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Oryx and Crake (MaddAddam, #1)
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Book Discussions > Oryx & Crake (January 2014)

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Jessica (northernatlas) | 56 comments Mod
Hi guys! I totally dropped the ball and completely apologize. In January we read Margaret Atwood's Oryx and Crake (the first of a trilogy by the heavy hitter CanLit author!)

Watch Part 1: Jason sets the scene and discusses the lack of Canada represented in the book (and discusses why the author wrote it without Canada in mind!)
Watch Part 2: I build on Jason's initial overview, and focus on Crake and his Crakers.

What did you guys think of Atwood's dystopian megatale? "Orwellian" comes to mind ...


Stéphanie (thesoftestbunny) I don't know why but I think I expected more of this book. Still, very important and relevant.


Jason (jvpurcell) | 30 comments Mod
Stéphanie wrote: "I don't know why but I think I expected more of this book. Still, very important and relevant."

I can understand what you mean! Atwood is such a big name that I think she attracts certain expectations, and one can certainly feel after reading her that there should have been more. I've had that feeling with Atwood in the past. I think what makes her so great is that there is so much to think about AFTER reading her work. Unlike a novel or a writer whose work is immediately and obviously moving, I feel like Atwood sneaks up on you a little more.

Have you read any other works by Atwood? Are there any you'd like to read in the future?


Jessica (northernatlas) | 56 comments Mod
Jason wrote: I think what makes her so great is that there is so much to think about AFTER reading her work. Unlike a novel or a writer whose work is immediately and obviously moving, I feel like Atwood sneaks up on you a little more.

That's a great point and something I have noticed, now that I have had time away from the book. I have only read the Penelopiad, which is probably a bad example, but both that and O&C have haunted me! Not in harrowing ways, but in ways that other books haven't.

Stephanie, I'm definitely blaming the "lacking" on the fact that it is the first book in a trilogy. There is clearly an effort to pull readers from one story to the next. It is disappointing that it is not a story unto itself, though!


Jason (jvpurcell) | 30 comments Mod
Jessica wrote: "Jason wrote: I think what makes her so great is that there is so much to think about AFTER reading her work. Unlike a novel or a writer whose work is immediately and obviously moving, I feel like A..."

When O&C was written, I think she intended it to be the only one. I don't think, at that point, she intended to write The Year of the Flood of MaddAddam.


Jessica (northernatlas) | 56 comments Mod
Jason wrote: I don't think, at that point, she intended to write The Year of the Flood of MaddAddam.

Seriously!? The ending felt like a total indication of a follow-up!


Jason (jvpurcell) | 30 comments Mod
Jessica wrote: "Jason wrote: I don't think, at that point, she intended to write The Year of the Flood of MaddAddam.

Seriously!? The ending felt like a total indication of a follow-up!"


Yeah, I remember reading that the trilogy sort of came about without being planned. I think that open-endedness is typical of Atwood, though. From what I've read of her work, there is often a lot of room to interpret or imagine. I really can't wait to read the rest of the trilogy, though! The Year of the Flood is not from Jimmy's point of view, and Jimmy, Oryx, and Crake only appear in cameo roles. Sort of like the Davies trilogy we started!


Jessica (northernatlas) | 56 comments Mod
Jason wrote: "I really can't wait to read the rest of the trilogy, though! The Year of the Flood is not from Jimmy's point of view, and Jimmy, Oryx, and Crake only appear in cameo roles. Sort of like the Davies trilogy we started!

Get outta town! What a dame, that Maggie A.


Stéphanie (thesoftestbunny) I've read The Handmaid's Tale and it's one of my favourite books but I think what happened is that I read too many mediocre YA dystopian stories that I'm sort of tired of them? But her use of voice in Oryx and Crake was amazing. It was always the same narrator, but the voice changed so much depending on the story we were hearing and that was great.


Ikebukuro I agree with Stéphanie, the fact that it was the same narrator was amazing and I like Atwood's writing so much and even more in The Handmaid's Tale.


Stéphanie (thesoftestbunny) I had a 3-hour class just on The Handmaid's Tale epilogue once.

SPOILERSSSSSSS


They were talking about the fact that in the end, we see professors talking about the cassettes they found of Offred and that pretty much all of the book was an academic retelling of Offred's actual story. They said that that was Atwood's way of speaking against how academics (usually old white cis-straight guys) appropriate women's and minorities' stories for their own benefit. That blew my mind.


Jason (jvpurcell) | 30 comments Mod
Stéphanie wrote: "I had a 3-hour class just on The Handmaid's Tale epilogue once.

SPOILERSSSSSSS


They were talking about the fact that in the end, we see professors talking about the cassettes they found of Offr..."


Whoa. What? That is mind-blowing! I need to revisit The Handmaid's Tale and pay attention to that. What a brilliant reading of the text! THANK YOU FOR SHARING THAT! Any other awesome insights to share?!


Jessica (northernatlas) | 56 comments Mod
Stéphanie wrote: "I've read The Handmaid's Tale and it's one of my favourite books but I think what happened is that I read too many mediocre YA dystopian stories that I'm sort of tired of them? But her use of voice..."

Your comment about her voice is Spot. On. So true! I hadn't consciously considered that, but you're absolutely right. I really loved her ability to capture young Jimmy's inner monologue.


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