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The Year Of The Flood by Margaret Atwood
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The Year Of The Flood (original 2009; edition 2010)

by Margaret Atwood

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4,6732741,014 (3.94)556
Member:sianpr
Title:The Year Of The Flood
Authors:Margaret Atwood
Info:Virago (2010), Paperback, 528 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:Dystopia, science fiction, future, genetic engineering, murder, sects

Work details

The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood (2009)

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» See also 556 mentions

English (265)  Catalan (6)  Finnish (3)  Swedish (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (276)
Showing 1-5 of 265 (next | show all)
Not worth finishing ( )
  ElizabethCromb | Apr 10, 2016 |
Reason for Reading: Atwood's new book.

Summary: A plague has wiped out the majority of the world and the God's Gardeners cult had been preparing for the end-times (the Waterless Flood) all along. Two women, who were members of God's Gardeners have survived the plague. One, Ren, because she was in an isolation unit (almost like an apartment) where she was recuperating after being abused by one of the patrons in the sex club where she worked and possibly contaminated. The other, Toby, had locked herself in the beauty spa (heavily secured corporation run) she was the manager of the night the plague hit full force. The story is told from three points of views. Ren's and Toby's with both of them telling their present situation and remembering their past life with the God's Gardener's. The third point of view comes from the past and follows the God's Gardeners year by year through sermons given by Adam One which end with a hymn.

Comments: I really enjoyed Oryx and Crake and dived into this book as soon as it came into the library for me. The book was a quick read. I always find Atwood's writing to flow so naturally her books are often hard to put down, and this was no exception. Ren and Toby are full, realistic characters, quite opposite in nature from each other but both emotionally draw the reader into their lives and thus the book. Atwood's feminist side shows through here as we see a comparison between the two women. Ren has been treated kindly then thrown aside and later used and abused by men because of her good looks while Toby has been used and abused and later ignored by men because of her plain looks.

The God's Gardeners cult was pretty creepy in my opinion. Atwood has created a religion which is Old Testament based, yet Pagan in nature and is full of Saint Days. While the group believes in an Old Testament God, they are eco-friendly by worshipping animals and nature and are strictly vegan. Near the beginning she has a St. Mowat of the Wolves day and I said to myself, "Oh, Lord please do not let her have a St. David Suzuki day in here or I'm going to through this book across the room". He did appear, but fortunately it was near the end of the book and I held back my urge.

I would suggest reading Oryx and Crake first. The books are not dependant on each other but this one does reference many things from the first book and you are going to wandering around in the dark as either no explanations, or only brief ones are given. A very quick explanation of the events of the first book are summed up for you at the crucial point in Year of the Flood but a reader will be missing out on a whole book's worth of insider information if they journey into this without having read Oryx and Crake first.

Ultimately though, I was disappointed with book. It was a good enough book. Fans of Oryx and Crake will have to read it to find out the rest of the story. But I just didn't get into the story that much. It wasn't a page turner, even though it read quick enough. The plot kept moving forward but there never was any real suspense, reveals, moments of great emotion or climax even to satisfy. Well, there is a climax and an ending but they are small and weak and I ended the book with a "hmmph". ( )
  ElizaJane | Mar 25, 2016 |
Well...I didn't hate it, but I didn't love it either. It was okay. I did like reading the characters backstories, especially when they crossed paths with Jimmy and Glenn (Snowman and Crake). As expected, there was a lot of weirdness, this time in the form of the Gardeners...a group of non-meat eating religious fanatics that believe the dry flood was foretold by God. The leader, Adam One, was pretty bizarre and I have to admit...his mini-sermons every few chapters we're a little much, so I skimmed the last few. Overall, the book was well written and I believe it sets the stage for a very interesting finale. I'll move on to the last book of the trilogy soon. ( )
  Becky_McKenna | Mar 10, 2016 |
Year of the Flood is the sequel to Atwood's Oryx and Crake. It centers around two characters, Ren and Toby, who go from being members of a green religion called the Gardeners to trying to survive in the post-apocalyptic world that was established in Oryx and Crake.

I thought this one started slow and wasn't quite as good as Oryx and Crake until the second half of the book. Atwood spent too long introducing a world that anyone who has read the previous work is already familiar with. Parts of it also felt forced like she was trying too hard to reach a destination.

Another thing that kept me from feeling as propelled towards the ending as I hid in Oryx and Crake was that it didn't have as many big ideas to think about. The ones that it did have were not exactly eye-opening, nor did they challenge me to look at the world in a new way. This added to the bogged-down feeling that I had reading the first half of the book. Then, it all changed...

The second half of this book was magnificent! As soon as the book started to reference Oryx and Crake, I felt hooked and compelled to know what happens next between her new characters and her old ones. This part of the book was an exhilarating ride and the ending provided a perfect symmetry to the first book. The second half made this book worth reading.

Due to the incredible second half of the novel, I am giving this book 4 stars. Even if it did start a bit slow and feel a bit forced in the beginning, it was well worth it to get to the end. I cannot wait to read the third book in the series, and I highly recommend the first two. ( )
  fuzzy_patters | Mar 5, 2016 |
A plague has swept the world, and few people survive. One is Ren, a trapeze dancer/sex worker locked in quarantine at her strip club. The other is Ren's former teacher, Toby. Both spent years with the God's Gardeners, a cult focused on sustainable living that foresaw the plague, and so Ren and Toby are better prepared than most. As they wait out the last of the plague, Toby and Ren, each isolated from all other humans, think back on their lives. Atwood does a fantastic job of creating a dystopia that is both believable and slightly mad. Her characters feel real, with inner lives and unique personalities.

The one problem I had with this book is that it seems to be a companion to [b:Oryx and Crake|46756|Oryx and Crake|Margaret Atwood|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1303565743s/46756.jpg|3143431], which I never read, and Atwood's attempts to make this book fit with that one feel ham-handed. ( )
  wealhtheowwylfing | Feb 29, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 265 (next | show all)
Om Margaret Atwoods ”Syndaflodens år” kommer att räknas till de stora framtidsskildringarna går inte att säga ännu, men potentialen finns.
 
That it's funnier and less gruelling than The Handmaid's Tale owes much to Lorelei King's honey-coated reading and the enchantingly old-fashioned hymns from the God's Gardeners' Oral Hymn Book, sung by the equally honey-voiced Orville Stoeber. Now that's something you could never get from the printed page.
added by peterbrown | editThe Guardian, Sue Arnold (Oct 31, 2009)
 
In Hieronymus Bosch–like detail, Atwood renders this civilization and these two lives within it with tenderness and insight, a healthy dread, and a guarded humor.
 
"The Year of the Flood" is a slap-happy romp through the end times. Stuffed with cornball hymns, genetic mutations worthy of Thomas Pynchon (such as the rakuunk, a combined skunk and raccoon) and a pharmaceutical company run amok, it reads like dystopia verging on satire. She may be imagining a world in flames, but she's doing it with a dark cackle.
 
Personally, though, I prefer Atwood in a retro mood. I’d easily take “Alias Grace” or “The Blind Assassin” over the lucid nightmares of “The Handmaid’s Tale” or “Oryx and Crake.” But fans of those novels should grab a biohazard suit, crawl into a hermetically sealed fallout shelter, and dive right in.
 

» Add other authors (14 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Margaret Atwoodprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bramhall, MarkReadersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Drews, KristiinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
THE GARDEN

Who is it tends the Garden,
The Garden oh so green?

’Twas once the finest Garden
That ever has been seen.

And in it God’s dear Creatures
Did swim and fly and play;

But then came greedy Spoilers,
And killed them all away.

And all the Trees that flourished
And gave us wholesome fruit,

By waves of sand are buried,
Both leaf and branch and root.

And all the shining Water
Is turned to slime and mire,

And all the feathered Birds so bright
Have ceased their joyful choir.

Oh Garden, oh my Garden
I’ll mourn forevermore
Until the Gardeners arise,
And you to Life restore.

From The God’s Gardeners Oral Hymnbook
Dedication
For Graeme and Jess
First words
In the early morning Toby climbs up to the rooftop to watch the sunrise.
Quotations
Maybe sadness was a kind of hunger, she thought. Maybe the two went together.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Information from the Catalan Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
The times and species have been changing at a rapid rate, and the social compact is wearing as thin as environmental stability. Adam One, the kindly leader of the God's Gardeners--a religion devoted to the melding of science and religion, as well as the preservation of all plant and animal life--has long predicted a natural disaster that will alter Earth as we know it. Now it has occurred, obliterating most human life. Two women have survived: Ren, a young trapeze dancer locked inside the high-end sex club Scales and Tails, and Toby, a God's Gardener barricaded inside a luxurious spa where many of the treatments are edible. The long-awaited new novel from Margaret Atwood. The Year of the Flood is a dystopic masterpiece and a testament to her visionary power.

Have others survived? Ren's bioartist friend Amanda? Zeb, her eco-fighter stepfather? Her onetime lover, Jimmy? Or the murderous Painballers, survivors of the mutual-elimination Painball prison? Not to mention the shadowy, corrupt policing force of the ruling powers...

Meanwhile, gene-spliced life forms are proliferating: the lion/lamb blends, the Mo'hair sheep with human hair, the pigs with human brain tissue. As Adam One and his intrepid hemp-clad band make their way through this strange new world, Ren and Toby will have to decide on their next move. They can't stay locked away...

By turns dark, tender, violent, thoughtful, and uneasily hilarious, The Year of the Flood is Atwood at her most brilliant and inventive.

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From the Publisher: The times and species have been changing at a rapid rate, and the social compact is wearing as thin as environmental stability. Adam One, the kindly leader of the God's Gardeners-a religion devoted to the melding of science and religion, as well as the preservation of all plant and animal life-has long predicted a natural disaster that will alter Earth as we know it. Now it has occurred, obliterating most human life. Two women have survived: Ren, a young trapeze dancer locked inside the high-end sex club Scales and Tails, and Toby, a God's Gardener barricaded inside a luxurious spa where many of the treatments are edible. Have others survived? Ren's bioartist friend Amanda? Zeb, her eco-fighter stepfather? Her onetime lover, Jimmy? Or the murderous Painballers, survivors of the mutual-elimination Painball prison? Not to mention the shadowy, corrupt policing force of the ruling powers. Meanwhile, gene-spliced life forms are proliferating: the lion/lamb blends, the Mo'hair sheep with human hair, the pigs with human brain tissue. As Adam One and his intrepid hemp-clad band make their way through this strange new world, Ren and Toby will have to decide on their next move, but they can't stay locked away. By turns dark, tender, violent, thoughtful, and uneasily hilarious, The Year of the Flood is Atwood at her most brilliant and inventive.… (more)

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