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The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood
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's review
Jun 22, 10

it was amazing
bookshelves: good-stuff
Read in June, 2010

I liked Oryx and Crake. It was fun, inventive, distopic but not didactic, and tantalizingly ambiguous in all the right places. By the time I read it, Atwood had already released this follow-up, which excited me because I was anxious to know What Happens Next for Snowman, Abraham Lincoln, et al. I was therefore disappointed at first to find that Year of the Flood was not a a sequel to, but a retelling of Oryx and Crake from the perspective of some of the minor characters. Imagine, then, my suprise to find that I liked this book considerably more than Oryx and Crake. There are echoes of Octavia Bulter and her Earthseed novels here as Atwood crafts a believeable, fully realized and consistent religion from a blend of Judeo-Christian Scripture, scientific understanding of biology, and radical enviromentalism. The action of the novel is frequently interrupted by sermons and hymns from this religion, which I skimmed at first, but found myself slowly studying by the end of the book. Atwood's spiritual and scientific sophistication is remarkable. The two narrators, Ren and Toby, are both appealing, and Toby is especially well-rounded (I suspect that, like me, Atwood was less interested in and slightly annoyed by Ren's more traditionally feminine character). Ultimately, I was warmly impressed by Atwood's ability to deny the reader what she wants and expects, and still satisfy.
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