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Oryx & Crake

(MaddAddam #1)

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  235,131 ratings  ·  14,135 reviews
Pigs might not fly but they are strangely altered. So, for that matter, are wolves and racoons. A man, once named Jimmy, now calls himself Snowman and lives in a tree, wrapped in old bed sheets. The voice of Oryx, the woman he loved, teasingly haunts him. And the green-eyed Children of Crake are, for some reason, his responsibility.
Paperback, 436 pages
Published August 29th 2013 by Virago (first published April 22nd 2003)
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Karen Niedzwiecki I was so lucky, I read 'Oryx and Crake' (and gave my heart to it!) before I read 'A Handmaid's Tale', and to be honest and a bit controversial, I didn…moreI was so lucky, I read 'Oryx and Crake' (and gave my heart to it!) before I read 'A Handmaid's Tale', and to be honest and a bit controversial, I didn't like Handmaid's Tale at all. For me it seemed to have a juvenile premise of 'men are bastards and women are victims'. I am really tired of gender double-standards and man-bashing as a way of passing the time, and I wholeheartedly endorse equality for all humans in general, so I suppose I have an anti-man-bashing agenda of my own! But for me 'Oryx and Crake' was supremely smart, heartfelt and beautiful, and rose above the usual small concerns to the Really Big Stuff. So human and so lovely! If you like science fiction, for me (and many others I have spoken to) it is the best proper Sci Fi book written in the past 20 years. To those below who disagree with my sentiments on Handmaid's Tale, you won't change my mind by pointing out the abuse of women so please don't waste your time -- instead post your own answer to the original question.(less)
Brendan Egan It's the blurb from the back of the book, so no, it's not the third part of the trilogy. And I disagree that it's "spoilery."…moreIt's the blurb from the back of the book, so no, it's not the third part of the trilogy. And I disagree that it's "spoilery."(less)

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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 07, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  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.
Emily May
Aug 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sometimes I'm torn between wishing I could get a glimpse inside Atwood's mind and thinking that might be absolutely terrifying. ...more
Sean Barrs
Oryx and Crake is an exceptionally weird novel that left me baffled, stunned and even disgusted; however, as time went on, it developed into one of the cleverest pieces of fiction I have ever read.

Behind the child pornography, ritualistic killings and animal abuse two young teens relished watching in their spare time on the internet, resided a dormant drive to understanding the excesses of human behaviour in order to dominate it. One of the boys (Crake) is phased by nothing; he is cold, calcula
Apr 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: canadian
One Generation Away

I find it difficult to tell whether Atwood’s dystopian fantasies are meant as constructive social criticism or as sarcastic prophecy. Recent headlines suggest that her prophetic skills dominate, and with them her anticipatory sarcasm.

In the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal and the MeToo movement, for example, the British actress Joanna Lumley is reported to be fervently hoping that “not all men are bad” []. As Spencer Tracey said in
Will Byrnes

I had read Year of the Flood not realizing that it was a sequel to Oryx and Crake. Thus a desire to see what else was in store in this post-apocalyptic vision. Atwood portrays a world in which short-sightedness causes a major, global collapse in civilization. We travel with a few characters through the transition from bad to unimaginable and see what might happen if we continue along some of the paths we now trod. Genetic engineering is at the core here, and along with it flows a consideration
Feb 14, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  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
How can someone make up such a fascinating and terrifying story? Wow.... I absolutely loved it. It took me some time to take this book from my book shelves, it was there already some time, it seemed a bit weird, but after having read the Handmaid's Tale, I took up the challenge and it was well, well worthed. An apocalyptic story about a guy who seems to have remained as the sole human alive after an epidemic catastrophy leading to mankind going down. Together with the weird Crake's children he s ...more
Mar 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
What a fantastic dystopia awaits! Our post-apocalyptic fate will surely be a wonder to behold. Atwood BUILDS UP when any other 'sensible' writer writing today about the doomed future would simply TEAR DOWN. In this compulsively-readable novel, the fabulous formula borrows some ingredients from such classic books as "The Island of Dr. Moreau"& "Jurassic Park"; "The Road" and "Never Let Me Go*" derive from the same line of thought as it! It's basically SUPERIOR to all of those books (save, maybe, ...more
J.L.   Sutton
Dec 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Image result for oryx and crake

Most Recent Reading (3/6/2020)
Again, absolutely amazing! And I loved it even more after reading The Year of the Flood!

Even though Margaret Atwood's Oryx and Crake was absolutely amazing, it took me a few readings before I was ready to review it. Like many of her other novels, Atwood presents events leading up to her dystopian future with a cold logic. How the characters participate in these events as well as the world of the 'crakers' (which comes after humanity) makes this story truly memorable

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
It's the end of the world as we know it

It's the end of the world as we know it

It's the end of the world as we know it

and Jimmy feels fine.

Jimmy feels fine.

Actually, wait. That's not true. It's the end of the world, and Jimmy's the last human standing and he feels. . . he feels. . . well, Jimmy feels like shit.

He's wrapped in a bed sheet, he's filthy, he's hungry, and he's alone, with nothing but his worries, his regrets and some strange non-humans, known as Crakers, to keep him company.

And why
Leonard Gaya
Jun 09, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Margaret Atwood once reported that, when she was a child, many discussions at the dinner table revolved around climate warming, extinction of species, and other similar topics that are nowadays on the front cover of magazines. Oryx and Crake, in the same vein as The Handmaid's Tale, is a novel that speculates about the near future of humanity.

What if social disparities were no longer fought against but admitted and institutionalised as a form of urbanism, such as fancy gated communities, next to
Mar 28, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who like dystopias
Recommended to Manny by: Jordan
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
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
Oct 24, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
2016 review One of my all-time favourite constructed realities and on second reading still as good! The author and the series that coined the words 'speculative fiction' in which a story is set on modern day Earth but where the history is slightly or sometimes, hugely different. That a literary writer could create such a well thought out, yet very real feeling with this 'what if business and business interests become more powerful than states?' reality is extremely impressive... but not to make ...more
Jennifer (aka EM)
Jun 22, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: maple-flavoured
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
Joe Valdez
Nov 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My introduction to Margaret Atwood is Oryx and Crake, her 2003 science fiction novel that leaps from the post-apocalypse back to the months leading up to it. This is a future that owes its legacy to Philip K. Dick, where ecological disaster and civil unrest are kept outside the compound walls of the biotech industry, whose engineers toil on some troubling new creations. The novel is lesiurely paced and droll but kept me engrossed via the sharpness of its wit and a creeping dread that builds unde ...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
Oryx and Crake, Margaret Atwood
Oryx and Crake is a novel by the Canadian author Margaret Atwood. She has described the novel as speculative fiction and "adventure romance" rather than science fiction because it does not deal with things "we can't yet do or begin to do" and goes beyond the realism she associates with the novel form. The novel focuses on a post-apocalyptic character with the name of Snowman, living near a group of primitive human-like creatures whom he calls Crakers. Flashbacks re
Michael Finocchiaro
Wow, if you thought the world of Handmaid’s Tale was a stark utopia, it is an almost happy ending compared to Snowman’s world in Oryx and Crake.
Glenn Sumi
Jan 28, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: canadian
Talk about timing.

Just as the weather goes nuts – sunscreen and shorts one day, parkas the next – and mysterious diseases warrant masks, along comes Margaret Atwood's Oryx And Crake, a novel that explains these and other global warning signs.

This is Atwood's second successful work of speculative fiction. But where The Handmaid's Tale focused on gender and reproduction in a totalitarian regime, Oryx And Crake examines genetic splicing and disease.

We begin in a post-apocalyptic world, barren and s
Jun 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Why is it he feels some line has been crossed, some boundary transgressed? How much is too much, how far is too far?"

I read a book on the future (a nonfiction on the future, that is a bit of an oxymoron, I know!) about the fourth industrial revolution last week, and going through the list of paradigm shifts that are taking place at this very moment in time, I felt increasingly uncomfortable. "I know this already", I thought. "And I know where it is going to lead."

Almost by instinct, I took Ory
Jun 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

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
Jun 16, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I’m so glad to be back to my (literary) apocalyptic journey. This time, after coming across it in a few lists of best apocalyptic fiction, and despite some reservations, I decided to give Mrs Atwood a third chance by picking this one up.

And my friends, I’m also glad to report that it only took me a couple of pages to realise that I had a bloody clever page turner in my hands.

Jimmy. This was all about Jimmy. Jimmy as a child, Jimmy as an adolescent, Jimmy as an adult... Jimmy before the apocaly
Timothy Urges
Jun 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Margaret Atwood deserves all the admiration and praise that she receives, and then some. Such a clever and erudite woman can only make the world a better place. And she does this by showing the horrors of what could easily become our reality.

Oryx and Crake is a post-apocalyptic novel about Snowman, a lone survivor of a nightmare future. Snowman represents all the dirtiness of the human-collective. He is us. He carries shame and regret and a willingness to cling to hope.

The revelations are slow
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
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: ht
Dec 28, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
May 31, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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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

Other books in the series

MaddAddam (3 books)
  • The Year of the Flood (MaddAddam, #2)
  • MaddAddam (MaddAddam, #3)

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