Reviews of Oryx and Crake (2003)
Review by mrdude (2006-04-14)
Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood is the story of snowman, a man who seems to be the last surviving human, except for a group of creatures known as the Crakers, who are not quite human.
First off, any book that is well over 300 pages in length has to be good when it is able to make me finish it inside of two days. So, right off the bat Oryx and Crake wins many points for simply being extremely captivating and imaginative. Luckily that is not where this book stopped for me; in fact it was quite immense in it's good qualities.
I think one of the strongest points in this novel was the character development. Atwood was able to create characters that were extremely flawed, did things that I found unacceptable, and still I cannot think of one I did not like. Even antagonists had a side to them that made them human enough for a reader to empathize with them, while at the same time not agree. Her concept of the Crakers was astonishing, it is amazing how deeply one can explain human nature by giving an example of something that lacks nearly all of it.
It is amazing to me that all the while Atwood is able to piece together a story that seems so nightmarish and so drastic to the reader, and then slowly reveal how close the world she has described is to ours. Her situations use nothing that does not currently exist, if not in actually reality than at least on the drawing board. Perhaps that was the hardest part of the novel for me that it remained true to reality, it left me with questions I have no answers to. It made me understand certain characters motives even when I had trouble dealing with their actions.
(Posted at the IBDoF also)
Review by hulabob (2004-07-30)
In a departure from her usual style Atwood uses a male protagonist to tell the story of a shattered world. Oryx and Crake is a science-fiction tale, a threatening future spreading from threads we can see today. Atwood does a great job of interjecting moments from our recent past and creating a distant past out of them for her character. In a standard retrospective/present narrative the reader learns of Snowman and how he came to be living in a tree, wearing a bed sheet, and taking care of the Crakers. Don't expect a happy story. But it is well worth the journey.
Review by rwiley (2003-06-16)
This book is set in the "not too distant" future. After reading this you will wish the future were more distant. Told with evocative realism as only Ms. Atwood can do.