The world-building, themes and style of this novel (published in 2003) remind me of The Windup Girl by Bacigalupi (2009), but Onyx and Crakes's plot is quite cliché and choppy (too many long, unfocused flashbacks), the ending is quite unsatisfying and Oryx's character seems to be thrown in the novel without having a significant role to play, popping up again at the last minute just to "spice things up" and appear in the title. I guess this novel is a "Alice in Wonderland"-level nightmare to translate... I'm glad I read it in English and not in my own language.
Il world-building, i temi e lo stile di questo romanzo (pubblicato nel 2003) mi ricordano da vicino "La ragazza meccanica" di Bacigalupi (2009), ma la trama risulta scontata e poco coesa (troppi flashback lunghi e digressivi), il finale abbastanza insoddisfacente e il personaggio di Oryx sembra gettato nel romanzo senza avere un ruolo significativo, saltando di nuovo fuori all'ultimo minuto soltanto per aggiungere un po' di pepe e comparire nel titolo. Suppongo che il romanzo sia un incubo a livello di "Alice nel paese delle meraviglie" da tradurre, pertanto sono lieta di averlo letto in lingua originale....Continua
If you read The Handmaid's Tale, you'll find the structure of this one familiar.
Again a dystopic future unknown to the reader, a reality slowly unveiled by the everyday routine of the protagonist, who alternates his present thoughts with memories of his past life, so explaining how human kind arrived at this.
Here the focus is not on women conditions but on environmental issues and the uncontrolled evolution of science.
Atwood, who is known for her concerns with social and environment problems, has clearly an agenda (an agenda with which I mostly agree) and her story suffers the consequences of this showing some predictability and flatness of characters. Oryx and Crake
for the most part feels like a long,slow introduction to more juicy events which will presumably take place in the next episodes of the Maddaddam Trilogy.
The post apocalyptic reality in which the book is set is interesting even if a bit "Robinson Crusoe style":a man alone, Snowman,abandoned in a savage land with the only company of a group of uncivilized, naive, human-like species , the children of Crake, which reminds of a primitive american population.
Their surroundings are the most hostile, populated as they are by freakish animals, the children of Oryx, which are the results of mindless and uncontrolled scientific experiments.
This nightmarish scenario is (of course) the consequence of a scientific community which overstepped its mission of improving life conditions by self-appointing itself as moral judge of who deserves to be saved and who doesn't.
The perfect human being is the one totally devoid of sufferings, being that those caused by diseases and age or the ones caused by love, jealousy, fear.
A totally rational human, not encumbered by the complexities of romanticism, love, art, abstract speculation, individualism, religion, would not succumb to the horrors of war, violence, dictatorship, rape. But would he still be human?
Snowman lived in the society which permitted this line of thought to blossom and prosper thanks to its matured indifference to other people sufferings, a society so accustomed to violence and sex that watching pedo-pornographic movies or capital executions on internet is considered ok, a society that in Atwood perspective is a natural evolution of the present civilization naturally hardened to a voyeuristic concept of sex, violence, tears and pain.
Snowman reminiscence of his previous life, from his unhappy childhood to his frustrated adulthood, when he was still Jimmy and Oryx and Crake were real persons, is basically the author's ploy to show how humankind arrived at this but the momentum is build too slowly and predictably so that, despite the curiosity of knowing what happened, the most interesting and adventurous parts are those set in the present, especially because there isn't a real character evolution and Crake and Jimmy are essentially stereotyped figures(one the classic heartless genius, the other his "dumb" friend with the heart in the right place).
As often happens with Atwood's protagonist, Jimmy though generally a good person is not totally likable because to prone to inactivity and self-pity but this is a intentional choice of the author who confirms her aversion toward heroic characters.
Unlike Atwood's previous novels, Oryx and Crake has a male narrator but the book shows the same melancholy tone of the other works I've read from this author. The final result is interesting enough to make me want to read the following chapters of the trilogy but the sensation is that Atwood is treading on safe ground, reusing known situations and narrative devices to express her critic to indiscriminate growth and the risks of unethical scientific research.
What a fantastic read! And funny too with some memorable quotes:
"We went towards them to greet them, but they ran away"
Snowman can imagine. The sight of these preternally calm, well-muscled men advancing en-masse, singing their unusual music, green eyes glowing, blue penises waving in unison, both hands outstretched like extras in a zombie film, would have to have been alarming....Continua
因為沒興趣,所以一直都很少接觸科幻及世界末日的題材,ORYX & CRAKE的故事情節飛來飛去, 主題又不是我喜歡的,所以讀這本書時感覺讀得有點辛苦
Atwood's credentials as a writer of style and substance show through. A recounting of an apocalyptic future as seen from an individual perspective. Not burdened down my lots of detail about the actual details of the event, instead choosing to create a mood and perspective that seems all too real....Continua