I really loved this, as is to be expected. 'The Secret Place' bucks French's habit of improving with each novel, though. Her dialogue seemed less beliI really loved this, as is to be expected. 'The Secret Place' bucks French's habit of improving with each novel, though. Her dialogue seemed less believable this time around- though only with the young ladies. I think the girls' language wasn't intended to be genuine, and instead the girls were mostly using lame cheesy slang ironically. even so, a very minor complaint from me. Can't wait for French's next foray!...more
I find it hard to believe that I didn't write a review for this when I finished it last November. Easily one of the best books I've read in the last tI find it hard to believe that I didn't write a review for this when I finished it last November. Easily one of the best books I've read in the last three years, if not more. Just a gorgeously written, engaging, emotional powerhouse of a book. I still think about it regularly, almost a year after I finished it.
staggeringly beautiful. i don't know if i can string together words to give this justice - it is what it is in my mind and it is beautiful. eveline austaggeringly beautiful. i don't know if i can string together words to give this justice - it is what it is in my mind and it is beautiful. eveline auerbach is stunning and ethereal, and jack and rourke and denny and rob and the rest are right there in my head as well, fully formed and complete - like i've known them for years. just fantastic.
and an update from a few days later - i have consciously had to deny myself the urge of re-reading this. i have an advance readers copy and other employees at my store want a chance, so i really cannot start it over.... but i really, really want to. still is in the forefront of my thoughts....more
Bloody brilliant. Perhaps not as groundbreaking as Oryx and Crake, the novel-that-came-first, but Atwood does as she does, and fleshes out the world oBloody brilliant. Perhaps not as groundbreaking as Oryx and Crake, the novel-that-came-first, but Atwood does as she does, and fleshes out the world of O&C in a very different way.
Where O&C follows Snowman, that bedraggled, crotchety man in a bed sheet, as he attempts to live in a wasteland (and flashes back to his life before, in the various Compound megaconglomerates here he lived and worked), 'The Year of the Flood' follows two members of the God's Gardeners. These greenies were mentioned in O&C, although in passing.
In this book, Atwood fleshes out both their theology as well as their members. I won't go into a lengthy reiteration, but Margaret Atwood's got her sense of humor in full force, here. But she's also got a sort of love for these peaceful folk - there's a lot of grace and intelligence to their arguments.
We learn of Ren and Toby, two very different women who both lived as God's Gardeners before the Waterless Flood - both fascinating, both very endearing in totally different ways. Where Oryx and Crake's characterization was decidedly blunt (and protagonists weren't terribly likable - Jimmy was an utter douchebag), Toby and Ren have very likable qualities - they are far more fleshed out than Jimmy ever was. And their two voices offer a nice change of pace, as they are both different and see things differently. Thumbs up to Atwood for these two.
Plotwise, Atwood uses the Oryx and Crake routine - flashbacks, interspersed with the now. It took me a bit to follow what she was was doing (years one through twenty five) and the saints days, but it all snapped together in the end.
I would argue that you could read this before Oryx and Crake. They're two different books - both have their own incomplete view of the world she's constructed, and together they form a bigger (and brilliant) picture. If you're really concerned though, just read Oryx and Crake first - it was written first, so I think it would be easier, although not necessary.
Obviously I'm a big fan of Atwood's. This book's not for everyone, of course (if you didn't like Oryx and Crake, just avoid this one. What's the point?), but then again, what book is? I didn't even know this was coming out until recently - and I work in a bookstore. I found out the hard way, when we received an order for Oryx and Crake which had a very different cover and said "The First in the MaddAddam Trilogy". Naturally I had a coniption of joy.
So I very much loved this, as I loved Oryx and Crake - but they both served different purposes for me. Oryx and Crake laid the groundwork and was starkly grim. The Year of the Flood had a great deal more humanity to it. I can only wonder what the third book in the trilogy will bring. ...more