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  • Oryx and Crake

  • MaddAddam Trilogy, Book 1
  • By: Margaret Atwood
  • Narrated by: John Chancer
  • Length: 12 hrs and 22 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (274 ratings)

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Oryx and Crake cover art

Oryx and Crake

By: Margaret Atwood
Narrated by: John Chancer
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Publisher's Summary

Margaret Atwood's classic novel, The Handmaid's Tale, is about the future. Now, in Oryx and Crake, the future has changed: it's much worse. The narrator of this riveting novel calls himself Snowman. When the story opens, he's 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. As he tries to piece together what has taken place, the narrative shifts to decades earlier. Why is he left with nothing but his haunting memories?
©2003 Margaret Atwood (P)2014 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd.

Critic Reviews

"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)

What listeners say about Oryx and Crake

Average Customer Ratings
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • B_R
  • 23-05-2018

Dystopian masterpiece

I have read Oryx & Crake three times and listening to it here was my fourth'. Though nothing will ever replace the first read, I still find reasons to re-read it!.

What appeals to me is Atwood’s innate ability to combine real life characters with speculation on the state of the world if current experimental biological modification trends are pushed to the nth degree. There are no inventions in Atwood’s fiction, rather an intelligent mind bending about things that actually existed at the time she penned the book. As time passes, it is interesting to see how many of her prophesies are coming true!

Jimmy, Oryx and Crake are the perfect personalities to carry and ‘normalise’ the crazy story, covering the roles of crazed creator, passive caregiver and questioning observer between them. Jimmy in particular voices the reader’s concerns and therefore is the connection between our reality and Atwood’s.

I can’t recommend this book highly enough, as well as the two sequels.

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12 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good but not for everyone..

Dark, the passing of the society depicted in this book should be celebrated and not mourned.
Some people have issue with the narrator, but I thought he did a good job. Warning, you may be offended by his south east Asian woman voice. Also warning, in this book the consumption of child pornography is depicted as normal which was hard for me to listen to. If you are a survivor of a sex offender this may be too hard for you to listen to as it becomes a major plot thread that goes on for a few chapters.

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7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great book, poor narrator.

Margaret Atwood only knows how to write good books. I loved this story. what a pity you didn't choose a different narrator. His ability to r read a female voice was very poor. I will need to buy the book now and read it again using my voices.

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5 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Caz
  • 31-08-2020

I don't get it...

I thought I was a Margaret Atwood fan, but I am 1/3 into this book and I feel I have given it a good go and yet I am just not engaged and cannot continue. I am returning it, sadly, as I wanted it to be great.

The story is very slow, and involves themes of genetic engineering and what I would describe as the death of humanity. I was just bored, and kept having to rewind and recap and then I just gave up.

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4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Dystopian future with a sense of humour

Loved it will be listening to book 2 in this series. Possible, brutal but balanced view of the future. Yet quite funny.

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2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • E
  • 20-03-2018

Genius

Wonderful on every level. Margaret Atwood a creative and gifted genius narrated with insight and precision.

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2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Unreached Potential

Having read Atwood's A Handmaid's Tale I was ready for an amazing journey into a dystopian universe, sadly it did not match my expectations.

Atwood's world in Oryx and Crake focused on the worries of genetic engineering, cloning and the inherent danger society fears as these technologies develop. The narrative had such great potential but falls short of greatness. There are far too many unanswered questions and we learn very little about the novel's name sake - Oryx.

The novel is slow to get moving and flashes from past to present with little benefit. There is the traditional absent mother and then the disengaged father with his new love interest. A great deal of sexual abuse, references to pornography and child abuse with the poor selling their children into slavery to survive.

Atwood's creature creations are interesting, particularly the beasts used to grown human organs which are then eaten as "bacon" by the staff at the company who "manufacture" these beasts.

Unfortunately the narrative does not really go anywhere leaving the reader flat and disheartened rather than questioning the state of modern society.

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2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Speculative fiction at it's best

Loved this book. Snowman, the narrator, appears to be the sole human survivor of an apocalypse. Other survivors are genetically altered humans and animals. Can't praise this book enough. Brilliant start to a wonderful trilogy.
Also love the narration for this book "Snowman oh Snowman" so good. Margaret Atwood is so delicious to read so the narration has to be quality.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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Worth persevering

It took me a while to get into the writing style but now I can’t wait to read the next book.

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Narration ruined the book

I read this book about 15 years ago and absolutely loved it. It opened my eyes to the world of dystopian science fiction and I've been raving about it for over a decade.

So I decided to buy it on audible. What a waste. The narrator has such a whining, nagging voice and makes everything seem annoying. I just want it to stop. I still have 2 hours to go, which seems like a lifetime...

The performance has ruined this amazing book for me.

Highly recommend to actually read. DO NOT get the audio book!

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