Saturday, January 23, 2010

Book Review: The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood

The Year of the Flood is a story of the end of an old world and the beginning of a new one. Atwood explores human nature and how crisis leads to renewal, for some. Having read Atwood before, I wasn't surprised at her premise. Taking the excesses of current society and following them to their sometimes logical ends and beyond is something I've come to expect in Atwood's writing.

Though I've enjoyed Atwood's futuristic writing in the past, this story was not one that I would recommend. The characters were likeable enough but not engaging. In spite of, or perhaps because of the extensive back story, I had no strong attachment to any group or ideal. I recognized those the author felt were worth saving from the flood and those that were kept around solely to add drama after the flood.

Perhaps the extensive back story led to my feeling of inevitability but the ties from character to character seemed predictable and there was little delight when old friends were reunited. Rather, I felt that I should be checking the reconnections off on a list that had been deliberately presented through the back story.

I understand that this is a companion book to another of Atwood's books. It may be worthwhile to read Oryx and Crake but since those characters and Jimmy were my least favorite part of this story, I'm not sure it's worth my time.

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