Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood

About Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood: 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.

My two cents

Spoilers, don’t say I didn’t warn you! I was blown away by this book! The third Atwood I’ve read (The Blind Assassin and Handmaid’s Tale), this is by far the best.

Dystopia, according to Atwood, becomes horrifying plausible in this tightly crafted tale of genetic engineering gone awry – overrun by living experiments such as pigoons (pigs bred to manufacture human organs), wolvogs, rakunks, chicken parts grown as chicken parts, and a whole host of horrors.

When man crossed that unspeakable boundary, becoming god and nature, this dystopia is the result. The book opens up the whole discussion of “when is too far, too far?” Is this what awaits us with our tampering of genes, in the name of science, in the name of the greater good?

Snowman, the “last man on earth,” recounts the story of how his genius friend Crake and his Oryx, from their kiddie-porn online obsession, end up breeding a new Homo Sapiens of the green eyes and superior genes. This is a new world where man becomes god to his new creation yet is threatened to extinction.

The horror of the ending, purposefully vague, shows Atwood’s propensity for suspense as well as a healthy respect for her reader’s opinions on this highly debatable, but very real issue of genetic engineering and its potentially catastrophic consequences.

Verdict: A must-read. Now one of my favorites.

1st line: Snowman wakes before dawn.

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© guiltless readingMaira Gall