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The Year of the Flood

November 17, 2009

The Year of the Flood, Margaret Atwood’s newest novel, takes place in the desolate future of her prior novel, Oryx and Crake. If you’ve read Oryx and Crake, you’ll remember some of these characters and you’ll of course remember the bleakness of the setting.

The novel focuses on Ren and Toby, two members of God’s Gardeners religious group.  We see the characters in both flashbacks and in the present day – Ren as a 10 year old child and later as a “stripper” at Scales and Tails and Toby as Eve Six of the Gardeners and as a shut-in at the Anoo Yoo Spa.

Ren and Toby are both struggling to survive in a world that has encountered a “waterless flood.”  There are a limited number of survivors, most of whom were in the future version of prison/reality TV, and unusual animal splices like liobambs (lion/lamb) and rakunks (skunk/raccoon) graze the earth.

The Year of the Flood is a creative masterpiece – sometimes I wonder how Atwood can sleep at night if this is the future she envisions.   Atwood brings this scary future to your fingertips and we route for Ren and Toby’s survival and pray that the Gardeners will find each other once again.  I recommend reading this novel in conjunction with Oryx and Crake – the links between the two would be fun to compare.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. November 17, 2009 8:53 pm

    I started this, but am kind of holding off on it because I don’t want it to be over too fast.

  2. Kimberly permalink*
    November 18, 2009 9:11 am

    I completely understand! When I finished it, I was a little sad it was over. Have a good next book ready and it makes it easier!

  3. November 29, 2009 6:11 pm

    Man, I’ve got no excuse for not having read any Atwood yet— especially since she’s apparently writing the best dystopian fiction right now. I’m assuming you’ve read The Handmaiden’s Tale, too?

  4. Kimberly permalink*
    November 30, 2009 10:13 am

    Handmaid’s Tale is one of my absolute favorites. You have to check it out!

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