Book Review: Onyx and Crake

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Book: “Onyx and Crake”

Author: Margaret Atwood

Written: 2003

Pigoons, Rakunks, and Wolvogs… what are these you may ask? well those are just the tip of the iceberg in the fantastical world Margaret Atwood created in her novel Onyx and Crake. Margret Atwood is the critically acclaimed author behind the handmaids tale that has recently been turned into a hit show on Hulu, this is not to mention the litany of other novels under her belt. Onyx and Crake is the first book in the MaddAddam trilogy that explores a biologically manufactured world. Little known fact, Atwood was the daughter of a biologist which is likely where she gained insight into how biology could be manipulated in the ways in which she describes in the book.

Onyx and Crake follows the journey of Snowman, a middle aged man who finds himself alone somewhere in a dystopian world modeled after our own. Snowman was not always in the situation that he finds himself in. In fact he was not even always known by the name of Snowman. In a previous life he was Jimmy, a normal young man by all respects. As you read through the novel jimmy’s story unravels before you. This story begins with a youthful kid living in an unstable home with in the compounds (small walled cities that protected the privileged from the pleeblands) and ends with an older more shriveled and broken man. The path from point A to point B is where this story takes place and if you think you can predict how it will all go down then I would beg to differ.

From the moment you open the book and begin to read about the crushed world Snowman lives in you feel compelled to learn the nuances of how the world became that way. The book will not give up those secrets easy though and for me that was the best part about this read. You get bits and pieces of the timeline that leads up to the destruction of Snowman’s world but it is not until the end that you truly get all the answers you are looking for.

Over all this book was a wild ride, extremely enjoyable and easily one of the best books I have read this year. I would definitely recommend.

 

Overall score:

4.8 Pigoons out of 5

karl-thiart-pigoon
Art by Karl Thiart
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