Monday, November 14, 2011

Oryx and Crake
by Margaret Atwood

This is a guest post
by Jessica Kirby
Snowman—lover to Oryx, friend to Crake, monster-god to a manufactured tribe—sleeps covered in a mangled bedsheet at the top of a tree. In his waking hours he reveals his unremarkable self by fantasizing about long-lost women, devising ways to trick fish from the natives, and pissing on the crickets. His narration of Margaret Atwood's 2003 tale, Oryx and Crake, is a twisted version of his otherwise mundane reality in a futuristic world of people with citrus-flavoured pheromones living in aristocratic, bubbled communities.

Snowman dips into his past, inviting the reader to glimpse a future where corporate rule and genetic alteration may take the modern world—(a timely prediction, Ms. Atwood, well done). And as he scrapes by, scrounging a plague-ridden wasteland for discarded protein bars and cheap scotch, our quasi-hero conveys what for the most skeptical may be simply a highly entertaining sci-fi epic, but for the politically suspicious is eerily prophetic.

Crake—the genius-hero with good intentions—delves into the unfathomable horrors of genetic engineering, standing by his god-complex until the very end. Oryx, chameleon of female sexuality, whispers her broken childhood into the ears of the otherwise untouchable, debilitating them in love and death. And the people of the world—small, unmentionable—frolic about in unawareness until the classic plague-cure conundrum takes them all down in a writhing mass of unrecognizable flesh. These concepts, once deemed wild paranoia care of political dissenters, are becoming common enough today to make some of us a little uncomfortable watching the Discovery channel.

Nor are these new concepts in entertainment; however, Atwood breathes life into them with a flawless blend of dry, dark humour, and a fearless capture of illustrious believability. Whether the reader’s palate is yearning for page-turning anticipation from a well-known Canadian author, or a suggestive interrogation into political ethics, Oryx and Crake is certain to satiate.

Copy source: unknown
Genre: science fiction
Format: unknown

Jessica Kirby is a freelance writer and editor with a decadent taste for intelligent literature. She writes about architecture, design, and sustainable, playful living from her home office on beautiful Vancouver Island. She can be reached at

View my suggested books by Margaret Atwood


  1. Thanks for your fair and honest review of Zinovy's Journey, Jessica. I appreciate the time you took to read, and the perspective you shared.

  2. I must read this! I adored Handmaids Tale. I need to buy myself a new copy my old one is so dog eared and well worn..
    New follower :)

  3. Oryx and Crake is a great read, and I liked the sequel, Year of the Flood, even more.