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Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Oryx and Crake - Margaret Atwood

I picked up my copy of Margaret Atwood's Oryx and Crake at a library sale a while ago. I've heard some great things about this book and even a few fellow bloggers have recommended I read this. And I am so glad I did! This might be my favorite Margaret Atwood book so far. And, it also counts towards my Dystopian Novel Challenge AND Carl's Sci-Fi Challenge. Yay!

In the future, human life has pretty much become extinct due to a widespread plague. But our narrator is still alive. He's dubbed himself with the name "Snowman". While we follow Snowman through his trials of survival, he reminisces about his past life before the plague hit. His name used to be Jimmy. He lived during a time when "real" food, not Soy products or genetically altered food, was an anomaly. Gene splicing and experimenting was rampant. He recalls new animal concoctions, such as a pigoon (pig and baboon). Compounds have sprung up which shelter the wealthy, scientists, and elite. The rest of the world is a dangerous, "pleeband" area. As a young boy, Jimmy befriends a beyond smart boy, who's nickname is Crake. Crake's a genius. Crake is scary genius. And who is Oryx? Oryx is the nickname for the beautiful girl Jimmy falls for. As Snowman slowly tells his story, the pieces of what happened to his world fall into place.

Ok. I hope that's not too confusing. All I can say is this is one great novel. And it's so vivid too. I could totally picture Snowman wandering around in his sheet, trying to avoid the wild pigoons and other animals. If you haven't read this one yet, I definitely recommend it.

Now, for the fun alternative covers. This one makes more sense once you've read the book:
And the pig on this one still has me laughing. Look at it's face!
And this one is so boring. I would never have thought to pick this one up.
Also Reviewed By:
Shelf Love
The Boston Bibliophile
Book Bath


  1. Cats Eye was the last time I tried Margaret Atwood. I contemplated Alias Grace, but couldn't make myself do it. next book is Cloud Atlas. :-)

  2. Glad you liked this one! I love Margaret Atwood and this is probably my second-favorite of her books, after Cat's Eye. She really makes you feel Snowman's isolation in a way that few post-apocalyptic books have managed.

  3. I haven't read this book, although it sounds like a really good one. I prefer the first book cover - very atractive.

  4. Finally! I've read some reviews from people who hated this book, and I thought I was in the minority because I loved it. I think it was one of the best books I read in 2006. (I read it the summer before I started keeping a book blog.)

  5. I love Margaret Atwood and have read pretty much all of her books, and I have to say, Oryx and Crake is definitely up there in my list of favourites. It's very evocative, and it really is 'speculative' fiction - it could very well happen in a time not too far from the present.

    I worked in a bookshop throughout uni and high school, and had a giant Oryx and Crake poster framed on my wall - of this version of the cover

    I believe it said something like, 'Who is Crake?' across it, then 'God? Genius?' and a third I can't remember :-)

    Atwood has a new dystopian novel coming out this year, possibly titled "The Flood". Am so very excited!


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