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Oryx and Crake

MaddAddam Trilogy, Book 1
Narrated by: John Chancer
Length: 12 hrs and 22 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (169 ratings)

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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 members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • B_R
  • NZ
  • 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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Genius

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

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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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.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • xan
  • 02-10-2019

A favourite

This was my third read of this book in 5 years. Atwood is on point and timeless as ever.

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Killer trilogy

I was hooked from start to finish. The author demonstrates versatility from what she is now best known for. Strong characters and a great story.

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Brilliant

Margaret Atwood is genius and this is yet more proof of that. The narration by John Chancer was brilliant. A difficult book to narrate with accents etc. but the narration never distracts from the story. Now looking forward to getting into the sequel.

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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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Dystopia, disease & destruction...

Few writers can tell a tale of compelling darkness with such humanity & still a shed a ray of hope. This is a good story, well told by a writer in full command of her craft. I recommend this & the 2nd book in the trilogy, although by the final book I think the subject matter is wrung out a little too dry.

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  • Renny
  • 29-03-2006

Fantastic

I really enjoyed this title, it was so good that it only lasted 2 long listening sessions! I only wish there were more *unabridged* works from Margaret Atwood available at audible.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • MrMonterrubio
  • 01-04-2015

A breath taking dystopia !!!

One of the best end-of-the-world books out there. Atwood is a genius at storytelling, she moves from present to past like a boss

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  • Reinhold
  • 09-08-2014

John Chancer really brings the story to life

What made the experience of listening to Oryx and Crake the most enjoyable?

This book works well as a standalone -- better than the other two books -- but it does get even better as part of the MaddAdams trilogy.

John Chancer does an excellent job bringing Jimmy and the crakers to life. When i think about the book I keep hearing his saying "Ohhh Jimmy" as the crackers, and it brings a smile to my face every time.

This is a book in which the narrator ads another layer to the story.

Storywise it tells you a lot about Jimmy but less about the world. The two following books flesh out the world better.

Good book and I highly recommend it.

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  • Denise Litchfield
  • 06-11-2012

I'll listen to anything read by John Chancer


As a Margaret Atwood fan, it was a double whammy to discover it read by another favorite, John Cancer. His warm voice kept me in my seat.

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  • Rachel Ross
  • 04-04-2016

Grotesque objectification of women

Sexist view point of lead character and sickening themes of child pornography - couldn't finish it.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • patricia
  • 01-06-2012

pure fantasy

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

only if you have time to fill and an imagination.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

liked the ending.

Which scene was your favorite?

when he went into the zone

Did Oryx and Crake inspire you to do anything?

no

Any additional comments?

i enjoyed because i kept wondering what would happen next. futuristic fantasy.

0 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Martin
  • 03-02-2010

Engrossing, disturbing, amusing, entertaining

What a story this is. It is quite hard to review without giving away the plot too much but I listened to this in 2 days and would happily go back to the start right now. The Narration is first class, along with the plot and the characters. The story leaves you thinking about it when you are not listening, wondering "could that really happen?" to which the answer is most often yes it could. Highly, recommend this. I will remember this one for a long time to come and probably shudder as parts of it become true in the future.

36 of 36 people found this review helpful

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  • Liz... Bristol
  • 11-08-2015

A book of ideas in sci-fi, not space opera.

I'm not familiar with Margaret Atwood's other work. Although clearly it fits into the sci-if genre, it is not a space opera. It is the sci-if of ideas and their effects upon society. The story does move back and forth over time, but in a limited way and not difficult to follow. The world is not ours, but a future or alternate version. I've just finished listening to this and shall move straight onto the middle book of the trilogy. Atwood has created a strange but familiar universe that is rigid and controlled. It is linear from childhood, but friendship can bridge the paths and the years.

John Chancer is probably not my ideal narrator (I prefer a deeper tone), but he does a very good job here. He manages to define the characters without using a range of accents.

Probably because Atwood is Canadian she uses quite a number of British rather than American terms (eg bum instead of ass or butt) which is a pleasant change.

Oryx and Crake is a great change of gear from the more run-of-the-mill detective or thriller novels that I like. Worth a listen if you enjoy a change. I did.

18 of 18 people found this review helpful

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  • Sandor
  • 31-01-2014

Interesting and creative story

Where does Oryx and Crake rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

One of my better " reads".

What did you like best about this story?

The story unfolds in flash back form, something has happened , vast swathes of the earths population have disappeared and those that survive don't seem quite human, ,but what and who is to blame ?

Any additional comments?

Be warned this is the first in a trilogy and the story does not resolve itself in this book one, so you're basically committing yourself to reading ( listening too) all three. The story does meander, at times you begin to wonder what is the point of some of the tributaries you end up exploring . I however made it to the end of number three so was suitably gripped, although I did feel by book three it was beginning to plod along a little predictably, book one ( this one ) is definitely the best.

13 of 13 people found this review helpful

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  • Isabelle Gill
  • 08-07-2015

A slow burner but worth persevering with

Took me a while to get into, and the plot is deliberately opaque to begin with, but it's worth persevering with. An interest idea of the future - and Chancer reads it well.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Sarah-Jane
  • 08-02-2006

Oryx and Crake (Unabridged)

This is really worth listening to. Several important contemporary issues are explored in science fiction form, and the narrator delivers the story very well indeed.

14 of 15 people found this review helpful

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  • Sigrin
  • 04-10-2016

Genetics nightmare

This is not Sci-fi or a prophecy of things to come, however it is certainly food for thought if we continue along our present scientific pathway. Thank goodness we have medical ethics to maintain some control at present.

Margaret Atwood is not an easy author to listen to, but I seem to come back for more!
I will continue with this trilogy, but need a break to digest this one before I start the next.

Narration of both male and female voices and accents is good, although I am not a fan of American narrators.



6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kakabeak
  • 21-04-2006

Compulsive Listen

With each exciting and beneficial step the human race takes in the development of biotechnology, there are far-reaching risks and dangers, never explicitly explored. This novel explores them. The result is a desperately believable and very close future that Margaret Atwood opens up before us with appalling clarity. We follow the tale of an unexceptional, flawed individual who becomes the unwilling witness to and agent of perplexing, yet world-changing, events. Jimmy has had a troubled young life: nothing prepares him for his pivotal role in the future of our planet. This book is a compulsive listen, the inevitable logic of the plot locking inexorably into place as the awful truth unravels.

26 of 29 people found this review helpful

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  • chrissie
  • 03-07-2013

Is this where we are heading?

Beautifully realised evocation of what will happen if we carry on with our obsession with improving Nature. I'd quite like a rakunk though.... I had listened to Year of Flood first and enjoyed it so so much that I then got this one- which answered many of the questions from Year of the flood. Roll on end of August and Maddadam the final part of the trilogy. Great imagination, great writing, great reader

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 19-08-2015

I tried

I really tried hard to listen to this, because the idea seemed a good one. Who knows, the storyline might even be brilliant. I've had to guess. But I couldn't force myself to listen to one more word; the narrator seems limited in his voices to the "melancholy" one and the "whining" one and it was a choice between stopping listening and pulling my own ears off.

28 of 33 people found this review helpful

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  • Patch
  • 06-04-2014

Confusing but intriguing

I spent much of book 1 in this trilogy befuddled as to what was going on. It suddenly started to click into place three quarters through, then ended on a cliffhanger. So despite initial reservations, I find myself champing at the bit to hear book 2.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful