by Margaret Atwood
"After a plague decimates almost all of humanity, Ren, a trapeze dancer trapped in a swanky sex club Scales and Tails, and Toby, a religious zealot holed in an extravagant spa, each believe they're the only survivors and debate leaving their strongholds. Meanwhile, Adam One, leader of God's Gardeners, navigates his band of followers through the forever changed world." (From the CD container.)
There are aspects of this book that remind me a lot of The Road by Cormac McCarthy. Something, in this case it looks like a plague of some kind, wipes out most of the human population. When the belief is that most of the rest of the world is gone, the behaviour of people toward one another depends on which philosophy a person ultimately buys into: "We can all last a lot longer if we help each other" or "there's no one here to tell me I can't do whatever I want." Both amount to "only the strong survive", but have very different manners of expression. But whereas McCarthy vividly captures the overall bleak horror of a tragedy-altered earth, Atwood accentuates it with absurdity and individual personality. Both books offer disturbing pictures of the future if we continue on our self-absorbed, greed-fueled paths, but Atwood's leaves the reader with more hope. Until you think about it just a little bit longer.
I didn't realize until too late that this book is a sequel, so I will most likely revisit my thoughts regarding The Year of the Flood after I've read Oryx and Crake.
Oryx and Crake
NOTICE: (Updated March 5, 2010)
Beginning December 19, 2009, Books 'N Border Collies will be posting but only intermittently while I pursue personal goals. I plan to share some reading I'm doing, but there will be no reviews. I will, however, be sharing my exploration of vegetarian cooking and the cookbooks and websites I use to educate myself. I hope you enjoy it!