This book tackles post-zombie apocalypse events from the angle of urban recovery. As a reader, you follow "Mark Spitz"and his crew as they move from b...moreThis book tackles post-zombie apocalypse events from the angle of urban recovery. As a reader, you follow "Mark Spitz"and his crew as they move from building to building, trying to clear out bodies and pick of any remaining undead in hopes that survivors can rebuild society in Zone One (previously Manhattan). It was a quiet, dismal take on zombies that I appreciated after having read so many faster-paced apocalypse survival thrillers.
The writing is beautiful, if depressing. I particularly recommend this read to prose-lovers if only for the description of Broadway street flooded with zombies from every walk of life toward the end of the book.
If you are someone who needs books that provide perfect break-away points (aka chapters), then approach this book with caution. It is divided in to three days (Friday, Saturday, Sunday), and there are no chapters that divide within these days. There are a few section breaks that allowed for me to tuck my bookmark in and avoid that uncomfortable feeling I get whenever I have to put my book down mid-paragraph, but they were scarce. I had a really hard time letting myself get really absorbed into what I was reading because I knew that my lunch break would end or that my ride to work would arrive before I could get to a suitable stopping point.
This was probably my least favourite of the trilogy.
Maddaddam follows directly after the events of The Year of the Flood and is told primarily from T...moreThis was probably my least favourite of the trilogy.
Maddaddam follows directly after the events of The Year of the Flood and is told primarily from Toby's perspective. The surviving characters are faced with protecting themselves and the Crakers from one threat: two escaped Painballers.
I think there are two reasons why I didn't enjoy this book as much as the previous two installments: One, I really enjoyed the world-building in Oryx and Crake, and that world was fleshed out a bit more in the second book as well. In the third book, there really aren't any gaps left to fill, and so there isn't really anything new that is introduced. Two, the stakes just seemed way too low. Even though Painballers are terrifying in concept, I couldn't bring myself to believe that there was the slightest chance that the good guys would prevail.
Margaret Atwood created such a rich world for this trilogy that I'm really disappointed that it wasn't better used in this book. I feel like there were many potentially more interesting concepts and plotlines that could have been followed instead.(less)
I really like Walker's voice. I picked this book up based on its premise: a coming-of-age story set against the backdrop of a dying world. One day, th...moreI really like Walker's voice. I picked this book up based on its premise: a coming-of-age story set against the backdrop of a dying world. One day, the Earth simply begins to slow in its rotation. People begin to react ... pretty much exactly as you'd expect.
My only complaint is that a lot of the science seemed backwards to me (I consulted my astronomer-friends and the way they described the effects of a slowing Earth did not jibe with Walker's vision); HOWEVER, I was completely willing to suspend my disbelief and be taken into the work. I hope other science-minded people might do the same because it is really an enjoyable read.(less)
At first I felt guilty giving this read five stars (I'll flat-out admit that I generally reserve five stars to books with the most beautiful prose ......moreAt first I felt guilty giving this read five stars (I'll flat-out admit that I generally reserve five stars to books with the most beautiful prose ... everyone has the potential to be a book snob in his or her own right).
But honestly, I haven't had so much fun in a long time. This book is a fast-paced, playful romp through virtual reality and 1980s pop culture.
And trust me, there is more that a few pop cultural references - they are the book's fuel supply. I followed most of the music and film references pretty well, but I admit references were lost on me when it came to video games...to the point that I began to suspect that some of them were imagined.
They weren't. Joust - an arcade game that involves jousting with an ostrich as your mount - is a real thing. The "gray dot" easter egg in Adventure really exists. I know. I watched playthroughs on Youtube after I finished the book.
The virtual reality that Cline creates is rich, and I suspect that his "reality" would be too, had he given the reader more than a few passing glances. I would have liked to have seen more of his dystopia. Then again, not knowing a lot of what was going on led me to suspect the worst.
The story itself ties together nicely: the twists are just twisty enough that you don't feel jarred when they're uncovered, and also you aren't guessing at them 100 pages in advance. There were a few plot points that I suspected would be left as loose ends (the Pac-Man token and the pile of books that topples over in the Basement), but even though they cut it close to the very end of the book, they were fit in in a satisfying way.
From the prologue you suspect that you know the ending. The narrator tells you that he wins the game that unfolds throughout the course of the book, but that knowledge doesn't detract from the reading experience. Parzival/Wade Watts is so painfully eighteen years old that - despite his obvious talents - you become frustrated with him to the point that you fail to see how he might be the winner that he claims to be.
I recommend this book to any nerdy friend, regardless of nerdery. It's just plain fun. Pure escapist fun.(less)