“Atwood knows how to show us ourselves, but the
mirror she holds up to life does more than reflect—it’s like one of those
mirrors made with mercury that gives us both a deepening and a distorting
effect, allowing both the depths of human nature and its potential mutations.
We don’t know how we will evolve, or if we will evolve at all. The Year of the Flood isn’t prophecy,
but it is eerily possible.”
New York Times Book Review
A gripping and visceral book that showcases the pure storytelling talents she displayed with such verve in her 2000 novel, The Blind Assassin.
Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
"Atwood is funny and clever, such a good writer and real thinker.... As ever with Atwood, it is friendship between women that is noted and celebrated - friendship not without its jealousies but friendship that survives rivalry and disappointment, and has a generosity that at the end of the novel allows for hope.... We don't know how [human nature] will evolve, or if we will evolve at all. The Year of the Flood isn't prophecy, but it is eerily plausible.
Jeanette Winterson, The New York Time Book Review
"Canada's greatest living novelist undoubtedly knows how to tell a gripping story, as fans of The Blind Assassin and A Handmaid's Tale already know. But here there's a serious message too: Look at what we're doing right now to our world, to nature, to ourselves. If this goes on...
The Washington Post
One of the versatile Atwood's authorial calling cards, as far back as her early novel The Handmaid's Tale, has been that of ruthless investigator, never hesitating to cut to bone in describing real-as-life dystopias. In this work, however, she also appears to be having wild fun, gunning it like a daredevil race-car driver: The Year of the Flood serves as an old-fashioned alarm (moral, ecological), a zombie thriller and a series of swashbuckling pokes at modern institutions.... To Atwood's supreme credit, her story is enthralling.... Memorable characters, a tightly controlled pace and shockingly plausible scenes make it fly - to a mysterious, skin-prickling ending. If Atwood also inspires ways to prevent such a gruesomely likely future, we'll owe her far more than literary admiration.
San Francisco Chronicle
Atwood unflinchingly holds aloft the sanctity of life - for all species - and the human quest for love.
The Year of the Flood is timely and gripping.... Atwood creates a totally believable futuristic world in which people, for the most part, are the beasts. Those who have retained their humanity are the outlaws. But no matter what the setting, Atwood just tells a good story, one filled with suspense and even levity.
Atwood scores a 10 when it comes to creating, from the stragglers of the old one, a whole new world.... Toby, Ren, and their lost-soul friend Amanda, would be sympathetic characters in any setting. That Atwood conjures them into this madcap setting, where vultures open 'like black umbrellas,' misdeeds are punished by kidney removal, and bracelets are made of jellyfish, makes us love them even more.
The Year of the Flood consistently does what one expects of any work by Margaret Atwood: It entertains, spins out suspense and rewards a reader's basic impulse, all the while subtly and expertly maintaining its literary respectability.
Minneapolis Star Tribune
[The Year of the Flood] shows the Nobel Prize-worthy Atwood … at the pinnacle of her prodigious creative powers. Her weigh-in on the breakdown of the social covenant comes during a time of historic global change that her story eerily both mirrors and foretells.
"There is gallows humor, and then there is Margaret Atwood. The masterful Canadian writer is emerging as literature's queen of the apocalypse. And the dark visions Atwood again summons in The Year of the Flood prove quite illuminating.
Profoundly imagined. . . . This is a gutsy and expansive novel, rich with ideas and conceits.
Publishers Weekly, starred review
"Atwood orchestrates her narratives into a heart-pounding, mysterious and surprisingly touching finale. She enchants us so convincingly that after her spell is over, the 'real' world seems temporarily transformed. The Year of the Flood is both a warning and a gift.
Flood's relentlessly fabulous inventions and despondent predictions become almost unbearable, especially told in such gorgeously trenchant prose. In this way, the book recalls Atwood's 1985 masterpiece, The Handmaid's Tale.
TimeOut New York (five stars)
“Atwood’s mischievous, suspenseful, and
sagacious dystopian novel follows the trajectory of current environmental
debacles to a shattering possible conclusion with passionate concern and arch
Booklist (starred review)
“[Atwood] is emerging as literature’s queen of
the apocalypse…Illuminating…Gripping and scary, provocative and quite humorous.”
“[An] entertaining, often mesmerizing,
consciousness-raising novel…This is a work that amuses, informs, enlightens,
and, remarkably, also challenges its readers to be better persons.”
San Antonio Express-News
“With Atwood’s characteristic brainy humor…The Year of the Flood consistently does
what one expects of any work by Margaret Atwood: It entertains, spins out
suspense, and rewards a reader’s basic impulse, all the while subtly and
expertly maintaining its literary respectability.”
Minneapolis Star Tribune
“Vintage Atwood: It’s artfully edgy, casting a
pitiless eye on her fellow creatures…A powerful indictment of the way human
beings have long treated the planet and themselves…The book takes big risks.”
“Richly imagined…Thought-provoking, unexpectedly
funny, and utterly original.”
“Atwood’s latest is a fiercely imagined tale of
suffering that rivals Job’s…As dark as Atwood’s vision may be, the bonds among
her women give her work a bittersweet power.”
“Atwood scores a 10.”
“Atwood is a wry wizard at world-building…Fans…should
grab a biohazard suit, crawl into a hermetically sealed fallout shelter, and
dive right in.”
Christian Science Monitor
“Heart-pounding, mysterious, and surprisingly
touching…She enchants us so convincingly that after her spell is over, the
‘real’ world seems temporarily transformed. The
Year of the Flood is both a warning and a gift.”
“Prodigiously imaginative and outrageously
funny…Atwood’s wit is biting…Her brilliance dazzles.”
Cleveland Plain Dealer
“Thought-provoking, beautifully constructed, and
rich with the imaginative flourishes for which [Atwood] is rightly famous…A
hugely entertaining and satisfying read.”
“Atwood spins the most arresting alternate
mythologies to our hell-bent world…The
Year of the Flood is a slap-happy romp through the end times. Stuffed with
cornball hymns, genetic mutations worthy of Thomas Pynchon, and a
pharmaceutical company run amok, it reads like dystopia verging on satire. She
may be imagining a world in flames, but she’s doing it with a dark cackle.”
Los Angeles Times
“Atwood renders this civilization and these two
lives within it with tenderness and insight, a healthy dread, and a guarded
O, The Oprah Magazine
“Enthralling…Memorable characters, a tightly
controlled pace and shockingly plausible scenes make it fly—to a mysterious,
San Francisco Chronicle
“Timely and gripping…Atwood tells a good story,
one filled with suspense and even levity.”
“Leave it to Atwood to find humor in a
post-apocalyptic world as she covertly, and brilliantly, addresses questions of
how we need to live on an imperiled planet.”
Kansas City Star
“Another stimulating dystopia from this
always-provocative author, whose complex, deeply involving characters inhabit a
bizarre yet frighteningly believable future.”
“A gripping read, revealing Atwood in her most
masterful storytelling mode…The book is a cracked mirror of the times we live
“By its last half The Year of the Flood has turned into a heart-pounding thriller…The
book regularly undercuts the horrific with touches of comedy…and Atwood
superbly captures the voices and attitudes of the serious Adam One, the
frivolous Lucerne, the resourceful Toby, and the rather simple-minded and
fragile Ren. Canada’s greatest living novelist undoubtedly knows how to tell a
gripping story, as fans of The Blind
Assassin and The Handmaid’s Tale
already know. But here there’s a serious message, too: Look at what we’re doing
right now to our world, to nature, to ourselves. If this goes on…”
Washington Post Book World
Atwood's latest is a fiercely imagined tale of suffering that rivals Job's.... As dark as Atwood's vision may be, the bonds among her women giver he work a bittersweet power.
Prodigiously imaginative and outrageously funny.
The Plain Dealer (Cleveland)
"This is a work that amuses, informs, enlightens and, remarkably, also challenges its readers to be better persons.
San Antonio Express-News
"Atwood's mischievous, suspenseful, and sagacious dystopian novel follows the trajectory of current environmental debacles to a shattering possible conclusion with passionate concern and arch humor.