Oryx and Crake

Oryx and Crake

Margaret Atwood

Synopsis of Oryx and Crake

Conceiving the Inconceivable Margaret Atwood's new novel is so utterly compelling, so prescient, so relevant, so terrifyingly-all-too-likely-to-be-true, that readers may find their view of the world forever changed after reading it. With breathtaking command of her shocking material and with her customary sharp wit and dark humour, Atwood projects us into a conceivable future of our own world, an outlandish yet wholly believable place left devastated in the wake of ecological and scientific disaster and populated by a cast of characters who will continue to inhabit your dreams long after the Book is closed. This is Margaret Atwood at the absolute peak of her powers. Nothing will ever be the same again.

Reviews of Oryx and Crake


On novelistic grounds, "Oryx and Crake" can't be counted an outright success. -- David Kipen, San Francisco Chronicle

Like a mystery writer, Atwood must tailor her characters to the demands of the plot, which she does with a rather liberal deployment of red herrings. -- Thomas M. Disch, The Washington Post

The novel bursts with invention and mordant wit, none of which slows down its headlong pace. -- Colette Bancroft, St. Petersburg Times

Atwood's latest work of speculative fiction is preachy, and its apocalyptic catastrophe is unbelievable. -- Deborah Blum, Minnealpolis-St.Paul Star Tribune

By the end, I was cheering for the clones. Not a good sign. -- Gail Caldwell, The Boston Globe

..."Oryx and Crake" depends on the hoariest of apocalyptic plots, one of those mad-genius-tries-to-off-the-planet Ian Fleming specials that wouldn't strain Bond, James Bond. -- Marta Salij, Detroit Free Press

Jimmy was the class clown; his wisecracking, more than anything else, keeps the novel from bogging down in gloom. -- Michael Harris, LA Times

Atwood envisions a universe unlike any other, but one based on a startlingly familiar foundation. -- Robert Allen Papinchak, The Seattle Times

The only real quibble I have with the Book is its somewhat ambiguous ending. -- Judith Neuman Beck, San Jose Mercury News

The characters' background stories feel somewhat arbitrarily assigned, and their actions are conditioned at every turn by the logic of the premise. -- Sven Birkerts, The New York Times

Though Oryx and Crake is a depressing Book, Atwood has a lot of ironic fun with her subject. -- Juliet Wittman, The Rocky Mountain News

It's a depressing view, saved only by Atwood's biting, black humor and absorbing storytelling. -- Jackie Pray, USA Today

This reader emerged from ORYX AND CRAKE as from a nightmare, glad there are still words and Books like this one to warn us of catastrophe and comfort us with love. -- Kathy Weissman, BookReporter.com

Atwood asks plenty of difficult questions and provides absolutely no answers. -- Shannon Bloomstran, BookReporter.com

The result is a wholly successful novel that should please not only Atwood's many fans but also science fiction fans who might not be familiar with her earlier work. -- Rob Cline, BookReporter.com

While the bulk of the Book kept me rapt, the ending was not quite satisfying. -- Kate Ayers, BookReporter.com

Her sardonic humor and razor-sharp wit are in abundance, but ORYX AND CRAKE lacks the bulletproof pacing and plot structure of THE HANDMAID'S TALE and, as a result, seems less plausible. -- Jen Robbins, BookReporter.com

Margaret Atwood's writing is like cilantro. People who don't like cilantro can't tolerate it, even in small doses. People who enjoy it can eat it on just about anything savory any time it's on offer. -- Linda Richards, January Magazine

Brilliant, provocative, sumptuous and downright terrifying, Oryx and Crake is a sharp-edged page-turner with a deftly wrought message in Atwood's smart, electric language about where we humans could end up if we continue to allow greed and myopia to outstrip ethics and morality -- Victoria Brownworth, Houston Chronicle

It is a thoughtful Book, drawing you through the pages steadily as you find yourself both wanting to know how things happened, and worrying that this may well end up being prophetic. -- Cindy Lynn Speer, Fatastica Daily

Behind the veil of all literary apocalypses, lies the rage of an idealist and impatience with the incremental process of social change. The difference between Atwood and someone like Ray Bradbury is that Atwood is conscious of this dynamic and uses Oryx and Crake to comment upon it. -- Jeremy Smith, Infinity Plus

Gripping, scary, hilarious, and moving, its nightmare vision of where we might end up holds a mirror to where we are right now, and urges us to ask not just the obvious question -- can we stop? -- but a more frightening one: are we already too far down the road? -- Victoria Strauss, SF Site