Out of this World Book Club: Oryx and Crake
Prior to this novel, I had never read any of Margaret Atwood’s novels, although I had heard nothing but praise for her works. I knew nothing about Oryx and Crake, other than it took place after some sort of cataclysm. All I expected was a standard, if well written, sci-fi story. What I got was better.
Atwood throws you into the world with what appears to be the sole survivor of a recent global disaster. It is through his eyes that we see what the world has become, and through his thoughts, how it got that way. We don’t learn, exactly, what went wrong until near the end of the book, although astute readers will catch on sooner than that. Indeed, we as readers can see the oncoming tragedy before our protagonist does, much to his lament. Atwood keeps her details minimalist, both in terms of plot and description, but what she does include is enough to evoke the sense of foreboding (in the memories) and despair (in the present). Though written a decade ago, the book is in no way dated. The world Atwood created pre-catastrophe is a fun-house reflection of what our world could easily become, with growing corporate control over every aspect of life, to the point of replacing the government. She probes the question of genetic modification, and its effect on both humanity and the environment. As these issues are sparking debate today, Atwood takes them to one possible conclusion, and tells a stunning tale while she’s at it.
If you have thoughts on Oryx and Crake, come to the library tonight at 7, we will be discussing it in the Storytime Room (in the rear corner of the Children’s Room).
If you can’t make it tonight, why not read The Nightmare People, by Lawrence Watt-Evans, and join us on October 24th.