Monday, 2 February 2015

Book Club #10 - The MaddAddam Trilogy

If you've never read Margaret Atwood before, it can be tricky to know where to start. A highly acclaimed author, she has many accolades and has even been inducted into the Canadian Walk of Fame, which sounds nice. The MaddAddam trilogy, which starts with Oryx and Crake, is an excellent place start reading Atwood's work. The novels - which she calls speculative fiction rather than science fiction - are so well thought out, and are easily the best books I've ever had on my university reading list.

The MaddAddam trilogy 
Set years into the future, Oryx and Crake opens with Jimmy, who is seemingly the only human left on the planet after a man-made pandemic takes over. Through flashbacks, we find out that Jimmy's dad worked on creating animal splices - such as a Pigoons, which are pigs with human tissue so that they can be used to grow five or six transplant kidneys. It's through these flashbacks that you realise how 'developed' the future has become, with weird splice animals and plants generally overtaking the place of 'natural' animals and plants. The first book mostly looks at Jimmy's relationship with the title characters, Crake - real name Glenn, and Oryx, a beautiful woman that Jimmy misses the most. 

The Year of the Flood, however is written from the prospective of two female characters Ren and Toby. Both women believe the other to be dead, just like the rest of the population, but are linked by their pasts. Ren, a trapeze dancer in a gentleman's club, and Toby, a manager in day spa, were both members of God's Gardeners, a religious group that believed God would send waterless flood to rid the world of all it's unnatural chaos. Which conveniently ties in with the pandemic that basically kills everyone off. 

While the first two books run together simultaneously, the third and final book MaddAddam, told through mostly Toby's narrative, jumps straight into the action. Now living with some other post-pandemic survivors, and trying to keep safe from some vicious killers on the loose, Toby and the gang must start to rebuild civilisation, which is no easy task. Like the first two books, this one also relies on flashbacks, which delves into the creation of God's Gardeners, and their involvement in the man-made pandemic.

Overall, I really enjoyed this trilogy. It was no easy task to read them, as it's quite a bleak look at the somewhat distant future, but Atwood's writing style was witty and dry enough to keep you from falling into despair. I really liked how Atwood used the flashbacks to reveal certain things, and then worked them into the 'now' timeframe. I would definitely recommend these books to anyone and everyone, as although it is fiction, it does make you think a lot about real-life issues. 

Have you read the MaddAddam Trilogy? 

Chelsea xo


  1. I read oryx and crake at the end of last year and loved it! I'm really excited to read the rest of the trilogy, but like you said - quite dark so I am going to read a bit of Harry Potter in the mean time! xx

    Jasmin Charlotte | UK Lifestyle Blog

  2. Oooooh, these sound quite dark and a little too intelligent for my simple self. Great review though! :D

    Dannie x

  3. I just giggled at simple self, so I doubt I've got any sort of intelligence going for me! haha :) x

  4. Yes, you definitely need something to stop you feeling the dread! :) I hope you enjoy the others xx

  5. I have been trying to find some new books that aren't like my typical chick-lits, and these might be then ones!

    Annabel ♥
    Mascara & Maltesers

  6. They're really good, I definitely recommend them! x


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