Review of Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood (2003)
Back at it again with Margaret Atwood! Characteristic of Atwood’s writing, Oryx and Crake is a bleak depiction of our world’s future. It follows the story of Snowman, previously known as Jimmy, while he navigates the new post-human world and reflects on the world he used to know. Atwood tackles the complex concepts of GMOs, hyper-medication, and humanity’s strive towards immortality that eventually leads to the downfall of Man. Through the expert use of flashback, the reader is shown how this wasteland of civilization came to be and how Snowman is linked to his surroundings. The two plots, past and present, weave together seamlessly and warn the reader to be critical of such things as wonder drugs and mass-produced foods. The similarities between our world and the world of Jimmy/Snowman are veiled by exaggeration, but when you look close enough you get the worrying feeling that this future is certainly not impossible and, frighteningly, not even improbable. Oryx and Crake is the first book in the MADDADDAM trilogy.