·Karen·'s Reviews > The Year of the Flood

The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood
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really liked it
bookshelves: canada
Read 2 times. Last read April 25, 2016 to April 29, 2016.

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 personification of the natural order of things, and taking the myth of Adam and Eve as their basic understanding of man's place in this natural order. The group is attacked violently which leads to a split, the more militant wing breaks away, and shortly after that the global disaster strikes: a sudden eruption of a virus that dissolves humans from the inside. The only survivors are those who were in some way isolated at the time of the catastrophe.
The two main narrative focusses, Ren and Toby are brilliantly evoked and my interest was held by my desire to follow their fates. The ideas are also thought provoking and not so far-fetched as to be unimagineable. The only odd thing was how this relatively small group of people kept on meeting up again, even after they had broken away from the original community. The number of coincidental encounters, the ubiquitousness of Jimmy was sometimes hard to accept as realistic.

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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
December 7, 2009 – Shelved
January 1, 2010 –
page 125
29.0%
January 2, 2010 –
page 215
49.88%
April 25, 2016 – Started Reading
April 29, 2016 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-12 of 12 (12 new)

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Shayantani Das the ubiquitousness of Jimmy was very odd.
I know, even I found it really odd.


·Karen· Yup! Margaret Atwood is just a safe pair of hands. She probably turns out a readable laundry list. I do a fair amount of private tuition here and get thoroughly sick of re-reading Brave New World - the genetic engineering aspect makes it very popular on the school syllabus, and I went right off Doris Lessing when she strayed into the Canopy at the Argos store backroad. But Atwood makes it all come true, and gives us people we will invest in, yes.


message 3: by Mag (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mag Talking about coincidental encounters, I am pretty sure that it will all come together in the third part of the trilogy. Atwood is too wise a writer not to realize it. Well, a few more days and I'll find out :)


Teresa I got aggravated at those coincidental encounters, Karen, but I didn't think Jimmy was "too" ubiquitous. Except for flashbacks, we really only see him at the end, and I felt the story explained the past encounters well enough.


Cynthia Snowman the Jimmy is so sad. He's that bumbling everyman who's trying to get through life and not hurt too many people and do what's expected of him.

Having said that I love how Atwood let's the 'girls' take over in the 2nd and (so far, pg 170) the 3rd volume. This is not my favorite genre either but compared to the few other books I've read in this category this is so, so much better. The thing i'm not liking about it is the weird religious overtones a la Adam.


Teresa Cynthia wrote: "Snowman the Jimmy is so sad. He's that bumbling everyman who's trying to get through life and not hurt too many people and do what's expected of him."

And sleep with a lot of different women. ;)

I too like how she let the girls have their voices in this one, even if I wasn't completely engaged by them. Doing that did add to the themes.


Cynthia "And sleep with a lot of different women. ;)"

I'm not white washing him. He's one of the saddest characters int the book. Truly I think the 'everyman' thing was what Atwood was going for. Trying to sublimate their own pain...mamma didn't love me enough and then left, dad didn't love me enough and then found a new spouse and wants a new baby (better son), I'm not smart enough (like evil Crake), why can't women fix me, etc. It's/he's pathetic. In 'maddadam' he 'goes to sleep' when he can no longer act.

It almost mirrors the Germans during WWII in the sens of not thinking up the evil but being caught up in it. And not fighting it. That's what the women are doing...fighting it even against their nature.


Teresa And I'm not saying it's all his 'fault.' The girls fall for him, hard. And then he's the one to mess it up, which fits your psychological profile.

Now that I think about it, it's a lot like the female relationships in The Handmaid's Tale. They have to help each other if they want to survive.


Cynthia Teresa I know I'm taking this more seriously than you meant it but isn't that what people do when they don't think they're enough? They try and get MORE whether that's things or people in order to prove their value to themselves.


message 10: by Teresa (last edited Sep 23, 2013 12:55PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Teresa Cynthia wrote: "Teresa I know I'm taking this more seriously than you meant it but isn't that what people do when they don't think they're enough? They try and get MORE whether that's things or people in order to..."

I needed to go back and think about Jimmy in O&C since it's been a long, but, yep, I think you've hit it on the head.


Cecily I thought so much about this book, but hadn't really considered the number of coincidental encounters. Good point. Yet it's not detrimental to the book; such is Atwood's skill.


Elaine I should reread these.


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