Oryx and Crake – Margaret Atwood

Science fiction. Totally not up my street.
Margaret Atwood. Totally intriguing.

Oryx and Crake. What a book, eh?
And I really don’t know what to write about, besides that I really didn’t look forward to reading it, kind of ecpected to not enjoy it, just because I’m apparently disgustingly prejudiced towards certain genres, and was absolutely blown away.

Oryx and Crake is the first novel in a trilogy of post apocalyptic speculative fiction told from the perspective of Snowman, a man living in a world post civilisation breaking down. The world he describes seems completely absurd, and only when he starts to flash back to his youth with his best friend Crake do the pieces start to fit together, the creatures and structures of the wasteland around him start to make sense and his own role and survival to become clear. I don’t think I can decide which is worse: the deserted, straining world post-apocalypse or the society it derives from, a civilisation already so dystopian and creepy that it alone would make you massively uncomfortable.

I’ve mentioned this when talking about Station Eleven and I’ll say it again, I just can’t deal with post-apocalyptic settings. They stress me out and make me lose all hope for humanity at the same time, and while I don’t want my books to be all candy floss and rainbow-riding unicorns, that’s just not something I’m looking for regularly. That being said, when I do read them they always make me think, which is good I suppose.

That being said, because the world breaking down in this wasn’t our own, it felt farther away and less personal. It obviously still crept underneath every skin cell of my body and made me massively uncomfortamble in an intentional way, but it didn’t have me taking that feeling into my everyday life. It was just a book. A hypnotic, feverish and yet subtle work of brilliance, mind.

I would say it’s worth a read, I definitely will pick up more Atwood in the future, possibly even the other two books in this trilogy. I don’t think this is a book just for genre-lovers because, evidently, I enjoyed it too, but it probably helps if you enjoy the occasional apocalypse.


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