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Oryx and Crake (MaddAddam, #1)
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message 1: by Meghan (last edited Jan 23, 2008 08:17PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Meghan | 423 comments Mod
Please discuss Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood.

Kyle (kylewilk) | 11 comments hmmmm.....what a wierd one. another in a growing list of post apocalyptic treatises. i guess, in the end, i was impressed by certain things (like some of the creativity in describing details of a world that has spun off its axis); and others that i definitely did not (like some of the tedious, overly self-conscious, stilted and frankly not excellent writing).

Meghan | 423 comments Mod
Really? I know this was a weird story but this is probably my favorite Atwood book! I love the political and social comments she made in this story. And the ethical questions she brought up were so interesting. Plus just the relationships between the three main characters were interesting.

Tell me more why you didn't like it. We did this in my book club and it was 50-50 on the likes vs dislikes.

Kyle (kylewilk) | 11 comments i guess i'm referring to a lot of the "inner voice" run-on impressionistic (and wordy) writing when she was expressing what was going on in the slightly insane brain of our main character...i would compare this to a modern painting which seems to be all over the place and only connects with me, and to a limited extent, when i look at one area of the painting, but not the whole. or vice-versa maybe; a modern painting where i don't know why any area of the canvas was painted the way it was...i just have to take it on faith....but it doesn't speak to me the way the artist clearly intended. i felt atwood was much more coherent in the handmaid's tale (though i read that quite some time ago). her descriptions were more concrete in that book i thought...less impressionistic. i could look for some specific examples to illustrate what i mean....i have the book at home. you didn't feel that way, i guess??

Meghan | 423 comments Mod
Well, I read Oryx and Crake before I read Handmaid's Tale, which may be why I prefer it. But I feel that both are her strongest works (of what I've read)--or maybe not strongest, but most enjoyable for me to read.

I do get what you're saying. I think a lot of people that didn't like the book in my club felt it got bogged down in places and thus got confusing. Whereas HT was very short and concise.

I guess for me, I prefer looking at the picture as a whole and don't bother so much with the details. But I like your comparison. It's been a while since I last read this so I'd have to have another look at it to give you any real examples. But thanks for your thoughts! It'll be interesting to look at this story from a different angle.

Meghan | 423 comments Mod
But come can you not love a story that includes naked, blue baboon-bottomed people?! heh

Kyle (kylewilk) | 11 comments you got me there meghan :)
i just finished we were the mulvaneys by the way. and picked up run.

Karen A friend gave me this book because he LOVED it so much. I found it disappointing and I can't quite pinpoint why. I didn't like the narration and the writing seemed halted in many places. I kept finding myself thinking about how the classics like Brave New World and 1984 were so much better. Oryx&Crake seemed sort of one-dimensional to me. I prefer the rich, robust, complex novels that deal with both political culture and scientific progress.

Maybe it was the isolation of the narrator that bothered me? There wasn't a rich dialogue and the relationships between characters didn't seem to be explored enough for me.

Meghan | 423 comments Mod
Karen - Have you read A Handmaid's Tale? Most people prefer that one of Atwood's. It's more like BNW and 1984 and the story is much tighter.

Now I'm going to have to reread this book to figure out why I loved it so much. I guess I just liked how things just completely got out of hand. Also, I think it reminded me a lot of the animated series, Aeon Flux (which I loved).

Stephanie Oryx and Crake is one of my favorite books. I can't remember if I read this before or after A Handmaid's Tale, but they were the first 2 Margaret Atwood books I read and they are definitely my favorites.
It's been a little while since I read Oryx and Crake, but I do remember that I was fascinated with this other society and the new humans that were created.
I think I need to reread this book!

Meghan | 423 comments Mod
Stephanie - may I just say you have the most excellent taste in books! heh

I prefer Atwood's science fiction (over her general fiction). I love the worlds she creates in them. And the characters just seem more complex and intriguing.

I think the blue butt people were the most intriguing. The whole creating a new species using various animal technics (i.e., baboons during mating season), was very creative.

And I loved, loved, loved the ending to O&C. I thought the choice he made was so beautiful in the name of his friendship, even though it may be morally questionable.

message 12: by Edward (new)

Edward (dword) | 14 comments I liked HT so tried O&C and liked it too. I saw The Blind Assassin on the library shelf and decided to try it. It wasn't SF but I liked it too. You might consider it.

Meghan | 423 comments Mod
Edward - I think Blind Assassin is a great one too. Have you read her non-sci-fi ones (like Robber Bride, Alias Grace)? They are so different. I enjoyed them, but I think I prefer her sci-fi.

Alison I am zipping through this book. Big fan. I'm (surprisingly) finding myself a lover of all things dystopian. I love 1984, Brave New World...all of them. Except The Road. You lost me at "cannabalism." But otherwise, I feel like it feeds into my closet pessimism and bleakness. Love it.

message 15: by Edward (new)

Edward (dword) | 14 comments Alison, Your post got me thinking about dystopian fiction which led to the manditory Google search and links to wikipedia, amazon, etc. There is also a Goodreads group

Coincidentally, a "normal" book group I belong to is reading The Road. I don't think they will like it because of the unsavory bits. I don't like it because of the writing style and the logic errors. Yet it won a Pulitzer Prize.

Lord of the Flies and Clockwork Orange didn't work for me either. Fahrenheit 451 is my favorite followed by Neuromancer and Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep aka "Bladerunner." Philip K. Dick would be my favorite dystopian author.

Alison OK, thanks for the link. The Road just didn't speak to me. Some people called it "stark", I called it "simple." I felt like he could have composed it in one sitting. I DID NOT GET IT.

However, I liked the Lord of the Flies and A Clockwork Orange (although bits of that were hard for me to stomach, and I wasn't a fan of the film). Let's see..the others I haven't read, but they seem interesting. I have never read anything by Philip Dick, but have always meant too.

I would have to think hard about my favorite. Most likely 1984 because it was the first of the "bleaks" that I read as a pessimistic youth. It was "fresh" to me. But I would almost say I enjoyed Oryx and Crake as much. I just love the lengths these storytellers go to to create a new world. The dystopic future is such an empty canvas to someone with a creative mind. Does anyone imagine the future to be a BETTER place? haha.

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