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Oryx and Crake : a novel by Margaret Eleanor…
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Oryx and Crake : a novel (original 2003; edition 2003)

by Margaret Eleanor Atwood

Series: MaddAddam Trilogy (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
15,912512286 (3.95)2 / 1182
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)
Member:Grant_McLeester
Title:Oryx and Crake : a novel
Authors:Margaret Eleanor Atwood
Info:New York : Nan A. Talese, 2003.
Collections:Your library
Rating:
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Work Information

Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood (2003)

  1. 271
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  8. 91
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    Oct326: Both post-apocalyptic novels, Atwood's one is satyric and sarcastic, and skilfully projects some trends of current society in a not-too-far future, suggesting that they can lead us to catastrophe; while Miller's one is very sad, even tragic, deeply pessimistic about humanity, which it describes as inherently stupid and evil, and inevitably bound to repeat its mistakes and destroy itself.… (more)
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(see all 31 recommendations)

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English (493)  Swedish (3)  Spanish (3)  Finnish (2)  German (2)  Dutch (2)  Danish (1)  Norwegian (1)  All languages (507)
Showing 1-5 of 493 (next | show all)
Summary: Post-apocalyptic story of the last man on earth; that 'tricks' you into thinking about many contemporary issues.

Things I liked:

Writing is well done. Author seems to reveal elements of the story for a reason. Language is used effectively with particular words chosen to convey particular means. It just feels well executed. The characters are well thought out and make sense rather than being an amalgam of cliches from genre fiction (road-warrior, urchin with a heart of gold etc).

Things I thought could be improved:

Pace: seemed to wallow a bit in sections. Maybe this was intentional (see above), but if the writing wasn't so good I might have felt tempted to get distracted by another (more pacey book).


Highlight: trapped in the guard room by the pigoons. I felt this was where the story was moving at a good pace with a nice amount of drama/action ( )
  benkaboo | Aug 18, 2022 |
It's a good thing this isn't classified as science fiction, because it would make terrible sci fi. ( )
1 vote natcontrary | Aug 16, 2022 |
The most striking and frightening aspect of reading Atwood's dystopia is that it is so easy to see how we would get there from here. In using science and technology to rule out spirituality and art and bend the world around them to their will and reconstructed image, this future society finds itself numbly going through paces that ultimately end in its destruction at the hands of a man playing God. Of course, in the end, we find that nothing has truly changed, despite his efforts to purge man's dark impulses. The book reminds me of Lewis' statement that, just because we can do something, doesn't mean we should. There is a solemn warning in this book, one that needs to be heeded by our culture at large. This is good science fiction...some of the best I've read this year. ( )
  David_Brown | Aug 15, 2022 |
Dystopian future where a seemingly only one man has survived. Living amongst “craker children” who were made in a lab by the main characters best friend for the purpose of continuing mankind in a sustainable way. A little hard to understand, but a very creative tale ( )
  ninja_bean | Aug 12, 2022 |
I almost gave up on this one. 150 pages in, and I wasn't 'feeling it.' You know, 'too many good books, too little time.' But, I hung in there for one more day and darn if I wasn't hooked. The story finished strong and I will read the second in the series. Slogging through this time paid off. ( )
  btbell_lt | Aug 1, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 493 (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 (35 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Atwood, Margaretprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Chancer, JohnNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Davids, TinkeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Drews, KristiinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Richardson, C.S.Cover designersecondary 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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