By turn's dark, tender, violent, thoughtful, and uneasily hilarious, The Year of the Flood is Atwood at her most effective.
"Another stimulating dystopia from this always-provocative author, whose complex, deeply involving characters inhabit a bizarre yet frighteningly believable future." ( Kirkus Reviews)
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Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Isolde on 31-01-13
A Sharp Divide
I was both curious and dubious about this book after reading the reviews. I do like Margaret Atwood, and had read and loved Oryx and Crake. But the negative reviews meant I didn't buy it immediately.
Part of what changed my mind was the striking division in customer reviews: female readers loved it, male readers hated it. So I thought I'd find out for myself...
The production decision to arrange and perform the hymns was COMPLETELY wrong - bad idea, bad arrangements, bad performances! Fortunately, my audio-book reader meant I could listen to them at x2 speed, with the added bonus of making them sound like they were underwater!
Aside from that, I loved the book and the reading. Atwood has always been great at problematising the relationships between religion, science and society, and this could be the real triumph of the book.
As for the characters, I found them believable, engaging and sympathetic. Perhaps (this is just a suggestion!) some male readers can't relate to the experience of most of the earth's women as sexual commodities.
I wondered whether it made a difference as to whether one had read Oryx and Crake, as this book is something akin to a sequel. It also works to balance out the masculine perspective of the earlier work. I'd be interested to read a "positive" review from someone who hasn't read Oryx and Crake - if there's any out there?!
Be forewarned about the awful hymns! They would be readable as straightforward text, but are unbearable as "sincere" performed works. Fortunately, they only come at the ends of chapters, so you can just skip forward to the next chapter if your tech has that capability. Otherwise, grit your teeth and set your ears to "satire" - there actually aren't as many of them as there seems!
8 of 8 people found this review helpful
By Mary on 20-09-09
Floated my boat
Yup, it's up there with Oryx and Crake. I followed Toby and Ren with bated breath, those truly dreadful hymns notwithstanding. Nice how the God's Gardeners religion is cringeworthy yet ultimately effective. Loved Toby's arc. Could have done with more nuanced baddies, but hey, this is still top-quality stuff.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Jennifer on 07-04-11
Strange and ponderous
It's been a couple of years since I read Oryx and Crake and I think after listening to this one I need to go back and reread and see how they fit together. It's a strange book and it makes you think. The narrator does a fantastic job, and the inclusion of music (songs sung by the God's Gardeners cult) in the audio version was a nice touch.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
By Charmaine on 12-04-11
Poetic without pace
This story was quite poetic and literary. I could appreciate the style of writing, with its many beautiful descriptive passages. I ENVY the writing style. The characters were tragically flawed in a brilliant way. But. It was just too painfully slow moving for me. I did not get through it all and dropped it three quarters of the way. By then, I just didn't care anymore if the world ended or not.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful