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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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4,3722521,127 (3.94)540
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 540 mentions

English (244)  Catalan (6)  Finnish (3)  Swedish (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (255)
Showing 1-5 of 244 (next | show all)
I wasn't sure what to expect from this, since I had a bit of a tough time with the first in the trilogy. The whole double layer of dystopia thing was a bit boggling to my mind, especially since dystopia isn't really my go-to genre to begin with. Anyway, I actually got interested in these novels because of what I'd heard about this one, so I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that I did really enjoy it. Despite the glimmers of "middle book syndrome," also found in Tolkien's The Two Towers and a few of the Harry Potter books, among others, this story came together nicely. In the peripheral nature of the relationship between this volume an its predecessor I was pleasantly reminded of the structure of Robertson Davies' trilogies. The stories of two women, former members of the nature cult God's Gardeners, who survive the biological cataclysm that is introduced in the first book, parallel and echo each other as the story of how they got where they are unfolds. Elements and characters from the first book (Oryx and Crake) are woven in as the picture becomes clearer. There are brutal things in this story, not unexpected to readers of Atwood (notably The Handmaid's Tale), and certainly what could realistically be expected if the human race were reduced to tiny pockets of accidental survivors, not really what could be called a society at all. The characters are rich and though the brutal reality is tough to read at times, I still want to find out how they make out. I'm looking forward to the conclusion in Maddaddam already. ( )
  karenchase | Aug 20, 2015 |
I loved this book. Couldn't put it down. It's probably my favorite MA book to date. The odd thing is that I'm always forgetting the title. When I want to tell people about this great book I read, I always draw a blank on the title. The reason is that the idea of a flood was barely part of the story at all. If you like stories about the way the world and human race could turn out some day, then you'll like this book. Unfortunately, these books are always depressing. The human race is always headed for a demise. ( )
  valorrmac | Aug 19, 2015 |
I typically shy away from dystopian novels. But Margaret Atwood being the author she is, her books always manage to slip under my defenses. More impressively, she makes me care about her characters and the dystopian world she's created. Although I haven't read Oryx and Crake, the first book, I picked up the middle book of the MaddAddam trilogy, The Year of the Flood, after letting it languish on my shelves literally for years and quickly found myself pulled into yet another of her inventive and disturbing worlds.

Two women, Ren and Toby, find themselves accidental survivors of the long predicted waterless flood that has devastated a future Earth. While most of the rest of the population succumbed to a horrific plague, Ren was safe from the ravages, locked away in quarantine in the sex club where she worked as a trapeze dancer. Toby survived at a spa, luckily stocked with lots of natural edible products intended for the wealthy. As the two of them separately set about the uncertain work of survival, the narrative shifts between the present of their predicament and their pasts. Both women were once members of God's Gardeners, a religion striving to minimize the hurt we cause the earth and revering the early harbingers of what must come, the environmentalists, the activists, and those who intentionally tread lightly on the earth. Run by the beneficent and peaceful seeming Adam One, God's Gardeners prepare for the apocalypse of the waterless flood, cultivate small patches of earth, eschew meat, and live without modern technology in the pleebland slums of their unnamed cities.

Outside of the God's Gardeners, technology has taken over. The government is bought and sold, consumerism is rampant, and no one, or almost no one, can outrun the corporation that controls everything. Corporate biotech and genetic engineering rules the world, from splicing unrelated creatures together to manufacturing pleasure and pain, creating questionable drugs to synthesizing unidentifiable food. The world before the flood is bleak and horrific. The world after the flood is empty but incredibly dangerous. As Toby and Ren realize what has happened and what they have to do if they not only want to continue to survive but to find out if anyone they care for has also survived, they are more fettered than they have ever been but also somehow more free to direct their own destinies.

Atwood has created a world like ours on steroids. It is terrifying and horrible, an object lesson on our own excesses, a condemnation of rampant science without checks or balances, a disregard for consequences. Each chapter starts with a simple hymn, sermon, or explanation of a saint from Adam One or the God's Gardeners, pointing the reader to the tenets of their faith and of the way the earth has been plundered beyond all recognition. The narration alternates between Ren in the first person and Toby in the third, allowing for both a very intensely personal narration and a more measured broader look at the world both before and after the flood. It is a little too coincidental that characters whose run-ins before the flood are pivotal would continue to cross paths afterwards, especially given the nature of their interactions. The ending of the novel is very much unresolved, which is the only reason I would say the novel doesn't quite stand on its own apart from the MaddAddam trilogy. But Atwood can create a world like no one else so having to read the other two books to fill in the blanks left by this one to find out the fate of human beings will certainly be no hardship. ( )
  whitreidtan | Jul 7, 2015 |
...

( )
  LaMala | Jun 7, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 244 (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.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
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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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