The Year of the Flood

The Year of the Flood“The times and species have been changing at a rapid rate, and the social compact is wearing as thin as environmental stability. Adam One, the kindly leader of the God’s Gardeners, a religion devoted to the melding of science and religion, as well as the preservation of all plant and animal life, has long predicted a natural disaster that will alter Earth as we know it. Now it has occurred, obliterating most human life…By turns dark, tender, violent, thoughtful, and uneasily hilarious, The Year of the Flood is Atwood at her most brilliant and inventive.”

The next instalment of what has now been coined, ‘The MaddAddam Trilogy,’ The Year of the Flood is a compelling and heart-stopping exploration of the post-apocalyptic world first introduced in Oryx and Crake. Raising the same big (and very relevant) questions about what makes us human and how to face the pressing issues of survival and the destruction of the planet, Atwood leads her readers on a  journey through her stark and often terrifying world through the eyes of a two surviving women. Rather than a sequel, this book tells a somewhat parallel story to the first novel. Another excellent read by an excellent author.
Can’t wait to read Madd Addam!MA

5stars

The Blind Assassin

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The Blind Assassin opens with these simple, resonant words: “Ten days after the war ended, my sister Laura drove a car off a bridge.” They are spoken by Iris, whose terse account of her sister’s death in 1945 is followed by an inquest report proclaiming the death accidental. But just as the reader expects to settle into Laura’s story, Atwood introduces a novel-within-a-novel. Entitled The Blind Assassinit is a science fiction story told by two unnamed lovers who meet in dingy backstreet rooms. When we return to Iris, it is through a 1947 newspaper article announcing the discovery of a sailboat carrying the dead body of her husband, a distinguished industrialist. Brilliantly weaving together such seemingly disparate elements, Atwood creates a world of astonishing vision and unforgettable impact.”

Margaret Atwood’s Booker Prize winner is a clever multi-layered story within a story within a story. She seamlessly slips between concurrent plot lines and devises characters that are both believable and intriguing. Against the backdrop of significant events of the 20th century in Canada, Atwood explores poignant themes of  love, duty, humility, strength, youth and maturity, family dynamics and the the nature of memory. A brilliantly woven tale of human passion, weakness and the desire to be heard.

4starsMA

Oryx and Crake

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Snowman, once known as Jimmy, sleeps in a tree with a dirty bed sheet and laments the loss of his beautiful and beloved Oryx and his best friend Crake. Seemingly the only survivor in a stark and terrifying post-apocolyptic landscape, the narrative follows Snowman as he lives in the present and remember the past. In the midst of his struggle for survival, with only the Crakers for company, Snowman is faced with the taxing questions of  whether he should have seen it coming and whether there was anything he could have done.

Margaret Atwood does it again (wait, have a written yet about The Handmaid’s Tale or The Blind Assassin?). Her post-apocalyptic world is stark and inventive, forcing the reader to ask some heavy questions about ethics and science and the what makes us truly human. Short-listed for the Man Booker in 2003, it is a bleak and twisted love story and a clever and chilling prophetic narrative about the not-so-sci-fi problems that face our real world modern society. A decipherable plot is unclear for most of the novel, which is instead driven by the reader’s curiosity to discover the cause of the collapse of society as well as the current situation of the protagonist, Snowman.

While it’s not my favourite Atwood, it is though-provoking, challenging and a good read.
4starsMA