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.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Atwood has visited the future before, in her dystopian novel, The Handmaid's Tale. In her latest, the future is even bleaker. The triple whammy of runaway social inequality, genetic technology and catastrophic climate change, has finally culminated in some apocalyptic event. As Jimmy, apparently the last human being on earth, makes his way back to the RejoovenEsencecompound for supplies, the reader is transported backwards toward that cataclysmic event, its full dimensions gradually revealed. Jimmy grew up in a world split between corporate compounds (gated communities metastasized into city-states) and pleeblands (unsafe, populous and polluted urban centers). His best friend was "Crake," the name originally his handle in an interactive Net game, Extinctathon. Even Jimmy's mother-who ran off and joined an ecology guerrilla group when Jimmy was an adolescent-respected Crake, already a budding genius. The two friends first encountered Oryx on the Net; she was the eight-year-old star of a pedophilic film on a site called HottTotts. Oryx's story is a counterpoint to Jimmy and Crake's affluent adolescence. She was sold by her Southeast Asian parents, taken to the city and eventually made into a sex "pixie" in some distant country. Jimmy meets Oryx much later-after college, after Crake gets Jimmy a job with ReJoovenEsence. Crake is designing the Crakers-a new, multicolored placid race of human beings, smelling vaguely of citron. He's procured Oryx to be his personal assistant. She teaches the Crakers how to cope in the world and goes out on secret missions. The mystery on which this riveting, disturbing tale hinges is how Crake and Oryx and civilization vanished, and how Jimmy-who also calls himself "the Snowman," after that other rare, hunted specimen, the Abominable Snowman-survived. Chesterton once wrote of the "thousand romances that lie secreted in The Origin of Species." Atwood has extracted one of the most hair-raising of them, and one of the most brilliant.
Customer ReviewsSee All
One of the best books I've read
This was an option to read for my highschool AP class. When I read the info about it I was interested in reading this. I was so happy I read it because it was the only book I actually completely read in that class and enjoyed, and that means a lot considering I have A.D.D and can't STAND to read. Easily my favorite book.
Oryx and Crake
Unbelievable in it's nerve, riveting and not put downable!
I didn't start out to read it....I was planning on Atwood's Maddadam but when I read that Maddadam was third in a trilogy, I semi-grudgingly started with the first in the trilogy. I'm so glad I did.
I have now read all three in record time and they are not even 'my type' of genre. But the writing, fabulous story and lush vocabulary hooked me at once.....and has stayed with me....I don't want to start anything literary yet...I am having trilogy hangover!
100 Words or Less
Atwood creates complicated worlds. When it works, you don’t even noticing while accepting the future she builds.
But when it doesn’t work, as in this novel, nothing holds together. Sections here are so well done, but the connections to other chapters, to the novel as a whole, are missing. Frankly, I think it’s due to the length. The novel seems half complete, as if large swaths of details have been glossed over.
That’s disappointing. It’s not bad. It’s only half-baked, I think. I suppose that’s a weird review: “I didn’t like it because I wanted more.” But there it is.