Sunday, January 8, 2017

Oryx and Crake: A Dystopian Novel About An Imminent Future

The whole human race has succumbed to a mysterious virus and possibly the only human survivor in an apocalyptic future is Snowman, who lives near an artificially engineered race of humans called Crakers, who believe him to be a prophet of their creators, Crake and Oryx. Once upon a time, when the world was divided into compounds by profit hungry corporates playing with genetic and bio-engineering experiments, Snowman used to be Jimmy, Drake his friend and Oryx his romantic interest. Oryx and Crake tells the story of how the world ended up with the extinction of humans and the survival of Jimmy.

Oryx and Crake is a novel by Margaret Atwood that was short listed for Man Booker on 2003. It paints a scary picture of a future that is possible due to the many long strides made by innovations in technology. It is the portrayal of a society that is on the hold of profit hungry corporates who are interested in using science for feeding off the worries of the public instead of helping them.

The novel is told from the perspective of Snowman. The narrative flips from his adventures as Snowman to his past as Jimmy told in flashbacks. This makes the novel structured like a jigsaw puzzle, where you fit each bit of information as you lay your hands on them and finally get the whole picture once you assemble all the individual pieces.

Oryx and Crake is an enjoyable apocalyptic science fiction, that succeeds in making the reader imagine a future where bio-engineering makes the life of humans and animals a means for profit generation and the horrible results of that.

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