Overview (No Spoilers): It has been several days now since I finished Oryx and Crake and I can’t stop thinking about it or resolve my feeling regarding this novel. First and foremost, I would have never been introduced to this book, except through the blogging world and for that I’m incredibly thankful. Patrick, of the blog gamobo, reached out to me and proposed that we do a book exchange in which we recommend titles to each other, as such, he suggested that I try Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood and it should be no surprise that I threw out the title Red Rising by Pierce Brown. You can find Patrick’s review here.
Looking back to our initial emails, Patrick and I first decided to do a book recommendation back in late June. Such is life, that I’m only now getting to read Oryx and Crake, and as usual, I don’t know what took me so long to work this book into my schedule because the concepts and attention to detail found in this novel fit perfectly into the mold of books that I love. This novel starts off as a bit of mystery, following the narrative of Snowman, who is the reluctant caretaker of a primitive new species of human called the Crakers. Slowly, through subtle clues and frequent flashbacks the reader begins to piece together that Snowman, previously known as Jimmy, comes from a time before Crakers and a time before civilization has completely collapsed. From a time where science was on the brink of creating immorality and slicing together animals to create creatures out of a mad scientist’s fantasies, e.g. a snake/rat or a snat. As the story progresses, we learn more about Snowman’s, i.e., Jimmy’s, history and the mystery surrounding these Crakers, until the flashback within the story reaches its climax much to the distress of the readers. Overall, Oryx and Crake offers a though provoking glimpse into a futuristic world with skewed scientific morals and ethics. I absolutely loved the intermingling of the narrative from a primitive, present day world and the flashbacks to a dystopian-based, crumbling society and the mystery surrounding the events, which must have unfolded to make the two worlds one in the same. I’m eagerly looking forward to picking up the next book in the series, The Year of the Flood!
Additional Insight (Spoilers Abound):
- Did Oryx know what Crake was up to? Did she know the role that Crake was going to use her? Did Crake know about her relationship with Jimmy or did he encourage it?
- Was Oryx actually the girl that Jimmy and Crake saw in the video? Did Crake accidentally find her or was it more intentional?
- What happened to Jimmy’s father? What happened to Jimmy’s mother after she left? What did she find out about that made her leave? Was Crake’s family’s death also intentional?
- How will the Crakes adapt to other human interaction? Will they survive without Snowman? Will Snowman find the other humans?
- Why didn’t Snowman take the wind up radio or try harder to reach out to the voice he heard? I feel like the curiosity would have consumed me in that situation!