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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 Scot 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

  • “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.”


  • “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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