My book club met last week to discuss Margaret Atwood's Oryx and Crake. We had a good turnout and a good discussion. I was pleased to discover that most members enjoyed this book a lot - truthfully I was a bit surprised. The members that weren't crazy about it coincidentally also didn't care for The Time Traveler's Wife - they just don't really like books about alternate reality.
Oryx and Crake is a difficult book to describe. When people have asked me, I usually say something along the lines of "it's about an apocalyptic future, sort of an end of world scenario and how it became that way. There are bio-engineered animals...stuff like that." So, that tells you a lot, huh. Not really. Oryx and Crake is a book best discovered for yourself. It opens with a man called Snowman. He used to have a friend named Crake and loved an elusive woman known as Oryx. But Snowman is now alone as least as far as the human race goes and as far as he knows. The book goes on to detail Snowman's formative years and what life was like living in a futuristic compound with his scientist father. How did the world become this way and why is Snowman all alone? It is all there to be discovered.
This was my second reading of Oryx and Crake, and I think I got more out of the book this time around. Obviously, knowing the outcome,I wasn't so mystified by everything going on in the beginning of the book and I was able to enjoy the ride more. While this isn't my favorite Atwood, I still enjoyed this book very much. As always, I am fascinated by the workings of Margaret Atwood's mind. Her creativity and the way she expresses how she sees the world through her writing are second to none.
The timing of reading O&C turned out to be fortuitous. I now realize that Atwood's forthcoming book The Year of the Flood: A Novel takes place during the same or a similar period as O&C; I think this re-reading will help me to understand and appreciate it that much more.