Oryx and Crake

Version: Unabridged
Author: Margaret Atwood
Narrator: Campbell Scott
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Science Fiction, Fiction & Literature
Publisher: Random House (Audio)
Published In: May 2003
# of Units: 9 CDs
Length: 10 hours, 30 minutes
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This is Margaret Atwood at the absolute peak of her powers. For readers of Oryx and Crake, nothing will ever look the same again. Margaret Atwood's new novel is so utterly compelling, so prescient, so relevant, so terrifyingly-all-too-likely-to-be-true, that readers may find their view of the world forever changed after reading it.

The narrator of Atwood's riveting novel calls himself Snowman. When the story opens, he is sleeping in a tree, wearing an old bedsheet, mourning the loss of his beloved Oryx and his best friend Crake, and slowly starving to death. He searches for supplies in a wasteland where insects proliferate and pigoons and wolvogs ravage the pleeblands, where ordinary people once lived, and the Compounds that sheltered the extraordinary. As he tries to piece together what has taken place, the narrative shifts to decades earlier. How did everything fall apart so quickly? Why is he left with nothing but his haunting memories? Alone except for the green-eyed Children of Crake, who think of him as a kind of monster, he explores the answers to these questions in the double journey he takes - into his own past, and back to Crake's high-tech bubble-dome, where the Paradice Project unfolded and the world came to grief.

With breathtaking command of her shocking material, and with her customary sharp wit and dark humour, Atwood projects us into an outlandish yet wholly believable realm populated by characters who will continue to inhabit our dreams long after the last chapter. This is Margaret Atwood at the absolute peak of her powers.

A stunning and provocative new novel by the internationally celebrated author of The Blind Assassin, winner of the Booker Prize. Margaret Atwood's new novel is so utterly compelling, so prescient, so relevant, so terrifyingly-all-too-likely- to-be-true, that listeners may find their view of the world forever changed after listening to it.

With breathtaking command of her shocking material and with her customary sharp wit and dark humor, Atwood projects a conceivable future of the world, an outlandish yet wholly believable place left devastated in the wake of ecological and scientific disaster and populated by a cast of characters who will continue to inhabit listeners dreams long after the audiobook has ended. This is Margaret Atwood at the absolute peak of her powers. For those who listen to ORYX AND CRAKE, nothing will ever look the same again.

"There is steely quality to Ms. Atwood's writing that's a bit scary but also exhilarating; no one gets away with anything." (The Wall Street Journal)

Reviews (87)

Written by Serhii Y. on February 26th, 2020

  • Book Rating: 5/5

Amazing book. Though the plot development is sort of predictable, the execution is flawless. Awesome characterisaton, so many little details that make the world and participants vivid and believable. I absolutely adored tie ins across many chapters to some background filling charachters like a 'reading of makbeth'. I had a several good chuckles and even a few loud ones which adds some sweet flavor into the mix of sorrow and even horror the book emanates. Lots of controversial themes are covered from eugenics to child pornography and even the latter the author managed to present in a standard-challenging ways. I had a blast, hope you will also.


Written by Elise S. on June 22nd, 2018

  • Book Rating: 5/5

I liked this book a lot. It’s classic Margaret Atwood, so if you like her other dystopian books, you’ll like this one too. I could have done without the kiddie porn. Oryx could have had a different back-story that was just as plausible. I liked the ending a lot, although I saw that other reviewers thought it was a cop-out. Ending the story with a big question mark about what will happen next gives the reader an opportunity to write their own ending.

Oryx and Crake

Written by JHP on November 19th, 2017

  • Book Rating: 5/5

Margaret Atwood can really tell a story and she can create a very credible guy protagonist.

Written by Natasha H on August 25th, 2017

  • Book Rating: 5/5

I Loved this book! The narrative slowly unfolded and i couldn't stop listening! I love Atwood's dystopian future settings, and the way she incorporates science into her fiction without being completely over the top.

Written by Jason C on June 20th, 2017

  • Book Rating: 4/5

This is a Frightening but realistic view of where our world is heading, and should serve as a warning.

Written by Amy Aro on September 28th, 2016

  • Book Rating: 2/5

I think the idea of this trilogy was so creative, but poorly executed. The first book is about jimmy, then he barely makes an appearance in book 2 or 3.

Written by Leah Beall on August 15th, 2015

  • Book Rating: 5/5

This book is fairly long, but it has many elements I enjoy. It is a dystopian novel with elements of child abuse and neglect, terrible parental figures, an unreliable protagonist who is absolutely miserable, interesting female characters, and a devious anti-hero. It has sci-fi elements all throughout, including computerized components, hacking, genetically altered people and creatures, voluntary body modifications, and secret altering elements in the drugs. There are conspiracies and clones. I loved this book. If you are sensitive to graphic language--mostly sexual, including rape and child-pornography moment--and terrible events involving mass genocide of a species, you won't like it, but it is excellent. I cannot wait to read the others!


Written by Anonymous on August 19th, 2014

  • Book Rating: 3/5

Wry, intelligent, unsentimental writing,,,good narrator...interesting characters...depressing (at times distasteful) apocalyptic subject matter.


Written by SOPSYCHOBILLY on October 2nd, 2010

  • Book Rating: 3/5


Oryx and Crake

Written by Emerald on December 11th, 2009

  • Book Rating: 5/5

Oryx and Crake is an outstanding futuristic novel - with well-developed characters and a frightening scenario which involves genetic manipulation gone bad. Protagonist Jimmie, aka Snowman, moves the story along and links us to the misguided genius of Crake, the anti-hero. The female lead is equally mesmerizing. This is one story you won't want to turn off, and the final chapters constitute a very scary ride.

Author Details

Author Details

Atwood, Margaret

Margaret Eleanor Atwood was born in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, in 1939. She moved with her family to Sault Ste. Marie, Canada, in 1945 and to Toronto, Canada, in 1946. Until she was eleven she spent half of each year in the northern Ontario wilderness, where her father worked as an entomologist (insect scientist). Her writing was one of the many things she enjoyed in her "bush" time, away from school. At age six she was writing morality plays, poems, comic books, and had started a novel. School and preadolescence brought her a taste for home economics. Her writing resurfaced in high school, though, where she returned to writing poetry. Her favorite writer as a teen was Edgar Allan Poe (1809–1849), who was famous for his dark mystery stories.

Atwood was sixteen years old when she made her commitment to pursue writing as a lifetime career. She studied at Victoria College, University of Toronto, where she received a bachelor's degree in 1961. Then she went on to complete her master's degree at Radcliffe College in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1962. Atwood also studied at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, from 1962 to 1963 and from 1965 to 1967.

Atwood has received more than fifty-five awards, including two Governor General's Awards, the first in 1966 for The Circle Game, her first major book of poems; the second for her 1985 novel, The Handmaid's Tale, which was made into a movie. In 1981 she worked on a television drama, Snowbird, and had her children's book Anna's Pet (1980) adapted for stage (1986). Her recognition is often reflective of the wide range of her work. She is also a major public figure and cultural commentator.

Most of Atwood's fiction has been translated into several foreign languages. A new Atwood novel becomes a Canadian, American, and international bestseller immediately. There is a Margaret Atwood Society, a Margaret Atwood Newsletter, and an ever-increasing number of scholars studying and teaching her work in women's studies courses and in North American literature courses worldwide.
Style and statement

Atwood has alternated prose (writing that differs from poetry due to lack of rhyme and closeness to everyday speech) and poetry throughout her career, often publishing a book of each in the same or consecutive years. While in a general sense the poems represent "private" myth and "personal" expression and the novels represent a more public and "social" expression, there is, as these dates suggest, continual interweaving and cross-connection between her prose and her poetry. The short story collections, Dancing Girls (1977), Bluebeard's Egg (1983), and especially the short stories in the remarkable collection Murder in the Dark (1983) bridge the gap between her poetry and her prose.

Atwood writes in an exact, vivid, and witty, style in both prose and poetry. Her writing is often unsparing in its gaze at pain and unfairness: "you fit into me / like a hook into an eye / a fish hook / an open eye" (from Power Politics) "Nature" in her poems is a haunted, clearly Canadian wilderness in which, dangerously, man is the major predator of and terror to the "animals of that country," including himself.

Atwood's novels are sarcastic jabs at society as well as identity quests. Her typical heroine is a modern urban woman, often a writer or artist, always with some social-professional commitment. The heroine fights for self and survival in a society where men are the all-too-friendly enemy, but where women are often participants in their own entrapment.

Atwood is also a talented photographer and watercolorist. Her paintings are clearly descriptive of her prose and poetry and she did, on occasion, design her own book covers. Her collages and cover for The Journals of Susanna Moodie bring together the visual and the written word.
Popular and accessible

Atwood is known as a very accessible writer. One of her projects, the official Margaret Atwood Website, is edited by Atwood herself and updated frequently. The Internet resource is an extensive, comprehensive guide to the literary life of the author. It also reveals a peek into Atwood's personality with the links to her favorite charities, such as the Artists Against Racism site, or humorous blurbs she posts when the whim hits. As well, the site provides dates of lectures and appearances, updates of current writing projects, and reviews she has written. The address is: http://www.owtoad.com

Margaret Atwood's contribution to Canadian literature was most recently recognized in 2000, when she received Britain's highest literary award, the $47,000 Booker Prize. Atwood donated the prize money to environmental and literary causes. Her generosity is not at all a surprising development to her many fans.