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Oryx and Crake (2003)

by Margaret Atwood

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: MaddAddam Trilogy (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
14,993484278 (3.95)2 / 1159
Oryx and Crake is at once an unforgettable love story and a compelling vision of the future. Snowman, known as Jimmy before mankind was overwhelmed by a plague, is struggling to survive in a world where he may be the last human, and mourning the loss of his best friend, Crake, and the beautiful and elusive Oryx whom they both loved. In search of answers, Snowman embarks on a journey-with the help of the green-eyed Children of Crake-through the lush wilderness that was so recently a great city, until powerful corporations took mankind on an uncontrolled genetic engineering ride. Margaret Atwood projects us into a near future that is both all too familiar and beyond our imagining.… (more)
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English (469)  Swedish (3)  Spanish (2)  Finnish (2)  German (2)  Dutch (2)  Danish (1)  Norwegian (1)  All languages (482)
Showing 1-5 of 469 (next | show all)
DNF. I think I made it to about 15%.

The opening was alright with a man in a post apocalyptic setting doing his morning survival routine. The cause of this dystopia is unknown to the reader so far. As with THE HANDMAID'S TALE, we are in an unfamiliar setting with unfamiliar names, animals, other humanoids and the story method of all will be revealed with flashbacks and the MC talking to himself in the current time.

I need more to grasp onto to stick around. If I have to wait and wonder what is happening, as the fog is lifted it needs to be entertaining at least and it wasn't. ( )
  Seayla2020 | Apr 26, 2021 |
Snowman, the narrator, is not a nice guy. He only had 2 friends when the world ended and it's because he's a jerk. But, now, he is seriously alone. This does not make him a better person. There are just fewer people for him to be a jerk to. But, I did find myself sympathetic to his loneliness.

And the flash back story of how the world got to this place is engaging. Some of it is frighteningly similar to what is happening hereandnow. ( )
  KittyCunningham | Apr 26, 2021 |
Snowman was formerly known as Jimmy, but his friends and colleagues all adopted the names of extinct species, like Crake and Oryx. He renamed himself Abominable Snowman, or just Snowman for short; he doesn’t want to come across as too frightening to those under his care. Snowman is, like his namesake, slowly melting away, but not from the tropical sun. Although it’s warm enough that he only needs a sheet for clothing, he can’t get enough food and he’s wasting away from malnutrition. His charges, the children of Crake, are able to live off the raw vegetation of the land because they have been genetically engineered that way. Snowman can’t, and he lives in constant fear of an infection or being attacked by the wolvogs or pigoons. He frets and wonders how did things get so bad? ( )
  MaowangVater | Apr 9, 2021 |
Really good post-apocalyptic read. I liked how the story went back and forth between pre- and post-apocalypse, and showed how they got to the present.

The audiobook narrator was really good.

And I'm probably going to have to read the next book in the series. :/ ( )
  ssperson | Apr 3, 2021 |
This is really great - another novel by Atwood that I absolutely could not put down. I think it lacks a little something of what made Handmaid's Tale so great - there's something I can't quite put my finger on that Snowman lacks as a narrator that Offred had in spades. Don't let this deter you though, because this is really excellent. ( )
  skolastic | Feb 2, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 469 (next | show all)
Oryx and Crake is a piece of dystopian fiction written from the point of Snowman (known as Jimmy in his former life) – the last human left on Earth. At least, he believes he’s the last human left on Earth until the end of the book.

I found the parts of the book describing Snowman’s journey to Paradice (the dome in the compound where Crake did his work) to be a lot less interesting than his recollections of his previous life as Jimmy. I loved reading about how Jimmy and Crake met, the little signs that Crake gave off as to what he might be planning and the direction his thoughts might take in the future (though Jimmy didn’t recognize these until it was too late), etc.

Crake is really the star of the show in this book in my mind – Jimmy simply acts as a vessel for us to learn about a character who is dead and who therefore cannot teach us about himself.

Snowman’s adventures in real time seem almost pointless to me. Why not dedicate the whole book to Jimmy’s friendship with Crake, with just a bit of general explanation as to what’s going on now? I think the present would have been much more interesting if the Crakers were explored more than Jimmy’s struggle to survive and come to grips with what Crake had done.

On the whole, however, I thought it was a great book.
 
Set sometime in the future, this post-apocalyptic novel takes scientific research in the hands of madmen to its logical and frightening conclusion. Inspiring readers to pay more attention to the world around them, Atwood offers cautionary notes about the environment, bioengineering, the sacrifice of civil liberties, and the possible loss of those human values which make life more than just a physical experience. As the novel opens, some catastrophe has occurred, effectively wiping out human life. Only one lonely survivor and a handful of genetically altered humanoids remain, and they are slowly starving as they try to adjust to their changed circumstances.
added by stephmo | editMostly Fiction, Mary Whipple (May 28, 2004)
 
In Margaret Atwood's first attempt at writing a novel, the main character was an ant swept downriver on a raft. She abandoned that book after the opening scene and became caught up in other activities, which she has described as ''sissy stuff like knitting and dresses and stuffed bunnies.'' That certainly does not sound like Ms. Atwood, who is known for the boldness of her fiction. Of course she was only 7 at the time.
added by stephmo | editNew York Times, Mel Gussow (Jun 24, 2003)
 
Margaret Atwood has always taken a jaundiced view of human nature. Back when her mordant observations about marriage and other relations between the sexes had her marked down as a feminist, she took pains to fire off several novels in a row featuring weak, manipulative, dishonest and outright bad women, partly to prove that her skepticism was distributed fairly. She has always been of the opinion that people are a mixed bag of the occasionally decent and the frequently mendacious and that there's not much anyone can do to change that fact.
added by stephmo | editSalon.com, Laura Miller (May 27, 2003)
 
Genetic tinkering. Rampant profiteering. A deadly virus that sweeps the globe. Are these last Tuesday's headlines or our future?

In Margaret Atwood's novel Oryx and Crake, the answer is both. For Atwood, our future is the catastrophic sum of our oversights. It's a depressing view, saved only by Atwood's biting, black humor and absorbing storytelling.
added by stephmo | editUSA Today, Jackie Pray (May 26, 2003)
 

» Add other authors (16 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Atwood, Margaretprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Chancer, JohnNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Davids, TinkeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Drews, KristiinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Scott, CampbellNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
I could perhaps like others have astonished you
with strange improbable tales; but I rather chose
to relate plain matters of fact in the simplest
manner and style; because my principal design
was to inform you, and not to amuse you.
— Jonathan Swift,
Gulliver’s Travels
Was there no safety? No learning by heart of
the ways of the world? No guide, no shelter,
but all was miracle and leaping from the
pinnacle of a tower into the air?
— Virginia Woolf,
To the Lighthouse
Dedication
For my family
First words
Snowman wakes before dawn.
Quotations
“I am not my childhood,” Snowman says out loud. — 4: Hammer ~ 68
“Your friend is intellectually honorable,” Jimmy’s mother would say. “He doesn’t lie to himself.”
— 4: Crake ~ 69
“Jimmy, Jimmy,” said Crake. “Not everything has a point.” — 4: Crake ~ 70
If he wants to be an asshole it’s a free country. Millions before him have made the same life choice.
— 4: Crake ~ 72
When did the body first set out on its own adventures? Snowman thinks; after having ditched its old travelling companions, the mind and the soul, for whom it had once been considered a mere corrupt vessel or else a puppet acting out their dramas for them, or else bad company, leading the other two astray. — 4: Brainfrizz ~ 85
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (2)

Oryx and Crake is at once an unforgettable love story and a compelling vision of the future. Snowman, known as Jimmy before mankind was overwhelmed by a plague, is struggling to survive in a world where he may be the last human, and mourning the loss of his best friend, Crake, and the beautiful and elusive Oryx whom they both loved. In search of answers, Snowman embarks on a journey-with the help of the green-eyed Children of Crake-through the lush wilderness that was so recently a great city, until powerful corporations took mankind on an uncontrolled genetic engineering ride. Margaret Atwood projects us into a near future that is both all too familiar and beyond our imagining.

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