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Extended Audio Sample Oryx and Crake, by Margaret Atwood Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (62,107 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Margaret Atwood Narrator: Campbell Scott Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The MaddAddam Trilogy Release Date:
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A stunning and provocative novel by the internationally celebrated author of The Blind Assassin, winner of the Booker Prize

The narrator of Atwood’s riveting novel calls himself Snowman. When the story opens, he is sleeping in a tree, wearing an old bedsheet, mourning the loss of his beloved Oryx and his best friend Crake, and slowly starving to death. He searches for supplies in a wasteland where insects proliferate and pigoons and wolvogs ravage the pleeblands, where ordinary people once lived, and the Compounds that sheltered the extraordinary. As he tries to piece together what has taken place, the narrative shifts to decades earlier. How did everything fall apart so quickly? Why is he left with nothing but his haunting memories? Alone except for the green-eyed Children of Crake, who think of him as a kind of monster, he explores the answers to these questions in the double journey he takes—into his own past, and back to Crake’s high-tech bubble-dome, where the Paradise Project unfolded and the world came to grief.

With breathtaking command of her shocking material, and with her customary sharp wit and dark humor, Atwood projects us into an outlandish yet wholly believable realm populated by characters who will continue to inhabit our dreams long after the last chapter. This is Margaret Atwood at the absolute peak of her powers.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Towering and intrepid…Atwood does Orwell one better.”

    New Yorker

  • Perfectly constructed, funny, and satiric. It is inventive yet prophetic, in fact, apocalyptic and weirdly feasible.… It is brilliant. Winnipeg Free Press
  • Oryx and Crake is set just the other side of the evening news, in a future so close we can smell its stench.…Atwood has outdone herself here. Georgia Straight
  • Ingenious and disturbing.… A landmark work of speculative fiction, comparable to A Clockwork Orange, Brave New World.… Atwood has surpassed herself. Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
  • Rigorous in its chilling insights and riveting in its fast-paced ‘what if’ dramatization, Atwood’s superb novel is as brilliantly provocative as it is profoundly engaging. Booklist (starred review)
  • Oryx and Crake is Atwood at her playful, allegorical best. Globe and Mail
  • [Oryx and Crake is written] with a style and grace that demonstrate again just how masterful a storyteller she is. If one measure of art’s power is its ability to force you to face what you would very much rather not, Oryx and Crake – the evocative tale of a nightmarish near-future – is an extraordinary work of art, one that reaffirms Atwood’s place at the apex of Canadian literature. Maclean’s
  • “Atwood’s new masterpiece.…Extraordinary.… [Atwood pulls] back the curtain on her terrible vision with such tantalizing precision, its fearsome implications don’t fully reveal themselves until the final pages.… A darkly comic work of speculative fiction. W Magazine (U.S.)
  • For all its artistic achievement, this novel poses serious questions.… Margaret Atwood is a consummate artist, yes, but her work also pricks our social and ethical consciousness. That is a rare combination, an important
    achievement.…
    Globe and Mail
  • Atwood’s great talent for narrative has never been displayed to better effect. Toronto Star
  • Riveting.…Chesterton once wrote of the ‘thousand romances that lie secreted in The Origin of Species.’ Atwood has extracted one of the most hair-raising of them, and one of the most brilliant. Publishers Weekly
  • Oryx and Crake is Atwood at her best – dark, dry, scabrously witty, yet moving and studded with flashes of pure poetry. Her gloriously inventive brave new world is all the more chilling because of the mirror it holds up to our own. Citizens, be warned. The Independent (U.K.)
  • Oryx and Crake can hold its own against any of the 20th century’s most potent dystopias – Brave New World, 1984, The Space Merchants – with regard to both dramatic impact and fertility of invention.…Oryx and Crake showcases a nightmare version of the present era of globalization on a globe coming apart at its ecological seams.… It is a scathing (because bang-on) portrait of the way we live now.…Majestic.… Washington Post
  • Is there a more accomplished or versatile writer, in Canada, than Margaret Atwood?… Atwood is on top of the times – intuits them, really.… The moral questions of Oryx and Crake are already in play.
    National Post (profile)
  • Oryx and Crake is a broad canvas that allows Atwood to show off her brilliant talent for satire and wordplay, as well as her considerable love and knowledge of the natural world. Quill & Quire
  • Wonderfully vivid, and the sardonic unveiling of future history makes for a strong narrative drive. National Post
  • “Contemporary novelists rarely write about science or technology. Margaret Atwood tackles both – and more – in one of the year’s most surprising novels. The Economist
  • “Set in a future some two generations hence, Oryx and Crake can hold its own against any of the 20th century’s most potent dystopias—Brave New World, 1984, The Space Merchants—with regard to both dramatic impact and fertility of invention, while it leaves such lesser recent contenders as Paul Theroux and Doris Lessing in the dust.”

    Washington Post

  • “A compelling futuristic vision…Oryx and Crake carries itself with a refreshing lightness…Its shrewd pacing neatly balances action and exposition…What gives the book a deeper resonance is its humanity.”

    Newsday

  • “Atwood has long since established herself as one of the best writers in English today, but Oryx and Crake may well be her best work yet…Brilliant, provocative, sumptuous, and downright terrifying.”

    Baltimore Sun

  • “Her shuddering post-apocalyptic vision of the world…summons up echoes of George Orwell, Anthony Burgess, and Aldous Huxley…Oryx and Crake [is] in the forefront of visionary fiction.”

    Seattle Times

  • “A book too marvelous to miss.”

    San Diego Union-Tribune

  • “A landmark work of speculative fiction, comparable to A Clockwork Orange, Brave New World, and Russian revolutionary Zamyatin’s We. Atwood has surpassed herself.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award
  • A 2004 Audie Award Finalist
  • A 2003 Scotiabank Giller Prize Nominee
  • A 2003 Man Booker Prize Finalist
  • Shortlisted for the 2004 Orange Prize for Fiction

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Sierra | 2/17/2014

    " I wasn't sure about this one at first. I'm into dystopias lately, but Atwood is so dark and depressing that I wasn't sure I would make it through. And Snowman the narrator is not a likeable guy, so it was hard to stick with it at first. But I got into it eventually and the world was compelling with lots of things to ponder. I eventually became addicted. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Shane | 2/14/2014

    " On one hand, this is a truly scary and well conceived dystopian novel. It explores the possible horrors of genetic manipulation in the wrong hands. However, I had trouble getting past the structure and the characters. First, the structure: The novel is told from the point of view of Snowman who is overseeing a new breed of humans. This is the future, and humanity seems to have mostly wiped itself out. But most of the actual story takes place in Snowman's past and tells of how he and his buddy Crake were involved in ending the world. By framing it this way, I had trouble connecting with the past, which really is the bulk of the novel. Plus the future, while interesting, is kind of boring - meaning that very little in the way of action happens; we spend most of our time learning about the new humans known as the Children of Crake. Second, the characters: Snowman (aka Jimmy) is whiny and kind of listless. Crake is an ass who is just smarter than everyone else, plus has no moral compass. Oryx is an interesting character, but she seems so lost by her early life as a sex slave that she is difficult to connect with; also, she is given the least attention of all the main characters. So, while I usually have no problem with very flawed characters, I really had trouble latching onto any of these three. They just seem so detached from the world. This is supposed to be a novel about the end of the world, but the POV's felt incredibly myopic. Snowman, Crake, and Oryx remain in their little bubbles and I rarely see much beyond what's ten feet in front of them, and this is often just a computer screen. No other characters stand out at all. There are no real side characters. So props to Atwood on the world building, she did a truly amazing job with this, but I struggled with the story elements. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Erin | 2/6/2014

    " 3.5. I am a sucker for dystopian/apocolyptic books. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Mike | 1/30/2014

    " cdid not really like; confusing; could not believe Margaret Atwood wrote this! "

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