Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Oryx and Crake (MaddAddam, #1)” as Want to Read:
Oryx and Crake (MaddAddam, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Oryx and Crake (MaddAddam #1)

3.98 of 5 stars 3.98  ·  rating details  ·  123,521 ratings  ·  8,003 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)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Oryx and Crake, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Nancy Behrendt Although she has novels that read like "normal" ones, Oryx & Crake a strange story. You are dropped into a middle of a situation that you will not…moreAlthough she has novels that read like "normal" ones, Oryx & Crake a strange story. You are dropped into a middle of a situation that you will not truly understand until the end of the book. If you don't like doomsday future scenarios, you won't like this.(less)
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins1984 by George OrwellThe Giver by Lois LowryDivergent by Veronica RothBrave New World by Aldous Huxley
Best Dystopian and Post-Apocalyptic Fiction
20th out of 2,174 books — 18,713 voters
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. RowlingThe Kite Runner by Khaled HosseiniThe Hunger Games by Suzanne CollinsHarry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. RowlingHarry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling
Best Books of the Decade: 2000s
75th out of 4,995 books — 24,649 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
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
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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.

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
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
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
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
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

I wanted to give myself three months to reflect on this book before writing anything about it. I have a tendency, upon finishing a novel that I really, really love, to annoy the shit out of friends and loved ones by first trying to impress upon them the need to read this book now, NOW - and failing that, to wax hyperbolic and ecstatic over its charms. To them I am the litboy who cried wolf.

And yes, it has only been two months, not three, but I've read the other two books in the MaddAddam series
Futuristic, bad new world in the wake of an unspecified environmental/ genetic engineering disaster, told from the viewpoint of a nostalgic but detached survivor. It is as much about personal relationships, sexual exploitation, sexual freedom, religion, creation and original sin as it is cyber-punk sci-fi. The central, though unoriginal, irony is that this dystopia was created from a failed Utopian plan.


O&C is parallel with the equally excellent "The Year of the Flood" (reviewed here
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
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.
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
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
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,
Emily May
Sometimes I'm torn between wishing I could get a glimpse inside Atwood's mind and thinking that might be absolutely terrifying.
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
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
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
Dear Ms. Atwood,

In the unlikely event that you are reading this I want you to know that all is forgiven.

"Whatchutalkinbout?" I hear you say, or perhaps I don't because it is fairly common knowledge that Margaret Atwood does not consider her sf books "science fiction", "speculative fiction" she allows but "science fiction" is a definite no-no because (according to her) it is full of talking squid-like aliens thingies (If this is news to you, you may want to look up her Wikipedia entry and other s
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
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
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
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
Kristin ❋extols death with luminescent brilliance❋

A-Z Challenge with Karly and Jess

a = Atwood, Margaret

3.5 - 4 stars

Atwood’s dystopia eerily depicts an all too foreseeable future with genetically modified everything, from our food, to cross-bred animals, our environment, and even going as far as humans.

The story of Oryx and Crake begins with Snowman (a.k.a. The Abominable Snowman, Jimmy, and Thickney), who believes he is the last surviving human, and is slowly starving to death and losing his grip on reality. He sleeps up in a tree off the bea
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
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
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)
Synesthesia (SPIDERS!)
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
Ok, so you know I love Margaret Atwood. She's observant, humorous, and makes razor-sharp social commentary. Oryx and Crake touches on so many topics, from humans playing as gods, science, jealousy, sexuality, and the most universally discussed topic, love.

As the first installment in a trilogy--a series by Margaret Atwood? I'm intrigued--I felt that O+C could be a bit confusing at times. You are thrust right into the world with no introduction. What I enjoyed about this novel, how Atwood only sl
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
  • Pump Six and Other Stories
  • Parable of the Talents (Earthseed, #2)
  • Biting the Sun
  • Not Wanted On The Voyage
  • Native Tongue (Native Tongue, #1)
  • Unless
  • He, She and It
  • Far North
  • Julian Comstock: A Story of 22nd-Century America
  • King Leary
  • The Stone Gods
  • The Gate to Women's Country
  • The Birthday of the World and Other Stories
  • The Death of Grass
  • The Meaning of Consuelo
  • Winterlong (Winterlong, #1)
  • Ice
  • Dhalgren
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 about Margaret Atwood...

Other Books in the Series

MaddAddam (3 books)
  • The Year of the Flood (MaddAddam, #2)
  • MaddAddam (MaddAddam, #3)
The Handmaid's Tale The Blind Assassin The Year of the Flood (MaddAddam, #2) Alias Grace Cat's Eye

Share This Book

“If he wants to be an asshole, it's a free country. Millions before him have made the same life choice.” 192 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.” 126 likes
More quotes…