Monday, May 28, 2007

Thoughts on "Oryx and Crake"

Oryx and Crake
by Margaret Atwood

My Rating:

Margaret Atwood is fast becoming one of my favorite authors. Oryx and Crake is one of those books that take you by surprise. Just when you think you have an author figured out, you read something like this and it totally blows away your misconceptions. Atwood isn't a spinner of tales, she is an intellectual author. Her work has layers of understanding. It isn't until the end of the novel that the full depth of the story is revealed. Oryx and Crake is both a story of the Creation and the Apocalypse. It is a story of Moses decreeing God's tenets from on high and the innocence of Eden being corrupted.

At times the novel is grotesque and terrifying. It's Atwood's terrific mastery of language that keeps you reading. She never overpowers you with her immense skill even though she easily could. Instead she draws you in and tickles your imagination with a taste here and there of a scrumptious word or allusion. She holds you firmly in her sculptor hands as she carves out the details of the events that have made "Snowman", the main character. The terrible truth is revealed like the slow opening of a pungent flower emitting a sweet awful scent. It enraptures you. It horrifies you. It intrigues you.

This book should be read for its outrageous imagery of the unreal. It should be read as a warning of how easily that unreal imagery can become actuality. It should just be read.


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