Snowman is sitting in a forest, surrounded by rather naive and simplistic people he calls Crakers – and whom he feels strangely responsible for. Slowly, he takes us back to a time when he was Jimmy and to his friendship with a guy called Crake, his obsession with a woman called Oryx and a world filled with strange animal splices and powerful corporations.
Oryx and Crake is an excellent read. It’s well-written, interesting and has great characters. What more can I say?
There was one thing I really didn’t like – and that was the ending. It seemed kind of pointless and more like a deadline ended the book than the story, if you know what I mean. But Atwood has since written The Year of the Flood, which is a kind of sequel/companion book (and which I’ll need to read soon), so I guess she can be forgiven for that.
I found Snowman/Jimmy to be an interesting character and a good narrator, but Atwood really excels at demonstrating the fascination Crake is able to generate. Even in the novel, even though it was all from Jimmy’s point of view, your gaze was automatically drawn to Crake and, to a lesser extent, to Oryx. [It must suck to be Jimmy – a secondary character in his own book…]
The world Atwood has created is brilliant. There’s a lot of great science (it astonishes me how she doesn’t think that this book is SciFi), but even better imagination. I mean, a world in which rakunks are possible can’t help but be awesome.
Atwood’s prose flows beautifully, making Jimmy a good narrator with a distinct voice and supplying me with some wonderful quotes. Like:
Jimmy had been full of himself back then, thinks Snowman with indulgence and a little envy. He’d been unhappy, too, of course. It went without saying, his unhappiness. He’d put a lot of energy into it.
These things are not real. They are phantasmagoria. They were made by dreams, and now that no one is dreaming them any longer they are crumbling away.
Summarising: totally recommended.