Has there been a film version?
No. That would be one scary film.
Who are the important characters?
Snowman/Jimmy – apparently the last human left on earth, guardian to the Crakers, and best friend of Crake and Oryx
Crake – a super genius who sees the world as terminally flawed and is working on making a perfect solution to mankind
Oryx – a child prostitute and then companion to both Jimmy and Crake, also the teacher of the Crakers
The Crakers/Children of Crake – genetically altered humanoids who have the experience of children and were “created” by Crake to eliminate all the problems of humanity and therefore save the planet
What’s it about?
We enter the book by meeting Snowman, wrapped in a bedsheet and sleeping in a tree to stay safe from genetically altered animals such as wolvogs and pigoons. He is the last human on earth, charged with taking care of the Children of Crake – genetically fixed humans who are innocent and completely different from himself. He is forced to scrounge for food and water, protect both himself and the Crakers and help them to understand their surroundings. As Snowman struggles to accept his bleak future and arm himself against it, he tells us about his past; he was a boy named Jimmy whose odd best friend was Crake – the instigator of this seriously messed-up future. And throughout his entire tale weaves Oryx, a mythically beautiful girl who was a child porn star and then lover to both Jimmy and Crake and teacher/demi-goddess to the Crakers.
Why is this book a classic/bestseller?
It’s a typical Atwood dystopian read, and she’s a well-known author and Booker prize winner, hence the fantasticalness of this book.
Do I recommend you read this book?
Eh. If you want a good Atwood dystopian read, I would recommend “The Handmaid’s Tale” way before this one. Unless you’re Colleen, then you’ll like this.
How did this book make my list?
It was on my husband’s book-a-day calender, actually. I had never heard of it before.
Has it won any awards?
It was short-listed for the Booker Prize, but did not win.
“At ground level, it’s dark as an armpit.” – p 107
“Oh stolen secret picnics. Oh sweet delight. Oh clear memory, oh pure pain. Oh endless night.” – p 122
“You could tell a lot about a person from their fridge magnets, not that he’d thought much about them at the time.” – p 347
This is supposedly an alternate dimensional sequel to “The Handmaid’s Tale.” Whatever that means.
I’ll be frank, this book pissed me off. It bounced all over the place theme-wise. I couldn’t tell if she was attacking science, or religion, or mankind in general. And the story, while creatively told, was very confusing. It was easy to tell when was past and when was future because of the Snowman/Jimmy split, but Atwood used this split to also employ a system of referring to things which hadn’t happened yet in the past but were important in the future. All to build a sense of uncertainty, and make you feel the same way that Snowman was feeling concerning the future. I couldn’t believe that the scientific world of this novel had been given such a carte blanche with genetics, yet Atwood didn’t seem to use this as quite the soapbox you’d expect. She fully displayed the depravity of the society and the wrongness of the Crakers, but didn’t move from there. She touched on environmentalism, scientific ethics, religion, morality, hopelessness of future – but never enough to really make a point. She brings you to a point and then leaves you. Which I guess could be considered the recurring theme. Either way, I felt gypped.