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Maddaddam Trilogy by Atwood > The Year of the Flood

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message 1: by Chris (new)

Chris (chris83) So I'm about halfway through this book and I'm sorry to report that I'm bored. I just don't care about these characters or the world around them. Is someone going to tell me something exciting is about to happen? I'm ready to move on to another book. :(

message 2: by Jane (last edited May 07, 2015 09:56AM) (new)

Jane (janeinri) | 420 comments Mod
Well, to each their own, but to me yes, there is some excitement coming. This one does have a slower, gentler feel. But like other Atwood books, it builds - letting you in on the world slowly. It goes back and forth between the past and present of two different characters, and at first it's hard to keep track of which is which WHEN. But it does pay off eventually - there are some other characters, some tense moments, and all that coming.

Maybe it's just not your cup of tea - and if so just move on. I'm over halfway through MaddAddam and all the people and plots have come together.

message 3: by Chris (new)

Chris (chris83) Margaret Atwood ladies and gentlemen, giving women nightmares since the eighties. [Applause]

This second book in the Maddaddam trilogy delves into the "pleb lands" where it seems that anything goes as long as it's making somebody money. This is not the world of Jimmy and Crake but the world of Toby and Ren, two women who survive such horrific treatment by everyone that the weird hippy cult they live in really does seem great. While moving through the story I thought the way Toby did - this stuff is stupid and crazy but I'll go with it. But if I lived in that world I would have loved to be in that cult. I skipped over most of the preaching and singing though. I felt like it added very little to the narrative and was a sort of atmosphere-creating tool instead of a plot-moving one. Once you read one sermon and song you've basically got the gist of all of them.

The first half of the book was so slow-going that I almost quit on it but the second half was exciting, horrifying, and well, so dystopian. I liked Toby and understood her but Ren I struggled with. I dislike her in a mildly irritated way. She's a stupid girl. I see her as typical white trash. A grown woman who hasn't matured since she was twelve and is still hanging on to feelings for a shitty boyfriend she had as a teen. I've suffered from long-lasting heartache as much as the next homo sapien but not over someone who was clearly just an asshole. Alright, so I don't need to relate to a character to enjoy reading about them. Why was I having such a problem with Ren's story line? I think there were a handful of factors. Her part of the story is told in first person which makes me feel like I'm reading a whiney teenager's diary full of angst. Toby's story is in third person and despite her doubts about herself, or maybe because of them, she exudes maturity and strength. Toby matured and developed while Ren remains a child to the end. And because Ren is basically stupid I feel like she has very little substance. She's barely a character because she mostly just gets swept along. When she does make choices they are very unwise and emotional ones. Toby gets swept along but is observant, speaks up for herself, thinks things through. This makes Toby seem solid and real while Ren is a puff of air.

This wasn't a bad book and since I've read two of the series and sort of gotten used to living in the flow of this story I'm going to read the last book. I hope it isn't as slow as this one sometimes was but even if it is I feel it will be worth my time.

message 4: by Chris (new)

Chris (chris83) Forgot to mention that I'm using Audible for this trilogy and in this book the songs are actually sung by a band. It's very strange! Here is the playlist I was treated to. Hymn of the God's Gardeners

message 5: by Jane (new)

Jane (janeinri) | 420 comments Mod
Glad you stayed with it and got the payoff! As for listening on Audible - I'm not sure if I'd like it or not. I kind of "heard" the children singing the songs (in my head).

Ren was a tough character. The parts where she is a child or teen I could better relate to - as an adult she IS whiny. But I could understand - her mom was a total narcissist, going with whatever man she feels can give her the most, dragging the poor kid along. The only real "parent" she had was Zeb - and he certainly wasn't parent material by choice. My mother-in-law used to say those kind of kids aren't brought up, they are "drug up". And I'm sure going from living in the tightly controlled compound to the hippy dippy pleeblands was a total culture shock. Friends are so important to girls at that age, and she was separated from hers. No wonder she latched on to bad girl Amanda. But yeah, I may have understood her, but she could grate on my nerves at times.

I did like the fact that even though Ren, and to an extent Toby, never "drank the Kool-Aid" totally of the God's Gardeners, what they learned from GG saved them.

The next one moves faster!

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