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Oryx and Crake (MaddAddam #1)

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really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating details ·  177,021 Ratings  ·  10,942 Reviews
A stunning and provocative new novel by the internationally celebrated author of The Blind Assassin, winner of the Booker Prize

Margaret Atwood’s new novel is so utterly compelling, so prescient, so relevant, so terrifyingly-all-too-likely-to-be-true, that readers may find their view of the world forever changed after reading it.

This is Margaret Atwood at the absolute peak
...more
ebook, 288 pages
Published May 6th 2003 by Nan A. Talese (first published May 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…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)
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Community Reviews

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Michael
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
Tatiana
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
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Lindsay
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Fabian
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, may ...more
Rebecca
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
...more
Emily May
Sometimes I'm torn between wishing I could get a glimpse inside Atwood's mind and thinking that might be absolutely terrifying.
karen
eh.

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
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Manny
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
...more
Kemper
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
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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
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 a consideration ...more
Annet
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
J.L.   Sutton
Dec 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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. It can be a little difficult following events in the beginning; however, it is well worth the effort. Atwood's stori ...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
Brian
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
...more
Rowena
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.
...more
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
...more
Cecily
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.

Trilogy

O&C is parallel with the equally excellent "The Year of the Flood" (reviewed here
...more
Stuart
A scathing condemnation of the world we are creating
Originally posted at Fantasy Literature
Oryx and Crake hit me a lot harder than I expected. It’s Margaret Atwood, so you can expect the deft characterizations, innovative narrative structure, effortless writing, and social criticism. What I wasn’t prepared for was the powerful emotional impact it had, and the thoughts it generated. In essence, Atwood asks a simple question: “What type of world are we creating, and does it deserve to exist? Moreo
...more
Aloha
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
Ratiocination
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
Nikoleta
Jul 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, dystopia
Όταν το ξεκίνησα δεν περίμενα ότι θα μου αρέσει τόσο πολύ. Το Όρυξ και Κρέικ είναι ένα βιβλίο για απαιτητικούς αναγνώστες. Η Atwood μιλάει για την επιστήμη, την τεχνολογία και για την ανθρώπινη φύση προσθέτοντας αυτές τις φιλοσοφικές αναζητήσεις σε ένα μεταποκαλυπτικό περιβάλλον! Η δράση είναι υπερβολικά αργή, αλλά κρατάει 100% τον αναγνώστη στις σελίδες του βιβλίου, προσφέροντας του την εκπληκτική αφήγηση της και τις εκλεπτυσμένες γνώσεις της με μια μαγευτική γλώσσα. Η αγωνία δεν λείπει καθώς τ ...more
Hugh
This book has been chosen for a discussion in the 21st Century Literature group that starts next week. I am not normally interested in dystopian fantasy novels but the last two Atwood books I read (The Blind Assassin and Alias Grace) were so good that I thought I should give it a chance.

For me this is a very difficult book to judge, as throughout the book my reactions were oscillating between picking holes in the science (and it is always dangerous reading any predictions once a few years have e
...more
Sidharth Vardhan
Remember how Frankenstein created his monster by joining different body parts of the dead, and then put life into it? What appeared strange to me is the fact that he should only notice the monsterness of his creation after putting life into it. But I guess it makes sense, it is not easy to get the same feel from non—living. And it is especially true with books – unless they are alive and talking, they induce no feelings. That is the problem with this book (as is with several other books) – Atwoo ...more
Annalisa
May 01, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Margaret Atwood fans
Recommended to Annalisa by: Tatiana
I'm struggling to pin a rating on this book. Atwood, as always, is a beautiful writer. The first fifty or so pages I drank up her language, her description and setting. But I have to confess that I didn't like the book. Part of that could be as a parent (of an 8-year-old girl no less) there were parts of Oryx's history that I struggled to read. Child pornography (and abuse) is about the only thing that makes we want to get violent and start castrating guys. After reading that section, I struggle ...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
...more
Cori
Aug 07, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who don't mind feeling uneasy.
From my blog:

This book was creep-tastically good. Seriously. Reading it disqueted my soul in a way that made me lose my appetite and really hope that this is fiction and not prophecy.

Atwood has a knack for writing dystopian novels that are set in the near-enough future to be completely relevant. She basically takes things that we have today, and stretches them into a terrifying future (as she did in the Handmaid's Tale, one of my all-time favorite books). In Oryx and Crake, genetic engineering,
...more
Apatt
Apr 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Dear Ms. Atwood,

In the unlikely event that you are reading this I want you to know that all is forgiven.


"Whatchutalkinbout?" I hear you say, or perhaps I don't because it is fairly common knowledge that Margaret Atwood does not consider her sf books "science fiction", "speculative fiction" she allows but "science fiction" is a definite no-no because (according to her) it is full of talking squid-like aliens thingies (If this is news to you, you may want to look up her Wikipedia entry and other s
...more
Aubrey
Spoilers, maybe. I don't know, it's hard to tell with this one.

A while back I was enamored with this show called Sherlock that, for all I know, is still airing strong on the BBC network. This was during my Bioengineering days, the pinnacle of my proneness to eugenics flavored gobbledygook of the "high functioning sociopath" sort and all that sterile nonsense, so I can't give my younger self too much crap for being trained to confuse ethics with money and humanity with science. These days, howeve
...more
LeAnne
Dec 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorite-books
Oh, Snowman. How I long to hear your voice again. This addictive tale of the man who once was Jimmy blew me away and left me pining for more. Our hero, once an ad man for a genetics firm, now lives in a lush, tropical park hugged by the seashore. He has peace-loving, beautiful neighbors who think him wonderful. That his home is up in a tree, and that those around him have no knowledge of clothing or agriculture or even the ability to tell a joke are the first clues that something is seriously am ...more
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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
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More about Margaret Atwood...

Other Books in the Series

MaddAddam (3 books)
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  • MaddAddam (MaddAddam, #3)

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“If he wants to be an asshole, it's a free country. Millions before him have made the same life choice.” 275 likes
“He doesn't know which is worse, a past he can't regain or a present that will destroy him if he looks at it too clearly. Then there's the future. Sheer vertigo.” 168 likes
More quotes…