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Maddaddam Trilogy Box Set 3c

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From Booker Prize–winner and #1 national bestseller Margaret Atwood, The MaddAddam Trilogy is so utterly compelling, so prescient, so relevant, so all-too-likely-to-be-true, that readers may find their view of the world forever changed after reading it.   This is Margaret Atwood at the absolute peak of her powers. With breathtaking command of her brilliantly conc From Booker Prize–winner and #1 national bestseller Margaret Atwood, The MaddAddam Trilogy is so utterly compelling, so prescient, so relevant, so all-too-likely-to-be-true, that readers may find their view of the world forever changed after reading it.   This is Margaret Atwood at the absolute peak of her powers. With breathtaking command of her brilliantly conceived material, and with her customary sharp wit and dark humour, she projects us into an outlandish yet wholly believable realm populated by characters who will continue to inhabit our dreams long after the last chapter.   In the tradition of The Handmaid’s Tale, Oryx and Crake and The Year of the Flood envision a near future that is both beyond our imagining and all too familiar: a world devastated by uncontrolled genetic engineering and a widespread plague, with only a few remaining humans fighting for survival.   Combining adventure, humour, romance and superb storytelling that is at once dazzlingly inventive and grounded in a recognizable world, MaddAddam is a moving and dramatic conclusion to this internationally celebrated dystopian trilogy.


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From Booker Prize–winner and #1 national bestseller Margaret Atwood, The MaddAddam Trilogy is so utterly compelling, so prescient, so relevant, so all-too-likely-to-be-true, that readers may find their view of the world forever changed after reading it.   This is Margaret Atwood at the absolute peak of her powers. With breathtaking command of her brilliantly conc From Booker Prize–winner and #1 national bestseller Margaret Atwood, The MaddAddam Trilogy is so utterly compelling, so prescient, so relevant, so all-too-likely-to-be-true, that readers may find their view of the world forever changed after reading it.   This is Margaret Atwood at the absolute peak of her powers. With breathtaking command of her brilliantly conceived material, and with her customary sharp wit and dark humour, she projects us into an outlandish yet wholly believable realm populated by characters who will continue to inhabit our dreams long after the last chapter.   In the tradition of The Handmaid’s Tale, Oryx and Crake and The Year of the Flood envision a near future that is both beyond our imagining and all too familiar: a world devastated by uncontrolled genetic engineering and a widespread plague, with only a few remaining humans fighting for survival.   Combining adventure, humour, romance and superb storytelling that is at once dazzlingly inventive and grounded in a recognizable world, MaddAddam is a moving and dramatic conclusion to this internationally celebrated dystopian trilogy.

30 review for Maddaddam Trilogy Box Set 3c

  1. 4 out of 5

    Tulpesh Patel

    The great strength of good science fiction is the ability to take contemporary events and technologies and extrapolate them in ways that predict the future whilst simultaneously telling us something about —and satirizing— the present. Much-celebrated writer Margaret Atwood crafts stories and worlds that do exactly this, although, rather controversially, she prefers to not to call her books science fiction, as, according to her rather restrictive definition, the ‘fiction’ in ‘science fiction’ is The great strength of good science fiction is the ability to take contemporary events and technologies and extrapolate them in ways that predict the future whilst simultaneously telling us something about —and satirizing— the present. Much-celebrated writer Margaret Atwood crafts stories and worlds that do exactly this, although, rather controversially, she prefers to not to call her books science fiction, as, according to her rather restrictive definition, the ‘fiction’ in ‘science fiction’ is ‘things which are not possible today’ and her books are very much based the technology and social mores of the present. Over the course of the three tightly-woven books that make up the MaddAddam Trilogy, Oryx and Crake, The Year of the Flood and, the recently released MaddAddam, Atwood transports us to a twisted but all-too-real dystopian future, where a carefully engineered plague has wiped out most of humanity, leaving behind a rag-tag bunch of survivors fighting wild and dangerous genetically modified animals and each other for survival, whilst living uneasily alongside a new species of lab-engineered quasi-humans, table rasa and sporting glowing blue genatalia. Oryx and Crake centres on Snowman, who, suspecting he is the last man alive, is slowly going insane whilst he scavenges for scraps and lives in trees to avoid being scavenged himself. The story is told over two timelines: In Snowman’s present (around 100 years into the future) we learn of the Crakers, the perfect bioengineered quasi-humans created by the titular Crake, Snowman’s one-time best, and only, friend. Having no sense of the world around them, the Crakers rely on Snowman to make sense of the world for them, something which he is struggling to do for himself as comes to term with the devastation around him. Told in parallel, through Snowman’s fevered and bitter recollections, we are also taken back to his pre-apocalyptic incarnation as Jimmy, who was lucky enough to be born into the privilege of sanitary Compound life, home of moneyed execs and scientists, separated from the urban jungle of the Pleeblands, where the proles dwell. Snowman’s story is of the outcome of Crake’s attempt to reboot the human race; Jimmy’s is of the why and how it happened. Jimmy’s love-hate friendship with Crake, and love of the ethereal Oryx, play out in a terrifyingly well-realised world of technocratic apartheid that’s driven by increasingly sophisticated bioengineering and rampant free-market consumerism and with a terrifying backdrop of violence, paedophilia and hyper-intelligent pigs. The Year of the Flood The Year of the Flood is a pseudo-sequel, with much of the novel’s timeline overlapping with Oryx and Crake. The perspective switches primarily to sturdy and pragmatic Toby, who inadvertently finds herself seeking refuge with a pseudo-Christian religious cult, the God’s Gardeners, who live a life of ascetism in preparation for the ‘waterless flood’. It was refreshing to have a female protagonist, still an all-too-rare a thing in post-Ripley-from-Aliens science fiction, and Toby is certainly easier to warm to than Jimmy and his needy weakness. The weaving of this story with that recounted by Snowman/Jimmy is executed really cleverly and in a way that never feels clunky or contrived, something that can’t be said for many other expansive books (and TV shows) that have tried the same. The Year of the Flood still retains the grim streak of Oryx and Crake, but this is undercut by the gentle satire and absurdity of the God’s Gardeners and their Nature Religion. In Oryx and Crake, the tightly controlled bubbled-off world was the really interesting character, not the people in it. The introduction of a wider set of protagonists and relationships, the anarchic setting of the Pleeblands, and perhaps the religious element too, gives Year of the Flood a more human and humane feel. MaddAddam MaddAddam has the same pseudo-sequel feel as The Year of the Flood; gaps are filled and the foundations of the story extended and the narrative is woven into a knot that is a joy to unpick. Through more flashbacks, we delve deeper into the inception of the God’s Gardner’s and Crake’s rise to infamy, whilst in the present, the remaining survivors band together and attempt to rebuild their lives and establish some semblance of normality and routine. This book is perhaps the funniest of the three, off-setting what feels like unrelenting bleakness with some delightful off-beat humour, largely as a result of the Crakers playing a more central role in the story. Never again will you exclaim ‘oh fuck’ without raising a wry smile. It also has the most to say about being human, about the humanity left in the society that remains, and the indelible humanity left in the creatures that Crake deliberately designed to be less human. The brilliance of the story is taking some of humanity’s excesses, demands and needs –plundering the earth for resources; killing animals and each other; constantly striving to modify and ‘improve’ nature and ourselves for vanity and sustenance; economic apartheid; religion– and taking them to their not-quite-as-absurd-as-they-first-appear extreme. Prepare to be enlightened, confused, and occasionally grossed out as you inhabit the warped but disconcertingly familiar reality that Atwood as created. Dystopias are the natural future homes for pessimists. As a natural optimist, I have strong hopes for humanity and what we can do with the science and technology available to us. The MaddAddam trilogy is razor sharp satire and a dizzying parable for where we are now and what may lie further ahead on the slippery helter-skelter that we find ourselves hurtling down.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Joy Galston

    I liked these books more and more as the series went on. MaddAddam was definitely my favorite. For a post apocalyptic series I sure laughed a lot, although I shivered too at the familiarity of it all. The colors were stunning and saturated. I hope there's a really well done movie(s) of this series. I loved the gentle mockery of religious environmentalism and Atwoods' concept of the "perfect" human attributes. The predictions in this series are earily close to home.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Ruth

    Absolutely bloody brilliant and terrifying.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Dean

    (Some possible spoilers ahead) Margaret Atwoods latest series is a vision of future apocalypse though not the usual technological dystopia but more a biological produced endgame. In the first book of the trilogy O&C we are thrust into a survivor scenario where we meet Snowman (Jimmy) who is existing with meagre and dwindling supplies, living in a tree, unable to venture far because of a hostile environment. However he is visited, and is somehow protecting the children of a species that (Some possible spoilers ahead) Margaret Atwoods latest series is a vision of future apocalypse though not the usual technological dystopia but more a biological produced endgame. In the first book of the trilogy O&C we are thrust into a survivor scenario where we meet Snowman (Jimmy) who is existing with meagre and dwindling supplies, living in a tree, unable to venture far because of a hostile environment. However he is visited, and is somehow protecting the children of a species that are not completely human but changed through genetic engineering and it seems that they have been engineered to survive in this changed environment. Slowly the story of Snowman emerges as he begins to relate his story, seemingly tortured by visions/memories of his past actions and the actions of the title characters. He tells the tale of a society where the rise of corporate power becomes absolute, and the rampant biological engineering has led to the creation of many new species, not all beneficial, and the ever ongoing modification of being human. It is also a tale of friendship, as we begin to discover that Jimmy is centrally involved in the events that led to the almost-annihilation of the human species. It is through his relationship with Crake, a brilliant yet damaged scientist, that has pushed the species to extinction. The second novel YOTF, introduces several more characters to the interweaving tale. We again relive the times leading up to the viral pandemic, through the experiences of two female characters, Ren and Toby. It is also centrally focused around a group called the God's Gardeners, who believe that the preservation of nature is holy and that a "waterless flood" is coming to punish humanity and its madness born of genetic manipulations.As the two stories unfold, more of the degrading culture is exposed, characters from the first novel appear interwoven into the fabric of a society that seems bent on destroying its environment and consuming itself. The story eventually leads us back to the ending scene of the first novel and explores further the type of society left after a catastrophic pandemic event. The third novel, MaddAddam, while focusing more on the present, does, through the story of Zeb, give the reader a final thread that weaves the events leading up to the 'waterless flood'. In this book we find the survivors trying to cope with a world without power and convenience, taking guardianship of the 'Crakers' the designed offspring of Crake's grand experiment, and battling the vestiges of the chaotic times, in the forms of three ex-gladitorial fighters whose humanity is questionable. They represent all that was wrong with the previous culture, and cause the survivors both physical and ideological peril. Ultimately I found this series a mediation on story telling. Structurally it is told through the experiences of many characters which allows a focus off the usual world building of such a scenario and allows an identification and discovery element that enhances the narrative. Unfortunately by the third book this becomes limiting and perhaps highlights the fortuitousness of the survival of those central characters. However the third book is where the ideas about the power of storytelling also give a resonance that lifts the narrative beyond a pat denouement. Atwood does a great job of revealing the world, hinting at the oncoming or rather yet already occurred calamity and the reader is left to try and fit the pieces together. The social degeneration is well described and illuminated with enough present day warning memes to be plausible. The future in the novel is heavily biological dystopic rather than mechanical or digital tech. It's not that the others are not discussed but more in the background, part of the mis-en-scen. If there is a message it comes down heavily on the side of the dangers of genetic engineering unrestrained by ethics and morals, wrapped in classic corporate shadow play.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Elaine

    This is a fabulous series written by an author at the top of her game. Like everyone else, I feed my reading habit sometimes with what is at hand -- free kindle reads from Amazon, books with interesting covers that I walk by at the Library, Bookhub freebies. But every now and then you need to return to reading something that is simply marvelous in its creation and execution. I won't go into the story line, other than to say that Atwood takes the tried and true dystopian society dissolving into " This is a fabulous series written by an author at the top of her game. Like everyone else, I feed my reading habit sometimes with what is at hand -- free kindle reads from Amazon, books with interesting covers that I walk by at the Library, Bookhub freebies. But every now and then you need to return to reading something that is simply marvelous in its creation and execution. I won't go into the story line, other than to say that Atwood takes the tried and true dystopian society dissolving into "us and them" and takes it to new and undefined areas. And she does so with her customary style and wit. The quick almost throw away descriptions of creatures such as the MoHairs quickly illustrate the world in an evocative and sharply focused way. And, should I mention that every generation has just a little bit of relationship story, and that each story illustrates our need for connection. Just being able to read prose such as this is a pleasure, as the reader is reminded just in time that there is such a thing as quality writing in a McMuffin world.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Ana Rakovac

    I read The Year Of The Flood first, by sheer mistake, but it did not distract--the only problem was that last 10 pages were a bit of a whirlwind. However, that's neither here nor there. It is a totally plausible and well thought out, well written set of books and, like everything I ever read from Margaret Atwood, I loved it.

  7. 5 out of 5

    J.K. Ullrich

    The first novel, Oryx and Crake, begins near the end. Once an amiable playboy in a society dominated by genetic engineering, Jimmy “Snowman” now wonders if he’s the only human alive after a plague wipes out humanity. As he plays de facto prophet for the gene-spliced humanoids who have unwittingly inherited the Earth, Jimmy remembers his brilliant friend Crake, the mysterious woman called Oryx they both loved, and the roles all three of them played in the downfall of civilization. It’s a love story and The first novel, Oryx and Crake, begins near the end. Once an amiable playboy in a society dominated by genetic engineering, Jimmy “Snowman” now wonders if he’s the only human alive after a plague wipes out humanity. As he plays de facto prophet for the gene-spliced humanoids who have unwittingly inherited the Earth, Jimmy remembers his brilliant friend Crake, the mysterious woman called Oryx they both loved, and the roles all three of them played in the downfall of civilization. It’s a love story and a eulogy, bound with eerie threads of warning. The novel can stand on its own, but it’s worth diving right into the sequel. Year of the Flood expands on past events like a fractal. Two new characters give their perspectives, which weave into Jimmy’s narrative. Atwood’s intelligent prose contrasts beautifully with the corrupt world she portrays (she is one of the only authors who routinely introduces me to new words; for nerdy me, it makes reading her books a vocabulary treasure hunt). I found this book less gripping than the first, but the parallel perspectives intrigued me. The final novel merges the storylines from the previous two and reveals the final details of the plague’s origin. I confess I got a bit impatient reading Maddaddam. Somehow it lacked the magic of its predecessors. Perhaps too much of the mystery had been revealed; parts of it seemed redundant. Or maybe Atwood’s aftermath just wasn’t as interesting as how it came to be. The themes flirted with biological determinism, which I found surprising from the author of The Handmaid’s Tale. But if you read the first two books, you’ll want to hear the end of the story. Atwood’s world-on-the-brink is a caricature of our own. Frivolous use of science, corporate power and greed, increasing gaps between the wealthy and the poor, and irresponsible use of the planet all pave the way for apocalypse. I recommend reading the series and soon: HBO plans to turn it into a miniseries. Given their excellent dramatization of Game of Thrones (a series that lost momentum much more drastically than Maddaddam, but that’s another rant) I can’t wait to see how they bring Jimmy Snowman’s dying world to life. Read my full review on my website.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Amy Olive

    I enjoyed this so much more than Oryx and Crake I could not put the thing down! I loved all the tie ins with O&C and genuinely fan girled towards the end. Atwood's imagination and writing skills are completely unrivalled.

  9. 4 out of 5

    James

    Few people do post apocalyptic imaginings as well as Margaret Atwood.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jessica King

    I keep on having conversations with Margaret Atwood in my head. I would love to ask her why she made everyone’s parents so shitty? Of all the characters who’ve had their backstories told, everyone except Toby and Amanda had parents who were not only distant, they were straight up uncaring, hateful, and even murderous. This sometimes made it feel that Atwood was describing caricatures rather than actual people who could exist. However, someone who’s perhaps had a less happy childhood might say t I keep on having conversations with Margaret Atwood in my head. I would love to ask her why she made everyone’s parents so shitty? Of all the characters who’ve had their backstories told, everyone except Toby and Amanda had parents who were not only distant, they were straight up uncaring, hateful, and even murderous. This sometimes made it feel that Atwood was describing caricatures rather than actual people who could exist. However, someone who’s perhaps had a less happy childhood might say that these are not caricatures. Another thing is that the coincidence that almost all the people who have survived the “waterless flood” are also people who have parts to play in the main characters’ back story is a little much. What’s the point of bringing back Wakulla Price, Jimmy’s high school crush, as Swift Fox, one of the Madaddamites? She just happens to survive along with several other people from his past. It’s a little much. Of course he seems to be hallucinating for a good chunk of Maddaddam. I would too. It does sound like I’m complaining, but I actually enjoyed this trilogy a lot. Atwood has got an incredible imagination, and she is very playful with it in a rather dark way. She sets the perfect tone in her dystopic fiction, because, when you think about it, distopic fiction is a very dark but playful genre. This world -gone-wrong set in the not-so-distant future is familiar in many ways, but the problems that are just barely apparent to most people right now (climate change for example) are amplified, described, and thus warp the lives of characters. It’s like she’s having fun describing the effects of a funhouse mirror. However, it has the extra intrigue of holding possibilities for our future physical reality.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Grace Harwood

    I have read all off these books before immediately after publication, but I thought it was high time to revisit this trilogy and read them through again. I absolutely love Margaret Atwood's work, and Oryx and Crake (the first in the trilogy) is just fantastic. It's a really compelling read told from the point of view of Snowman (Jimmy) as he relates his history growing up in 'the compounds' with his genetic engineer father and his mother who gradually becomes more disenfranchised from the whole I have read all off these books before immediately after publication, but I thought it was high time to revisit this trilogy and read them through again. I absolutely love Margaret Atwood's work, and Oryx and Crake (the first in the trilogy) is just fantastic. It's a really compelling read told from the point of view of Snowman (Jimmy) as he relates his history growing up in 'the compounds' with his genetic engineer father and his mother who gradually becomes more disenfranchised from the whole thing before heading off as an activist protesting against everything Jimmy's father is doing. The story follows the inevitable tragedy as in a series of logical next steps, the creatures resulting from genetic modification become more and more outlandish (and dangerous) before ultimately a human replacement is invented by Jimmy's genius friend Crake, along with the virus that will wipe out the remainder of mankind. This really is a tale for our times and as Atwood states at the beginning of the book, there is nothing in here that has not been invented (and used) by mankind already. This is an utterly compelling read - one of those that you just don't want to end - and also seems to me to be highly likely to turn up on reading lists of professors who are interested in ecocriticism/animal studies - so students might actually get to read something good for a change. On the basis of Oryx and Crake, I would rate this book 5 stars. However, as the trilogy progresses, I'm afraid it goes downhill (which is not something you can say very often about Atwood's work). Where this falls down, I felt, was that it suddenly becomes unbelievable in the way that only the God's Gardeners (and all their mates) survive. Why would this be the case? (considering that the rest of the world has gone to hell in a handbasket?) It just doesn't make sense - so suddenly a story that was utterly credible (bearing in mind it is speculative fiction) becomes something that loses all credibility. The Year of the Flood is interesting enough as a story, but nowhere near as good as Atwood's normal standard. I didn't like MaddAdam with its focus on Zeb - it all started to read like a Boys'/Girls' own adventure story (where the end of the world has arrived, but didn't we all have a jolly time surviving it?). I liked the connective theme of stories and how they are told weaving throughout the three, but unfortunately I didn't feel that reading these three novels all together did anything for the story itself - if anything it weakened it. I would definitely recommend Oryx and Crake. The Year of the Flood is a reasonable read. I thought MaddAdam was a poor end to the trilogy.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kendra

    I listened to all three books on Audible and I am SURE the audio version, especially of the Year of the Flood, was better than the written version.   ***This review contains spoilers.*** I LOVE this series and was very sad to finish it!!  I wanted it to keep going.  It’s a dystopian story of the very near future.  Some of it is quite frightening because it’s easy to believe how our current world could evolve into such a place.  I read Oryx & Crake without realizing it was a trilogy and was super angry at the lack of an ending.  I l/>I/>I  ***This I listened to all three books on Audible and I am SURE the audio version, especially of the Year of the Flood, was better than the written version.   ***This review contains spoilers.*** I LOVE this series and was very sad to finish it!!  I wanted it to keep going.  It’s a dystopian story of the very near future.  Some of it is quite frightening because it’s easy to believe how our current world could evolve into such a place.  I read Oryx & Crake without realizing it was a trilogy and was super angry at the lack of an ending.  I loved the book overall but couldn’t believe the book was truly over.  I immediately searched online for what others were saying and happily started The Year of the Flood within a few minutes.  I would score each book at or over 4 stars…but The Year of the Flood is my favorite, even with the “cheesy” songs.  I highly recommend listening instead of reading…and don’t skip the songs.  It was a complete shock for me when the first song started and I laughed out loud.  But, its true…the singing adds to the story…enjoy them.  Although I’d score it around 4 stars, MaddAddam was my least favorite.  I wanted the core story and was bored through most of Zeb’s backstory (half the book but thankfully its spread out instead of one big chunk).    I hate ending this review on a negative so don’t let that last comment hold too much weight.  This is a wonderfully engaging and well written story.  I recommend these three!  Enjoy…

  13. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    Brilliant storytelling, gripping and highly imaginative. The world she paints is vivid and real, a frightening warning of where we could be headed, if we don't get our arrogance and materialism in check. The unusual plot structure of "Oryx and Crake" held me riveted, dying to know what happens even when I already pretty much know (since it starts near the end). "The Year of the Flood" and "MaddAddam" answer the questions while putting the characters through their paces. My (mild) frustration wit Brilliant storytelling, gripping and highly imaginative. The world she paints is vivid and real, a frightening warning of where we could be headed, if we don't get our arrogance and materialism in check. The unusual plot structure of "Oryx and Crake" held me riveted, dying to know what happens even when I already pretty much know (since it starts near the end). "The Year of the Flood" and "MaddAddam" answer the questions while putting the characters through their paces. My (mild) frustration with this trilogy is that, for all its mastery in painting a potential dystopian future, it offers little in the way of alternative paths. I say that knowing that alternatives exist even now and Margaret Atwood herself has a page on her website of "what you can do" to minimize negative impacts on the environment. One gets the sense that she'd like to believe actions like recycling and driving less can help, but she doesn't really hold much faith in humanity to get our collective act together. Hence the brilliant storytelling she comes up with here. There is one tiny glimmer of another way -- Pilar with her ability to commune with plants and bees and her mentorship of the young woman Toby, who willfully stills her rational mind to give it a try herself. But these are kept at arm's length while the men fight it out with weird hybrid genetically engineered animals and hulking barbaric criminals. For all that, this is the standard by which all other dystopian fiction must be judged.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Wendy Thornton

    Outstanding trilogy! Atwood is an excellent writer with a wonderful dry sense of humour, and she has clearly done her homework here and created a major work of speculative fiction. It's hard to see the world and our future as a species in it the same way after reading these books.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Jordan

    Really enjoyed the whole trilogy - but this was probably my least favourite. Quite tempted to go back and read Oryx and Crake again just to see what I missed the first time and spot all the links now that I've read the two simultanials!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Delia

    A truly gifted brain wrote this series. It was an adventure to read and the non judgemental air surrounding every issue raised encouraged true thought.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Tania Rose

    The first one in the trilogy was amazing, the other two went a bit off course but I liked the series overall

  18. 5 out of 5

    Petra

    The first time I read this trilogy there were years between the reading of each book as I had to wait for the next to be published. This time, I read the trilogy as one long book. I'm glad I did. There are connections between the books that I missed with the first reading and that brought more of a completeness to this story. (the spoiler tags below are to save space) Oryx & Crake (3-star) (view spoiler)The first time I read this trilogy there were years between the reading of each book as I had to wait for the next to be published. This time, I read the trilogy as one long book. I'm glad I did. There are connections between the books that I missed with the first reading and that brought more of a completeness to this story. (the spoiler tags below are to save space) Oryx & Crake (3-star) (view spoiler)[An interesting story. The main characters of Snowman/Jimmy, Oryx and Crake could have been better developed. Their lack of development left holes in the story that can't be filled. I enjoyed the concept of this dystopian world and wonder how the human footprint will continue in this world. Will the Crakers be able to make a better world? The "why" of the destruction of mankind isn't answered. At the time of publication the world was different. Perhaps then, the action of destruction wasn't a plausible idea. But in today's world, with the crazy shootings occurring where one mad man decides the fate of a group of others, this destruction took on a different feeling for me. So, while I enjoyed the story, I found it lacking in depth and discovery. There's a lot that Snowman wasn't privy to at the time of the event so his telling feels rather unknowing at times. (hide spoiler)] Year Of The Flood 2019: (still a 5-star read) (view spoiler)[I really enjoyed this. The characters are more sympathetic than Jimmy in Oryx & Crake. The different viewpoints give a fuller perspective on what happened. The fleeting moments with Crake & Jimmy show a different side of them than we hear in Oryx & Crake. All in all, this is a wonderful story. (hide spoiler)] 2010: (5 star) (view spoiler)[Beautifully written and a wonderful fleshing out of "Oryx & Crake". I listened to this book on audio and really enjoyed the voices of the characters and the emotions, distress, sadness & feelings they were going through. The hymns at the end of every Adam One sermon were lovely and added to the tone and mood of the book. (hide spoiler)] Maddaddam 2019: (5-star) (view spoiler)[Maddaddam is a heartwarming and funny (humorous) ending to this trilogy. The Flood is over, the survivors can live again. This is portrayed, I think, in the humor that comes through. It shows a relaxing of fears and worries. The backstories bring a lot of intent and detail into the trilogy. We learn more about the Compounds, Glenn/Crake, Pilar, Zeb. Their stories intertwine and connect in interesting ways. The Crakers…...I enjoyed seeing them learn, puzzle things out and find their way, while staying true to the traits that Crake gave them. The ending is perfect for this New World. I wish the survivors well. A wonderful trilogy. (hide spoiler)] 2013: (3-star) (view spoiler)[Thank you for the fish. Thank you for cooking the fish. I am eating the fish and wearing the red hat of Jimmy-the-Snowman so that I can hear the words Crake wants me to tell you. What was the point again? I enjoy Margaret Atwood's writing and this book is no exception. It's a fun and witty read. For entertaining, relaxing, fun reading I recommend this book. But, as far as plot goes, I'm scratching my head. Nothing much happens. Too much of the action happens off the page and is told to us in short stories, lacking detail and, sometimes, answers. Many questions are left unanswered. Strong characters don't have a large part in this book. I found the ending warm and hopeful and touching in many ways. The Crakers are an interesting group. I would have liked to learn more about them and their thoughts. It's rather baffling that this book, while being entertaining, is so short of actual story. Not a strong ending for what started out to be a strong trilogy. Looking at the trilogy, Oryx and Crake could be a stand-alone book, The Year of the Flood adds a parallel story and fleshes out Oryx & Crake a bit. This book adds nothing to the story already told but a few background tid-bits of information that don't change anything. Hmm...… (hide spoiler)]

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jay Barnes

    I read 'The Handmaid's Tale' earlier this year, and was excited when my book club picked 'Oryx and Crake' for our December discussion. Atwood's writing style is sometimes confusing, filled with non-chronological narratives and flashbacks. However, by the end of a book, you have a better appreciation for the journey that the characters have taken. In the first book, we are introduced to Snowman, aka Jimmy, seemingly the only human survivor of a plague that has wiped out humanity. Howev I read 'The Handmaid's Tale' earlier this year, and was excited when my book club picked 'Oryx and Crake' for our December discussion. Atwood's writing style is sometimes confusing, filled with non-chronological narratives and flashbacks. However, by the end of a book, you have a better appreciation for the journey that the characters have taken. In the first book, we are introduced to Snowman, aka Jimmy, seemingly the only human survivor of a plague that has wiped out humanity. However, he's not alone: Strange new humans known as 'Crakers' look upon him as a prophet from days past, and revere as gods his former friends, the eponymous Oryx and Crake. The Crakers are well suited for this new world, designed to eat only leaves, and able to co-exist with the many mysterious creatures, genetically modified, that now inhabit this world. There are many other, ahem, aspects of the Crakers that are not suitable for a public review, and I will leave this up to the reader to discover. Suffice to say, Atwood does not shy away from more R-rated aspects of humanity. While on a journey for supplies, we flashback to Jimmy's early years, and how he came about to be a survivor and guardian of the Crakers. A cliffhanger ending leaves you wanting more, so pick up the next book as soon as you can! 'The Year of the Flood' focuses on two new characters, Toby and Ren, and their various interactions with a religious group known as the God's Gardeners. We learn more about the world before it catastrophically ended, and get a resolution to the cliffhanger from the first volume. Characters from O&C make appearances, and tie together the overall narrative. 'MaddAddam' finishes the trilogy by telling the background story of Zeb, who was a secondary character in YotF. While the second and third books serve both as prequels and inter-quels, the overall narrative still moves forward once you read past the flashback portions. The ending is bittersweet, but will leave you with far more questions than answers about this strange world. I really enjoyed this trilogy, and sped through it in just under five weeks. Atwood herself considers the series to be speculative, not science, fiction, as it deals more with the characters and not necessarily the world in which they live. She also points out that all of the technology in her world is present in our reality. This series is recommended for more mature readers, as it deals with many complex and often difficult subjects. Cute and happy scenes, such as Ren and her friends as precocious young girls, or the rakunks, raccoon/skunk hybrids, are contrasted with descriptions of no-holds-barred violence and depravity. Given that Atwood considers this a tale of the very near future, the reader is asked to explore the true meaning of being human, and what it takes to survive in a world gone Madd.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Mood Reviews

    [Note: this review contains spoilers in para. 6.] Postapocalyptical literature is important to me. It offers escapism, imagination, and nostalgia. Which is why, with a nod and a shake and a bitter sort of bemusement, I am compelled to say that Margaret Atwood’s MaddAddam Trilogy is a disappointing piece of well-intentioned crap. It lacks vigor, character, and a compelling plot. Even when it tries to compensate with satire and vision, it fails by becomi [Note: this review contains spoilers in para. 6.] Postapocalyptical literature is important to me. It offers escapism, imagination, and nostalgia. Which is why, with a nod and a shake and a bitter sort of bemusement, I am compelled to say that Margaret Atwood’s MaddAddam Trilogy is a disappointing piece of well-intentioned crap. It lacks vigor, character, and a compelling plot. Even when it tries to compensate with satire and vision, it fails by becoming repetitive and politically transparent. It has none of the cultivated humor of, say, Canticle for Leibowitz, none of the turn-paging quality of King’s many postap. works, and is light years away in the basement, when compared with the purist prose of something like The Road (McCarthy). There are no brilliant passages that could make up for this (as is the case, for example, with someone like Zelazny – you lumber through the Amber series, and suddenly you have something like this*, and it makes it all worth it). Atwood’s prose is underwhelming, much inferior to her poetry. The cruel thing is that you only realize, or rather convince yourself of this, half-way through the second volume, by which time you are bored and frustrated at the same time. You might consider clenching your teeth and finishing it. Don’t. 1) The plot is schematic and porous, becomes weak and then really-weak. This becomes clear towards the latter half of the first book. By then, Crake is omnipotent and his actions are just a weird string of deus-ex-machinas: kidnapping the MaddAddam rebels; outwitting the normally impenetrable CorpSeCorps security; managing to wipe out the human race and launch his gene-splicing-project; all of it in a couple of weakly-transitioned chapters. 2) The characters begin with good overall outlines, but fail to rise up to expectations. Atwood’s stab at love, for example – one of the book’s pivots – misses the mark. The real Oryx feels schematic and rushed, compared to what we are led to expect from Snowman’s early flashbacks. 3) Finally, its many abbreviations and Atwood’s otherwise usually creative linguistic twists, aimed here at ethics and politics and so on, lack realism and feel more like caricatures than plausible dystopian terms. Sorry Margaret, this one sucked!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Nicola

    Margaret Atwood is one of my favourite writers and is also the champion of writing about dystopian futures. Oryx and Crake was my favourite of this trilogy, maybe because the story was new and exciting? I love that her dystopias feel so close to what could happen in reality; they're horrifying because they ring so true. One of my favourite things about this trilogy is that the way it's set up almost feels more like fantasy with supernatural elements, but as the books unfold we become more ground Margaret Atwood is one of my favourite writers and is also the champion of writing about dystopian futures. Oryx and Crake was my favourite of this trilogy, maybe because the story was new and exciting? I love that her dystopias feel so close to what could happen in reality; they're horrifying because they ring so true. One of my favourite things about this trilogy is that the way it's set up almost feels more like fantasy with supernatural elements, but as the books unfold we become more grounded in the bleak realities of how these things have come to be. As always with Atwood the characters are great and she makes bleak tales easy to digest with subtle knowing humour trickled throughout. I would've given 5 stars but by the end of the third novel I was getting a bit tired of the focus on the Craker people and didn't find them engaging enough to be so central in the plot.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Neek

    I honestly don't know how to review this one. The entire series was so engrossing they were hard to put down. This dystopian apocalyptic scenario one would hope could never happen but the master at would definitely makes you think. How she masterfully in twined every character so 9 were more important than the other periods none could survive without the other. And you definitely did not know the entire story of one without the other. The science involved in this riding must have taken much in d I honestly don't know how to review this one. The entire series was so engrossing they were hard to put down. This dystopian apocalyptic scenario one would hope could never happen but the master at would definitely makes you think. How she masterfully in twined every character so 9 were more important than the other periods none could survive without the other. And you definitely did not know the entire story of one without the other. The science involved in this riding must have taken much in depth research and my hats off to the author for that alone. As for the characters they made you feel such a wide range of emotions. Normally and indeed of this sort would leave me wanting but I can honestly say I am pleasantly pleased with everyone's indeed no matter how it came about. Personally Toby will be the heroine I dream of is Jimmy will be the ultimate hero.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Diana Lanni

    Atwood's absolute best. This trilogy is a wonderful . Creative and exciting future world where a new breed of lab-created humanesque beings is in their dawn. Our hero is human and can barely survive after bio-engineering has wiped out everyone but smart pigs. Read and enjoy. Great escapist, yet relevant and fully-fleshed huge story. Atwood's absolute best. This trilogy is a wonderful . Creative and exciting future world where a new breed of lab-created humanesque beings is in their dawn. Our hero is human and can barely survive after bio-engineering has wiped out everyone but smart pigs. Read and enjoy. Great escapist, yet relevant and fully-fleshed huge story. The MaddAddam Trilogy: Oryx and Crake / The Year of the Flood / MaddAddam

  24. 5 out of 5

    Penny

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Margaret Atwood’s Maddaddam trilogy is one of the more well thought out and interesting speculative pieces out there, positing a grim libertarian future where biotech companies have secure gated compounds for their employees’ families, complete with malls, schools, and any other amenities and allowing for near-total isolation from the pleeblands, where the less fortunate live. The residents of the pleeblands face economic disadvantage and its attendant issues, exacerbated by that police have bee Margaret Atwood’s Maddaddam trilogy is one of the more well thought out and interesting speculative pieces out there, positing a grim libertarian future where biotech companies have secure gated compounds for their employees’ families, complete with malls, schools, and any other amenities and allowing for near-total isolation from the pleeblands, where the less fortunate live. The residents of the pleeblands face economic disadvantage and its attendant issues, exacerbated by that police have been entirely replaced by private security run by the corporations that care only about protecting the interests of the powerful. Cynics may opine that this how it is now for those who are already stigmatized, and it’s true that dystopias often posit a future where those now in positions of privilege experience the difficulties of the downtrodden. Regardless of the current state of affairs, Atwood focuses heavily on how women are made vulnerable by economic insecurity and by isolation from support systems, exploring different ways these vulnerabilities can come about, exploring demands made on women to exchange sex for money or essential needs, and often without their consent. Her analysis shines a harsh light not only on current abuses and devaluations of women’s autonomy, but also on the ways other dystopian novels have failed to acknowledge this as an issue. Atwood’s feminism is limited, however, in its failures to be inclusive of diversity among women. Her approach to race and ethnicity is oversimplified, talking about Tex-Mexicans and Asian Fusions as though texans and latinas or various Asian ethnicities can be collapsed into single groups. Her most significant characters of color are Rebecca, who arranges Toby’s rescue; Blanco, Toby’s abuser; and Oryx. Rebecca and Blanco are both significant but play relatively minor roles, Rebecca as guide and Blanco as a cardboard cutout villain. Oryx is the best developed of the characters of color and skates a fine line between being written as herself and being objectified, entering the narrative as an exploited child, continuing a career of sex work, and then being lifted up in some way by Glenn. Oryx is most interesting for her disinterest in Jimmy’s desire to apply a specific interpretation to her past and least for her exoticization. How would the narrative had changed if she were, for example, Black or Native or Asian-American and being trafficked within what remains of the United States, starting in her own neighborhood? Sex work figures prominently into Atwood’s vision of the future, ranging from child porn to strip clubs and the Watson-Crick service for its students, but all of the sex workers we encounter are women dealing exclusively with male clientele. Ren’s narrative offers insight into both life as a sex worker and a childhood with God’s Gardeners and a contrast between the two, but neither her narrative nor Toby’s contains even a mention of Adam One’s views on LGBT folks or whether there are people other than heterosexuals among the Gardeners - a little surprising since religious groups often have very strong opinions here, and the Gardeners are a large enough group to support significant diversity. The most significant development around gays and lesbians is done through Zeb’s distaste for being hit on by gay men and his relief when Adam finally gets a girlfriend, thus normalizing homophobia. With Crake’s construction of his children, he models their mating displays on non-human primates but makes no mention of how often other primates are not exclusively heterosexual or even how humans are often not heterosexual. Crake and some of the other bioengineers mention gene-splicing designer babies, leaving us wondering if they were coding babies for heterosexuality and if so, why Crake felt that this was optimal to pass to his children. Atwood labors under the delusion that there needs to be a reason for a character to be other than heterosexual, rather than creating a diverse cast of characters and deciding if there is a need for a character to have a particular orientation. No one expects Atwood to focus exclusively on what this libertarian hell or the ultimate collapse of society would mean for lesbians or trans women, but to develop only heterosexual characters to the point where it creates logical problems rather than acknowledging male sex workers, lesbians and bi women, or the expectation of girl-on-girl action as a performance from straight women for straight men’s consumption is disingenuous to the point of being utterly erasing, as though straight cisgender women who are typically feminine are the only women worth talking about. Choosing not to discuss sexual orientation is necessarily a discussion of sexual orientation, and of whose experiences are important and valid. The Maddaddam trilogy is heavily concerned with the dominant paradigm run amok and so is all about exploring and examining characters with privilege reflecting on their roles as the world falls apart around them. However, Maddaddam takes place before, during, and after the destruction of the vast majority of the human race and even with a focus on the privileged, there is no excuse for pandering to racial stereotypes or excluding gay and lesbian characters especially while including overt homophobia. This sort of feminism is thin and disappointing.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Alexander Kerber

    I devoured the first book, I liked the second book and I wanted the third book to be over and done with (but then in the end, I felt sad, when it was finallly over). I am still hoping, that all the attention Atwood works gets at the moment (Handmaid's Tale and Alias Grace having been made into series) leads to some sort of HBO-type-adaptation of this trilogy. If so, I would like Jim Carrey for Snowman-the-Jimmy, please.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Michelle Merrill

    Oryx and Crake is profoundly insightful and wickedly funny, one of my favorite books of all time. The Year of the Flood is nearly as good, with some thoughtful inspirations for coping with eco-apocalyptic scenarios. MaddAddam did not quite live up to the standards of these first two, but is still solid, with great characters and interesting revelations.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    I have to say the story started a bit slow. The first book in the trilogy was really where the foundation of the real story was being put together, but I was a little impatient with the first book. I enjoyed the next 2 books more because everything that is being built in Oryx and Crake comes together. This was an apocalypse I could see happening.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Colleen Mccarthy

    Love, love loved this series. What a visionary Margaret Atwood is! This series has everything to make you ponder the direction in which society is headed and at the same time be thoroughly entertained.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Danielle

    This just so happened to be my favorite of the three maddAddam books by Atwood. Several Atwood books have been on my reading list for years and I just so happened to finally pick this up as my first (I did read them out of order, but it did not seem to matter in the framing of the story line)

  30. 4 out of 5

    Berrybiezeman

    As so often I am left with mixed feelings after reading Margaret Atwood. As always I admire the original andi convincing alternative society she conjures up, but this time (again) the plot failed to keep me ibterested until the very end.

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