Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Oryx and Crake - Under the Microscope


Oryx and Crake


This is a modern book that would have fit well with my Dystopia Month last year. It's an interesting vision of a genetic and corporate dystopia that ends in what might be an apocalypse or might be a rebirth and renewal. Or perhaps both. It's well written, as to be expected from a writer of Atwood's renown, and the characters are well drawn - and an odd sort of love triangle whirls at the core of the novel. I did have some concerns with the plotting and pacing - the first half of the novel is somewhat slow, and more about a slow set up of the action and a careful rendering of both the dystopia and the post-apocalyptic world (the story is told in two different times and narratives). The second half of the novel has much greater pace, though even there it is sometimes dominated by the story in the past rather than the story in the present (post-apocalypse).
But it's an engaging and fascinating read, in the end, and well worth a read for those interested in literary dystopia.

5 comments:

D.G. Hudson said...

It's on my shelf, Bryan, and I had to pull it out and move it up in the TBR stack (it's a book not a ebook).

I'm a little put off by the author, and some of her comments (about scifi). That said, I was planning on reading this anyway, and some of her subsequent books.

FS Fitzgerald (current print read along with Roland Yoemans ebooks)

Thanks for sharing your review.

the dystopian said...

I really like your distinction between the dystopia and the post-apocolyptic. I had missed this in the book, that there is a dystopian society that pre-dates the post-apocolyptic. Nicely noticed.

The next book in the series, The Year of the Flood, takes place in the dystopian world before the apocalypse (or The Flood). This makes me want to go back and re-read Oryx and Crank with new eyes.

Thanks again.

mshatch said...

I really liked Oryx and Crake but I didn't know The Year of the Flood was a sequel. *note to self: go to library!*

Matthew MacNish said...

This sounds like exactly my kind of thing. I'm getting pretty tired of all the books that have such fast paced beginnings. I've got no problem with something that takes time to build.

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