Oryx and Crake (Audible version) by Margaret Atwood
I want to like Atwood. Really I do. I got bored of The Blind Assassin 132 pages in (she should be proud; I’ve managed 31 pages of Atonement - twice), yet I ploughed through The Handmaid’s Tale feeling fully rewarded. So, enjoying the first part of the MaddAddam trilogy is most pleasing.
Here is one of the greats thinking through the minutae deeply (in a way my current read* doesn’t), creating a rich, dystopic world, and a wonderful character in Snowman. Most of the story is how we reached this point in flashback, through Snowman’s eyes, which is useful because he is the prime witness, but Atwood handles this seemlessly.
While I enjoyed the book, I found the narrative to be uneven, ranging between the Atwood over-worked passages I’m familiar with, and seemingly unedited and quite cringey verbal exchanges later on in the book. Snowman’s character also seems to have minor inconsistencies - particularly when you compare the start and finish. Where are the editors? Fortunately, the tale is engaging enough to ride roughshod through all that. I’ll certainly read ‘The Year of the Flood’ some time next year.
Side note: Some of the ‘old world’ corporations have a similar ‘product’ to a company I created for the ‘Tharg’s Future Shocks’ pitch I submitted to the slush pile mid-September. One of those corporations’ names is phonetically similar to my creation. I’d like to say great minds think alike, but it’s a pretty obvious choice considering the ‘product’.
- I’m 30% of the way through Adrian Tchaikovsky’s Children of Time.