Atwood has visited the future before, in her dystopian novel, The Handmaid's Tale. In her latest, the future is even bleaker. The triple whammy of runaway social inequality, genetic technology and catastrophic climate change, has finally culminated in some apocalyptic event. As Jimmy, apparently the last human being on earth, makes his way back to the RejoovenEsencecompound for supplies, the reader is transported backwards toward that cataclysmic event, its full dimensions gradually revealed. Jimmy grew up in a world split between corporate compounds (gated communities metastasized into city-states) and pleeblands (unsafe, populous and polluted urban centers). His best friend was "Crake," the name originally his handle in an interactive Net game, Extinctathon. Even Jimmy's mother-who ran off and joined an ecology guerrilla group when Jimmy was an adolescent-respected Crake, already a budding genius. The two friends first encountered Oryx on the Net; she was the eight-year-old star of a pedophilic film on a site called HottTotts. Oryx's story is a counterpoint to Jimmy and Crake's affluent adolescence. She was sold by her Southeast Asian parents, taken to the city and eventually made into a sex "pixie" in some distant country. Jimmy meets Oryx much later-after college, after Crake gets Jimmy a job with ReJoovenEsence. Crake is designing the Crakers-a new, multicolored placid race of human beings, smelling vaguely of citron. He's procured Oryx to be his personal assistant. She teaches the Crakers how to cope in the world and goes out on secret missions. The mystery on which this riveting, disturbing tale hinges is how Crake and Oryx and civilization vanished, and how Jimmy-who also calls himself "the Snowman," after that other rare, hunted specimen, the Abominable Snowman-survived. Chesterton once wrote of the "thousand romances that lie secreted in The Origin of Species." Atwood has extracted one of the most hair-raising of them, and one of the most brilliant.


“Towering and intrepid. . . . Atwood does Orwell one better.” —The New Yorker

“Atwood has long since established herself as one of the best writers in English today, but Oryx and Crake may well be her best work yet. . . . Brilliant, provocative, sumptuous and downright terrifying.” —The Baltimore Sun

“Her shuddering post-apocalyptic vision of the world . . . summons up echoes of George Orwell, Anthony Burgess and Aldous Huxley. . . . Oryx and Crake [is] in the forefront of visionary fiction.” —The Seattle Times

“A book too marvelous to miss.” —The San Diego Union-Tribune

“Majestic. . . . Keeps us on the edges of our seats.” —The Washington Post

“[A] stunning new novel–possibly her best since The Handmaid’s Tale.” –Time Out New York

“A crackling read. . . . Atwood is one of the most impressively ambitious writers of our time.” –The Guardian

“A powerful vision. . . . Very readable.” –The New York Times Book Review

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  • A former member
    A former member

    I'm not sure I'll be able to make it this afternoon, sorry to miss the discussion, but hope to make it next time.

    February 23, 2013

  • Georgia


    February 22, 2013

  • Bill B.

    Just FYI, the 7 stops at Queensborough Plaza while the E/M stop at Queens Plaza.

    February 22, 2013

  • Jessica

    Hi all,

    Although the 7 may be down, PS 1 is a very short walk from the E/M/G (Court Sq / 23rd St - Ely Ave stops). If walking isn't your thing, take the 7 to Queens Plaza and it's a quick hop over to Queensboro Plaza for the E/M.

    You can get to M. Wells Dinette without purchasing entrance to the museum - ask the info desk upon arrival and they will hand you a fun sticker to mark that you're a restaurant patron. Then just head over to the cafeteria and look for my face and/or several guests clutching the same book - we're a dead giveaway :)

    February 22, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    good point, shar.
    queensborough plaza is not that far away from this destination though.
    another big question:
    where are we meeting at the ps1 location?
    not that the place is huge, but it may be hard for people to find each other there.

    February 22, 2013

  • Ellen

    Cannot make it. See you next month.

    February 11, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    YAY! So excited for this event!! I'm a big MA fan & am halfway through Oryx & Crake right now. Looking forward to meeting everyone :)

    February 1, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    looking for meetings in eastern long island

    January 28, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I've been meaning to read T.C. Boyle's World's End. Is that something that anyone is interested in reading?

    January 22, 2013

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We just grab a coffee and speak French. Some people have been coming every week for months... it creates a kind of warmth to the group.

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