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The Year of the Flood

(MaddAddam #2)

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  111,833 ratings  ·  7,716 reviews
Set in the visionary future of Atwood’s acclaimed Oryx and Crake, The Year of the Flood is at once a moving tale of lasting friendship and a landmark work of speculative fiction.

In this second book of the MaddAddam trilogy, the long-feared waterless flood has occurred, altering Earth as we know it and obliterating most human life. Among the survivors are Ren, a young trap
Paperback, 434 pages
Published July 27th 2010 by Anchor (first published September 22nd 2009)
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Judy Lindow This story interweaves with the first story. Some of the characters are seen and talked about by different people. Jimmy's nervous mother is described…moreThis story interweaves with the first story. Some of the characters are seen and talked about by different people. Jimmy's nervous mother is described by Toby, for example. The main characters from the first novel are also referred to and in the story. It's striking how they come down a notch when not driving the narrative. It's like seeing that painting of Icarus where he's falling into the ocean and the village people are oblivious. This story seems to describe the social chaos that provided the context for the pandemic. (less)
Jean Cole The first book is Oryx and Crake. I enjoyed it, but for whatever reason was not able to get into the 2nd, Year of the Flood. I plan to go back to that…moreThe first book is Oryx and Crake. I enjoyed it, but for whatever reason was not able to get into the 2nd, Year of the Flood. I plan to go back to that one later.(less)

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I’m really tempted to take a cheap shot at Margaret Atwood and call her the George Lucas of literature since I was very disappointed in this follow-up to Oryx & Crake.

She built an intriguing world in O&C where corporations ruled and profited through genetic engineering and gene splicing animals in a way that would give Dr. Moreau some ethical concerns. And she tied that to the devastating story of how it ended along with the tale of Jimmy (Snowman), his mad scientist friend Crake, and the woman
YOU DO NOT HAVE TO READ ORYX AND CRAKE FIRST. The Year of the Flood is not a sequel even though goodreads lists it as Maddadam trilogy #2. It's more like a completely different story about the same event. There is hardly any character crossover and absolutely zero information in Oryx and Crake that you need to love/enjoy/understand The Year of the Flood.

I love that this story just dumps me off in the future. Lots of things aren’t explained. It’s written as if I already know what a "vi
Sean Barrs
This is one of the most important and necessary novels written in the twenty-first century so far. It’s relevant, it’s powerful and it really is needed. Go read it!

Margaret Atwood ended the world in Oryx and Crake. She presented a vision of the future that wasn’t too far removed from where the planet is heading. And, in a way, this book is an answer to such environmental catastrophe.

Firstly though, it’s worth mentioning that this isn’t really a sequel, it’s told alongside the events of the
Paquita Maria Sanchez
Throughout my adult life, every time I've set to fretting about something, if I have ever been composed of the proper combination of melancholy, apathy, and bitters to warrant the interest of my hovering mother, in a state of exasperation she always runs a line on me about perspective, about humbling myself by pondering the countless masses of people in the world who have it so much worse than me; that I should always feel grateful, and that thinking otherwise is simply being small-minded and se ...more
Will Byrnes
The Year of the Flood is a sequel to her 2003 book Oryx and Crake. (Those characters arrive here in the back quarter of the book) They are both set in a post-apocalyptic western nation, and explore the implications of many contemporary trends.

Although I share Atwood’s concern about most of the problem sources she identifies, the book did at times feel a bit like a laundry list of the sins of the 20th and 21st centuries. Of course, some of the dynamics she portrays are eternal, battles for power
J.L.   Sutton
Mar 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“What am I living for and what am I dying for are the same question.”

The Year of the Flood is a fabulous and thought provoking novel from Margaret Atwood! And yet another novel from Atwood that I will need to read multiple times! Though the second book in the trilogy, The Year of the Flood, is more a companion novel to Oryx and Crake (Book 1) than a continuation of it. The lives of the main characters, Ren and Toby, intersect with Jimmy (Snowman) and Glenn (Crake) from Oryx and Crake, but the e
I absolutely loved this book, one of the best I ever read. Amazing how a writer can make up such a story, of an apocalyptic world caused by 'the waterless flood' (an man-made plague)..and what this self-destruction does to the world of ours. I remember loving 'Oryx and Crake' for the weirdness and confronting character of the story, but I actually liked this one a bit better, contrary to other reviewers. This because I was intrigued by and really liked the stories of the female main players in t ...more
Jeffrey Keeten
Jun 30, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: post-apocalyptic
"Glenn (Crake) used to say the reason you can't really imagine yourself being dead was that as soon as you say, "I'll be dead," you've said the word I, and so you're still alive inside the sentence. And that's how people got the idea of the immortality of the soul--it was a consequence of grammar. And so was God, because as soon as there's a past tense, there has to be a past before the past, and you keep going back in time until you get to I don't know; and that's what God is."

Animals have evap
Jun 24, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorite
I deleted my review from 6 years ago because I don't think I understood half of what was being spoken about and just got washed away by the public consensus on the book. I still think it is great, but I am sure I understand it better now and notice some glaring faults with it. As a sequel to Oryx and Crake, I remember subtle references tying it to the earlier story. Now I feel like there is nothing subtle about these references, they are so glaringly obvious, for example not only Ren but Amanda ...more
Jun 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Waking up in a world that is clearly dystopian, but unfortunately all too familiar!

That is what Margaret Atwood is so good at - seeing where we are heading and turning it into a science fiction story which sometimes hits closer to home than most news reports we are inundated with each day, our daily flood.

The Year Of The Flood - the day of the flood, the hour of the flood - catastrophe is accelerating like everything else. When your head spins and your fever rises and your hope skydives, ther
Glenn Sumi
May 31, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: canadian
I'd been meaning to read this novel – book two in Atwood's dystopian MaddAddam trilogy – for a while. Who knew that it would take a pandemic to get me to finally pick it up?

The setting turned out to be very fitting. As readers of Oryx And Crake, the first book in the trilogy, know, a man-made biological disease (called "the Waterless Flood") has wiped out much of the population, and along with a handful of ragged survivors, genetically-modified creatures now roam the earth, as well as strange, h
Profoundly brilliant. Had I not read this directly after reading Oryx and Crake, I would have missed so many things - little nuances, passing comments made by the characters... it just enriched the earlier story and brought so much depth, context, and elegance. Like looking at the Rubin's vase optical illusion and only seeing it one way for so long, and then someone points out the other image right before your eyes. Of course, it was Ms. Atwood herself who constructed the image and slowly sheds ...more
Apr 20, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Would have been such a sin if the setting for Oryx & Crake had been wasted! So much imagination went into that particular novel that all stories parallel to Snowman’s should have the equal right to be told.

In "O & C," the two strands of plot which interweave involve Jimmy/ Snowman. There was an obvious difference between the Snowman put in charge of Crake’s children & Jimmy from the past, the naïve friend of Crake, lover of Oryx. In the second helping of the MaddAddam trilogy the same two-plot b
Violet wells
Apr 20, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dystopia
This was my first experience of Margaret Atwood and I’m afraid I don’t really get what all the fuss is about. Perhaps this is her worst novel? The first two hundred pages, relentless exposition bereft of dramatic tension, bored me. It’s one of those novels that plays catch up – starts at year twenty-five, then goes back to year zero and works its way forward. The two narrators, a kind of everygirl and everywoman, are members of a new age travellers cult, but essentially struck me as hackneyed so ...more
A brilliant satire! The Year of the Flood explores the touchy feely side of the end of the world. How did the free love hippy, earth, organic crowd see the coming quake. How did they prepare. Who were they? It was a fascinating journey. Also the points of view in this book were primarily women. One was a life weary intelligent person who learned to adapt and the other a vacuous, naïve young girl and how she saw the world she grew up in. In this one, we get to see an adult view of how this happen ...more
Apr 15, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2013
I'm pretty sure that the entire concept of reading was invented so that I could consume Margaret Atwood. She is my first and always most favorite of all time ever and I love her so much I don't even know.

I seriously could not read this book fast enough. I don't even like her fantasy books as much as the realist ones but I felt like I was a starving person just shoving this book into my face by the fistful. And now I want to read MaddAddam so so so so badly I might burst, but the entire internet
Moira Russell
Nowhere near as good as Oryx & Crake, sadly. But the women characters! Toby! Ren! Amanda! Pilar! I really don't think this is as much a retelling of O&C as everyone says it is; it's more a shadow cast, a mirror, a reflection in water. Female heroes instead of men; the people on the ground, in the street, instead of locked up safe in Paradice; childhood as home, sex as trade. The back of the tapestry. Loved loved loved all the details about the Gardeners, Adam One after a while, and even the serm ...more
Oct 26, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

This story is parallel to "Oryx and Crake" (reviewed here:, and has several characters in common, though the writing style and overall format is quite different.

Having read both, I can't decide whether it is better to read them in publication order (O&C first) or not, but it's certainly good to read them in quick succession. As with O&C, it is about the characters; many aspects are only ever partially explained, part way through, leaving the read
LeAnne: GeezerMom
You know, I've never poured hot melted candle wax into my ear drums before, but this week that didn't sound like such a bad idea. Many books translate well into audio versions, others so-so. Despite being over the moon for the first book in this series - which I only finished last week - this sucker was like scraping a rusty hammer's edge across an old-school chalk board. Agony.

Save yourselves! Don't go audio.

Okay, now that my initial rant has had its cork popped (I'll pour a touch more, later),
Dec 26, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
I actually liked this better than its counterpart, Oryx and Crake (but you must read both, no matter what), and I think it's because this book focuses on two female protagonists this time, instead of Jimmy - Atwood is a genius, but she just doesn't write male characters well.

This book is hard to explain, especially to someone who hasn't read Oryx and Crake. So I'm going to disregard those people completely and just pretend you all know exactly what I'm talking about.

Basically, the events in thi
Feb 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The year 25 is referred to as The Year of the Flood. We are not told when or why the years have been reset. The flood is metaphorically used to describe the pandemic that is set in motion by Crake in the first novel that ends up, for all intents and purposes, wiping out the human species.
The Year of the Flood uses the same structure as Oryx and Crake. The narrators at the beginning of the book are living in their present, the year 25, and the narrative will shift back and forth in time between
This work isn't perfect, there are the odd little details here and there which don't ring true, etc etc. I noted such things once and awhile as I read, but they didn't bother me much. The story is such a page-turner, that it's easy to overlook the minor flaws I thought were present. (Heck, maybe they were only present in my skull.)

The book enlarges the vision begun in Oryx and Crake. I don't think one would need to read that first, but why wouldn't you? True, I did think this book was better tha
Dec 29, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fans of "Oryx and Crake"
The Year of the Flood is a companion novel (or, as I've seen it sometimes called sidequel) to Oryx and Crake. While the book is inferior to its predecessor IMO, it is still a remarkable work of speculative fiction.

Set at approximately the same time as Oryx and Crake,The Year of the Flood follows the fates of two female survivors of the Waterless Flood - an epidemic orchestrated by Crake. Ren is a trapeze dancer at a sex club locked in its quarantine room and Toby is barricaded in a spa stocked w
Having survived that devastating plague Crake unleashed on the human race in "Oryx & Crake" (, Toby and Ren are now doing their best to survive the empty yet menacing cityscape they were stuck in when all Hell broke loose. Toby was rescued from a life of hardship and degradation by the Gardeners, a strange eco-cult that predicted the "Flood", as where Ren was made to join them when her mother ran off from a cushioned life to be with one of their leaders. ...more
Ashley Daviau
Nov 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I didn’t think it was possible to get better than the first book in this series but this book absolutely blew the first one out of the water! Atwood has created such a bizarre yet fascinating world with this series and I don’t think I could be more in love with it. I love how you get to know the characters more in depth in this installment, it’s impossible not to form attachments to the characters and fall in love with them. Especially Toby, she’s just so fierce and strong and I adore her! This ...more
Dec 07, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: canada
Knocked out by this one. What a page-turner.

Original review (2010):
Although this is not my favourite genre, I very much enjoyed this speculative dystopian novel. It is a parallel narrative to Oryx and Crake, set in the Pleeblands rather than the Compounds. It also fills in on the activities of the Gardeners of God, a radical greenie sect that combine vegetarianism, ancient lore about herbs and plants and other natural cures, and a sort of rational belief in a pantheistic God, a God that is a per
I kept wondering if what Margaret Atwood writes is SF or rather speculative fiction. The boundaries between these genres seem quite difficult to draw, for me - as a reader - it has no relevance what kind of Atwood's writing falls into. Case closed.
Another issue related to the Canadian author would be the feminism proclaimed in a fairly high percentage.
This novel, however, in my opinion, destroys this myth, in the context in which the pattern created by Atwood would be that none of the women o
May 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fans of apocalypse fiction + vegans
3.5 stars
I read this book for my English class this quarter and wow... this book is a brutally honest look at an apocalypse that feels very real and not so far into the future. It's of the water-less flood and it follows a group of people who call themselves the Gardner's. It mainly follows two women: Toby and Ren in alternating POV's. This book also contains some genetically engineered creatures that sound so fascinating like: liobams (a lion and a lamb), Mo'hair (sheeps with human hair), rakun
Caro the Helmet Lady
Here's Atwood at her best - presenting us with with the stories of survivors, be it a heartbreak or the end of the world or a starvation and violence. Those stories are sometimes sad and sometimes a bit funny and always realistic, well, maybe except for the pigoons. It's like you watch the movie with many disturbing details with your friend, but he's already seen it for a couple of times, so he's not cringing unlike you are and he's encouraging you not to close your eyes, because otherwise you'l ...more
Apr 03, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Atwood fans, dystopia lovers, anyone in need of a smart and compelling 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)
  • Oryx and Crake (MaddAddam, #1)
  • MaddAddam (MaddAddam, #3)

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Until this summer, Lindsay Ellis was mainly known as a super smart and witty film critic and YouTube essayist, making videos that range from...
174 likes · 16 comments
“What am I living for and what am I dying for are the same question.” 322 likes
“Glenn used to say the reason you can't really imagine yourself being dead was that as soon as you say, 'I'll be dead,' you've said the word I, and so you're still alive inside the sentence. And that's how people got the idea of the immortality of the soul - it was a consequence of grammar.” 101 likes
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