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Oryx and CrakeOryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Notes from my writing notebook on August 1, 2010, the day I finished the book:

I finished “Oryx and Crake” by Margaret Atwood this morning. Good book. I periodically kept track of story structure & how things were written as I was reading. That’s hard to do on the first read-through of a book because I want to know what happens next. The book is a vision of dystopia, what could happen to the earth as we get really good at genetically modifying living things, we become overpopulated (already there) & the environment goes to hell. Profit will indeed drive genetic modification, as it already does, along with people’s general beliefs that they know what’s good for everything on the planet. Margaret Atwood has a facile ability to write from a male perspective. There were times I felt I had to look at the name on the jacket to be sure I was still reading Atwood.

In reading this book & “Animal Farm” by Orwell before it, I really had a sense that one of the primary uses of fiction is to preach without seeming to preach by means of telling a story. Of course, not all fiction has such heavy warning messages, but these 2 books do. Funny that Atwood has brilliant, evil pigoons in “Oryx and Crake.” In her book “Writing with Intent,” she tells of reading “Animal Farm” and the evil pigs. Wonder if there is a connection. It was her description of “Animal Farm” that made me read the book.

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Margaret Atwood will be taking part in a live chat at deviantART tomorrow afternoon. You have to become a member of deviantART to take part in the chat, but membership is free. Follow this link for more info.