could get a glimpse inside Atwood's mind and thinking that might be absolutely terrifying.
Cecily
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
David Sven
Clever, thought provoking writing that raises the question of what it means to be human. Through the eyes of the main protagonist, Jimmy, AKA “Snowman,” we are introduced to a post apocalyptic future where humanity has been wiped out, except for “Snowman” and the “Children of Crake,” ie re-engineered humans – if they can be called human. Who Crake is and who Snowman is, and what happened to the world is left to the reader to piece together as we go back into Jimmy’s past to a world before the fa...more
Hanne
I first read this book back in 2006 when post-apocalyptic books weren't all the rage yet. To me, this book was jawdropping, I hadn't read anything even remotely like it and it quickly earned a spot on my favourites shelf.
Now, six years and many post-apocalyptic books later, I revisited it, and it still hasn't lost its brilliance in many ways.

This is not a fast paced book, there is plenty of internalizing and describing. It brings up a lot of ethical issues about where science is heading. Where...more
Madeline
Nobody can write dystopia like Atwood. Depending on your preference, that's either a good thing or a bad thing. For me, it's a very good thing.

If we think of The Handmaid's Tale as a religious dystopia, then this book is a scientific dystopia. I'm afraid to describe the plot in too much detail, because I'm afraid to give anything away, but here's the basic outline - the story is narrated by a man who calls himself Snowman. He appears to be the only human survivor of a huge disaster, although th...more
Mpauli
Dear students from the year 2113 or beyond,

I write this review ten years after the book was released and a century before you are going to read it.
If you are there, then we didn't fuck up in one way or another. In what context you're reading this review, I can only guess.
Are you educated people are living in compounds now as the novel suggested? Are the social canyons between the haves and the have nots so huge that you had to split society as it was done in the novel?

And what about the way of e...more
oriana
I just re-read this because despite a herculean goddamn effort, I have thus far failed to get my hands on MaddAddam and am having some kind of Margaret Atwood withdrawal. Seriously, WTF? What is the point of having spent a decade writhing around in the publishing world if I can't score the most sought-after proof of the moment? Fail, fail, fail. I almost bought it on eBay this morning—seriously, the ENTIRE INTERNET only had one copy for sale—but I got outbid at $40 and realized I needed to chill...more
Lori (Hellian)
I thought I had read this before, but I hadn't really - I had skimmed it. Wasn't the right time - after my son was born in 96 I had been far too vulnerable and avoided all dystopian literature. It seems this year I am again ready as I'll ever be - The Road, then this!

This was even better than The Handmaid's Tale. Funny as hell yet dark and foreboding because this future has already started, not just scientifically but the path humans follow is utterly within our nature and more than feasible if...more
Synesthesia
Uh, this is getting a bit squicky.

I'm having a hard time putting this book down. It's been a while since that has happened. I really must stop reading it and work but it's so good.

I don't know how to feel about this book. I finished reading it so I'm re-reading it in between other books but the idea of a post-Apocalyptic world is so upsetting to me to put it mildly. All I can do is go, scientists, please do not destroy the world or give everyone some kind of disease because I really love the wor...more
Barb
The thing that creeps me out the most about this story, is just how plausible it is. It's really not a stretch to say that in the not-so-distant future the world will be run by giant corporations, and science will cross over ethical boundaries in pursuit of profit for said corporations. It kind of makes me sad ... and somewhat afraid of the grocery store.
I enjoyed reading this book for her prose, the well written characters, and the questions it raised about the current state of our society.
A th...more
Petergiaquinta
Margaret Atwood has resisted applying the “science fiction” label to those novels of hers taking place in dystopian futures, preferring instead the term “speculative fiction.” So I wonder what she would think of the way GoodReads classifies Oryx and Crake because as soon as I indicated I was done with the novel, a window popped up asking me if I’d like to recommend Oryx and Crake to various of my GoodReads friends because of their supposed interest in “fantasy.” And I had to stop and scratch my...more
Jenny (Reading Envy)
This book stands up to multiple readings, and I'm not sure why I don't have a review of it, but stay tuned. This is my fifth read. I re-read the trilogy to prepare for a discussion on SFF Audio, which actually answered a lot of the questions I've had in the five reads of this book.

(view spoiler)...more
Becky
Reminiscent in some ways to Orwell's 1984, this is a world of check-points and 24-hour guards and disappearances and interrogations that masquerade as investigations. But taking that world further, Atwood has made a society run by corporations and greed, where advances in technology are used to create luxuries intended to be consumed to the extent that they plunge nearly everyone not employed by those corporations into destitution. This book makes a perfect case against genetic modifications as...more
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Margaret Atwood was born in 1939 in Ottawa and grew up in northern Ontario, Quebec, and Toronto. She received her undergraduate degree from Victoria College at the University of Toronto and her master's degree from Radcliffe College.

Throughout her writing career, Margaret Atwood has received numerous awards and honourary degrees. She is the author of more than thirty-five volumes of poetry, childr...more
More about Margaret Atwood...
The Handmaid's Tale The Blind Assassin The Year of the Flood (MaddAddam Trilogy, #2) Alias Grace Cat's Eye

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“If he wants to be an asshole, it's a free country. Millions before him have made the same life choice.” 142 likes
“He doesn't know which is worse, a past he can't regain or a present that will destroy him if he looks at it too clearly. Then there's the future. Sheer vertigo.” 94 likes
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