Although I finished this days ago, I've had a hard time putting my thoughts together in a way that might be useful for a GR review. So, here's my jumbAlthough I finished this days ago, I've had a hard time putting my thoughts together in a way that might be useful for a GR review. So, here's my jumble of thoughts anyway.
Have no fear, Atwood has included a synopsis of Oryx & Crake and Year of the Flood as a preface. It's a good thing because it's been a decade since I read Oryx & Crake!
I found MaddAddam to be quite satisfying... it's not the type of trilogy finale that makes you wonder if the author has a never ending series set up. We finally get to find out what happens after the concurrent events in O&C and YotF. We also get to find out what happens even before. All our favorite survivors from the flood get fleshed out storylines - in fact, I found this book more of a character study than the first two. Likewise, our favorite details get mentions. (ChickieNobs!)
That said, the book wasn't without flaws. I found the story dragged in parts, and zoomed through others. Most of all, I didn't care for Atwood's choice to (view spoiler)[tell the climax of the story through Blackbeard's childish mythology style notebook entry (hide spoiler)]. (<-- Serious spoiler there, do not open until you're ready.)
But, it's cool. Atwood is my homegirl, and I'm so pleased with this trilogy that she's forgiven.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Whelp! This kept us entertained on a very long roadtrip. We had to read some while we were at our destination to speed things up. But this wasn't exacWhelp! This kept us entertained on a very long roadtrip. We had to read some while we were at our destination to speed things up. But this wasn't exactly my kind of story. King has said repeatedly that this book is one of his "tapestry of people" with a huge cast populating his fictional town. Sadly I don't think he can handle the scope when so many characters are too similar: Barbie/Rusty, Linda/Jackie, Julia/Barbara. Giving them superficial differences doesn't count! I got the impression the narrator (who did a very good job) was struggling to differentiate the characters, because all the dialog, Big Jim excepted, couldn't have been spoken by anyone.
But we're now ready for the TV show, so there's that!
I plan on giving King's The Shining a go, but I think I'll avoid his books after that....more
Wow! This is easily in the top 10 best books I've read in 2010.
It's the apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic story that most modern ones wish they could be. IWow! This is easily in the top 10 best books I've read in 2010.
It's the apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic story that most modern ones wish they could be. It's obvious most post-apocalypse tales have drawn their inspiration from The Day of the Triffids. So, if you dig stories like Blindness, The Postman, 28 Days Later, The Road, etc, etc, then make sure you read this book!
I think I naively thought, due to the title and the slim size of the book, that the story would take place over a day or a couple of days. Oh, no, no, no. The breadth of the story, both in time and situation is vast.
Here's the thing I loved most about The Day of the Triffids: it captures all the complexities of a society falling apart, while retaining this mid-century British charm. Escape to a car and light up a cigarette! Feeling low? Nothing like a hot tea with sugar and whiskey to revive you! And how about a lovely chat about the British caste system?
And the complexities! We see our narrator and his intrepid companions encounter people being extremely generous to horribly selfish. At times they have to worry about outside dangers, other times the dangers come from within. Sometimes their focus is necessarily food, other times it's just finding a safe place to hole up for a while.
Doesn't that sound eminently plausible? Some survivors are bound to be the helpers - doing everything they can to aid people in need. Others will be the selfish ones, doing deplorable things to save their own skin. I don't think it can be an all or nothing.
Then Wyndham throws in the crazy, mobile, deadly plants, a-la Audrey Jr. from Little Shop of Horrors. It's great fun.
If I ever get caught up in an apocalypse, I sure hope I can do it in post-WWII Britain. Talk about an overabundance of canned meat and preserved foods!...more
First, I have to say I read most of this book while on jury duty (which mostly involves waiting around, then waiting some more), which seemed way tooFirst, I have to say I read most of this book while on jury duty (which mostly involves waiting around, then waiting some more), which seemed way too appropriate.
This is quite an unusual dystopic story - society's transformation from what we currently know to West's vision of a radically altered near-future happens in the book. How we get from A to B is completely spelled out. Typically dystopias in literature drop the reader in, and let the reader flail around a bit trying to figure out how society became so dramatically altered. Instead, West uses the first-person narration of our chatty felon, Michael, to help the reader understand his confounding situation.
Michael is a long-time crook from a dysfunctional home who finally gets caught burgling a VIP's home. On his way to prison, he's involved in an accident and ends up in a coma for years. When he awakes, the criminal justice system is nothing like he knew it, due to a ruling from the Supreme Court. The court found that prisons were cruel & unusual punishment, and released all prisoners on to the street. (??! okay.) Michael is now thrown into a home-education reformer system, and finds that things aren't as easy as they appear.
The story is pretty entertaining, but I couldn't help thinking that this book should probably be labeled young-adult. We are in Michael's head through the whole story, and he's little more than a petulant child in an adult body. The issues Michael grapples with are ones most teenagers dream about: Could I get away with a life of crime? Surely criminals don't need a stupid education! Families?! Huh, what are they good for?
So, as long as you are okay with everything being spelled out, and are a YA fan, you'll probably really enjoy this book. I was entertained. :)...more
Mentioned by Clarence Brown in the 1992 introduction to We. Also, David Mitchell said this book inspired the central, futuristic sci-fi story in CloudMentioned by Clarence Brown in the 1992 introduction to We. Also, David Mitchell said this book inspired the central, futuristic sci-fi story in Cloud Atlas, Sloosha's Crossin' an' Ev'rythin After....more