Alternate Realities: A Scifi Book Club discussion

Oryx and Crake (MaddAddam, #1)
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Book of the month > Oryx and Crake

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message 1: by Budd, Dictator of Indoctrination (new) - rated it 4 stars

Budd | 160 comments Mod
After reading this, did your or will you finish the series?


message 2: by Benjamin (last edited Oct 31, 2014 03:51PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Benjamin Kahn | 44 comments Mod
I barely finished this book. I quit halfway through and then picked it up again. I tried to start the second book, but I didn't have the willpower to do it. I hated Oryx and Crake with a passion.

As a Canadian, my secret shame was always that I'd never read any Atwood. Or Timothy Findlay. I know that this is no one's idea of her best book, but it definitely didn't inspire me to delve any deeper into her past works.


message 3: by Budd, Dictator of Indoctrination (new) - rated it 4 stars

Budd | 160 comments Mod
I quite enjoyed this one. I think I liked it more that The Hand Maid's Tale. I am not an atwood scholar but I am sure some people could point you to some of her works that aren't so post apocolyptic. What was it that you didn't like about the book, if you don't mind me asking.


Benjamin Kahn | 44 comments Mod
Budd wrote: "I quite enjoyed this one. I think I liked it more that The Hand Maid's Tale. I am not an atwood scholar but I am sure some people could point you to some of her works that aren't so post apocolyp..."

I found Snowman and Crake to be very unsympathetic characters. Neither of them are individuals that I would want to spend any time with, and yet we are forced to follow them for the whole book. I felt that they are not fully-formed characters, but cliches of what men are like. As far as I can tell (and my research hasn't been exhaustive), this was Atwood's first attempt at male protagonists and I think she fell short of the mark.

I also found the world she created before the virus fairly hackneyed and heavy-handed. Compared to other visions of the future jumping off from today's technology(The Windup Girl, The Diamond Age), Atwood's world feels very crass and clunky. Even Stephen King's future in Running Man is more believable.

I did enjoy the part of the book where Snowman goes back to the compound for supplies. It was the only part of the book that I thought was really well-done. Otherwise, I really hated it.

As far as Atwood is concerned, I live in Canada. Atwood's considered somewhat of a national treasure. I'm surrounded by people who've read Atwood. The majority of her work is not "speculative fiction" (her term, as she doesn't like scifi). With one exception (a friend of mine who's a huge fan), almost everybody I know who's read Atwood is somewhat ambiguous. They've absolutely loved some of her books and they've absolutely hated others. Most people have told me that this is not the book to start reading Atwood with. My reasons for reading Oryx and Crake were complicated, and designed to piss off my friend who loves Atwood.


Emperador Spock | 28 comments Mod
I am just over the middle of the novel, and it's pretty enjoyable. Though the sci-fi and genetic modifications part looks really dodgy – I would expect this level of depth in a novel from 50 years ago, but certainly not ten.


message 6: by Emperador (last edited Nov 28, 2014 05:37AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Emperador Spock | 28 comments Mod
So I've finished the novel – and I know, where Benjamin's cliché remarks are coming from (though I don't agree that Jimmy and Crake are that unpleasant). The love triangle made me groan, and it's probably one of the worst bits in the book.

Otherwise, I don't know if I'll finish the series, but I am interested in looking into at least the next instalment.


Heather | 2 comments Benjamin wrote: "Budd wrote: "I quite enjoyed this one. I think I liked it more that The Hand Maid's Tale. I am not an atwood scholar but I am sure some people could point you to some of her works that aren't so ..."

That's one of the fascinating things about this series. The likeable characters don't show up until at least the second book, and the society in the book is just...awful. But it's so well-written!


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