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Oryx and Crake

by Margaret Atwood

About.com Rating 4 Star Rating

By

Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
There is certainly reason to travel with discretion as humanity embarks down paths unknown, but even if it were possible, there's never a reason to turn back.

Now, with the politics out of the way and feeling all the cleaner for the experience, I would like to state that I truly enjoyed Oryx and Crake on the level of a page-turning imaginative mystery. I have the attention span of a gnat, but Atwood kept my gnat-brain thoroughly absorbed in this tale of needless apocalypse. Atwood's style of minimal exposition was well-tailored to a story that could have been drowned in the wordiness of a lesser writer. In many ways, Oryx and Crake smacked of Vonnegut's best tales of world-ending woe such as Cat's Cradle or The Sirens of Titan--minus the humor and sexual energy. Don't get me wrong: this particular story would have been tarnished by a humorous streak or thinly-veiled sexual innuendos, but if you're not in the mood for a trip into the bleak, you might want to pick up something else--how about The Sirens of Titan, that one gets overlooked a lot.
As you may be able to deduce from the title of the novel, there's some "Oryx" character whom I've neglected to mention. This is true, I'm a neglectful reviewer, but before you click away in disgust, let me explain. Oryx's character would require at least another two paragraphs of description, and you've let me wow you enough today. Also, had I decided to go that route, it would have tarnished the mystery and fun of the book's unravelling plot. And in the end, that is the strength of the work--it is an engrossing mystery worthy of notice even despite its cynical social bend.

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