Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
Title: Oryx and Crake
Author: Margaret Atwood
Publisher: Anchor Books
Genre: Dystopian Fiction
Source: Personal copy
Summary (back of the book)
Oryx and Crake, the first book of the MaddAddam trilogy, 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.
This series holds a really special place in my heart. I read it a few years ago during a difficult time in my life, and something felt right about doing a re-read this year. I rarely revisit books once I finish them (an argument my husband makes against filling my bookshelves), so that is a really high endorsement in itself.
This book begins with a man named Snowman living in a post-apocalyptic situation. He appears to be one of the last, if not the last human on a very different version of earth. Not a spoiler - we soon come to understand Snowman’s actual name used to be Jimmy, and the book alternates between post-apocalyptic Snowman and young Jimmy.
I haven’t found anything by Margaret Atwood I don’t like. Her writing is amazing.
The world building in Oryx and Crake is incredible. Setting is a huge part of the reading experience for me. I’m one of those people who see the book in my head like a movie (I’ve only recently read that this isn’t the case for everyone!) and I felt fully immersed in the place Atwood creates. It’s familiar yet foreign. And I have to say, reading this in a post-Trump reality felt different than when I read it the first time. I’m sure I’d feel the same about Handmaid’s Tale.
Of the three books in the MaddAddam trilogy, I found Oryx and Crake to be the one that drew me in the fastest. I loved figuring out the new reality Atwood was creating (so many new animals, slang, pasttimes). And it was really interesting trying to piece together how Snowman-Jimmy got into his current situation. Masterful writing.
This is a favorite series. If you’re into dystopian fiction I 100% recommend picking this one up! Click here for an affiliate link that will not only get you a copy of this book, but also support this site!