The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood

This new Atwood picks up where Oryx and Crake left off, but with a whole new cast of characters (and some old familiar ones). If you’ve read Oryx and Crake, you’ll be left gasping like a genetically modified fish at what Atwood has built on. You don’t have to have read O&C to appreciate Year of the Flood however. The future world Atwood has created is terrifying in its realism. The Gardeners are a semi-religious group lead by Adam One and the Eves. They dwell in an abandoned flat, and create a haven on the roof, growing their own vegetables and honey, and forsaking all animal products. Adam One fears the great waterless flood (disease) that he believes will kill unbelievers.  He isn’t too far off the truth. When a seemingly unstoppable and fast-travelling virus kills off almost everyone – it’s the Gardeners, with their knowledge of survival, who survive. But how long can they survive when the Painballers, the most god-awful prisoners on earth escape their gaol? Some are trapped alone – believing they are the last ones left alive, and yet their instinct for survival continues despite everything.

Margaret Atwood makes me want to scream out loud, to laugh sarcastically in public places at her double ironies and her audacity and her utter genius. She gives me shivers, she makes me feel deep compassion, horror and hope. Oryx and Crake was horrible and beautiful. Year of the Flood is compassionate, gut-wrenching, and jaw-dropping. If you really want to do them justice, read both!

This new Atwood picks up where Oryx and Crake left off, but with a whole new cast of characters (and some old familiar ones). If you’ve read Oryx and Crake, you’ll be left gasping like a genetically modified fish at what Atwood has built on. You don’t have to have read O&C to appreciate Year of the Flood however. The future world Atwood has created is terrifying in its realism. The Gardeners are a semi-religious group lead by Adam One and the Eves. They dwell in an abandoned flat, and create a haven on the roof, growing their own vegetables and honey, and forsaking all animal products. Adam One fears the great waterless flood (disease) that he believes will kill unbelievers.  He isn’t too far off the truth. When a seemingly unstoppable and fast-travelling virus kills off almost everyone – it’s the Gardeners, with their knowledge of survival, who survive. But how long can they survive when the Painballers, the most god-awful prisoners on earth escape their gaol? Some are trapped alone – believing they are the last ones left alive, and yet their instinct for survival continues despite everything.

Margaret Atwood makes me want to scream out loud, to laugh sarcastically in public places at her double ironies and her audacity and her utter genius. She gives me shivers, she makes me feel deep compassion, horror and hope. Oryx and Crake was horrible and beautiful. Year of the Flood is compassionate, gut-wrenching, and jaw-dropping. If you really want to do them justice, read both!

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~ by ConsanguineousMind on June 8, 2010.

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