Oryx and Crake is a dystopian tale that explores a future where scientific developments have transformed, and then destroyed, the world as we know it.
The book provides food for thought as real life events and genuine scientific discoveries are referenced throughout the story. Atwood has set out to warn of the possible scenarios facing the human race if science continues on its current path. Indeed the picture presented here may be a little too close to the bone for some, the idea that everything created by us can be destroyed as easily.
Reviewers have suggested that one failing of Oryx and Crake lies in its characters – particularly Oryx, whose background is shrouded in mystery. Yet the story is narrated to us by Jimmy/Snowman, who cannot tell us any more than he knows himself. Perhaps this is why he becomes so obsessed with Oryx: her unknown history fascinates him; the fact he will never know the truth about her possesses him.
As with many of Atwood's novels, this tale leaves us with questions to mull over, and the characters of Oryx and Crake remain open to interpretation. What comes next? Only Atwood herself can answer that...
Lisa Appignanesi for the Independent - "dark, dry, scabrously witty, yet moving and studded with flashes of pure poetry."
Globe and Mail - "Atwood at her playful, allegorical best."
Jayne Margetts for Spike Magazine - "Oryx And Crake is a whisper from a troubled past to an audio-impaired future."
Jackie Pray for USA Today - "...a depressing view, saved only by Atwood's biting, black humor and absorbing storytelling"
Sven Birkerts for New York Times - "Atwood's scenario gains great power and relevance from our current scientific preoccupation with bioengineering, cloning, tissue regeneration and agricultural hybrids."