Oryx and Crake

Atwood, Margaret. Oryx and Crake. Read by Campbell Scott.

Reason read: Atwood was born in the month of November. Also, I needed a book for the Portland Public Library reading challenge for the categories of speculative fiction and a book I have read before.

I need to condense the plot of Oryx and Crake for simplicity’s sake. There is a lot going on in this dystopia drama. Here is the shortest recap ever: Snowman was once a boy named Jimmy. He lived in a world dominated by bioengineering companies capable of creating new species of nonhuman lifeforms and genetic modifications for future humanoids. Jimmy befriends a boy named Glenn (who becomes Crake). During their pubescent years Jimmy and Crake spend an inordinate amount of time doing drugs, playing over the top violent video games, and watching live videos of murder, beastiality, and child pornography. This shapes Crake’s future invention of a health and happiness pill with an unadvertisized side effect of sterilization. Another result of this happiness pill is a lethal and extremely contagious global pandemic. When Jimmy goes to work for Crake he discovers a woman he recognizes from the porn videos he and Crake used to watch. Crake introduces her as Oryx and Jimmy becomes smitten. Does he dance with the devil? Yes, yes he does.

Confessional: I had completely forgotten how disturbing Oryx and Crake is.
Second confessional: I read Oryx and Crake while our world is still struggling with Covid-19. I couldn’t help but make comparisons to O&C.

Lines I liked, the phrase “turn memory into white noise” was the best.

Author fact: Atwood has called Oryx and Crake as romance. She is both brilliant and twisted.

Book trivia: Oryx and Crake is the first book in a trilogy. While this is a reread for me, I have not read the other two books in the series.

Nancy said: Pearl didn’t say anthing specific about Oryx and Crake except to include it in the list of other dark and stormy novels.

BookLust Twist: from More Book Lust in the chapter called “It was a Dark and Stormy Novel” (p 129).

Alexandria

Bantock, Nick. Alexandria: In Which the Extraordinary Correspondence of Griffin & Sabine Unfolds. San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 2002.

Reason: What a wicked game to play to make me feel this way. – Chris Isaac.

You all know the star couple of the early 1990s, Griffin Moss and Sabine Strohem, but do you know Matthew Sedon and his lovely paramour, Isabella de Reims? Matthew and Isabella are caught in that can’t-connect world Griffin and Sabine know all too well. Separated by continents, absence is making the heart turn passionate. Matthew struggles to keep his mind on archaeology dig in Egypt while Isabella attempts to study in France. Both encounter evil signs of nemesis Viktor Frolatti who seems bound and determined to keep them apart.
As always, Bantock’s art is stunning. Bold colors, violent insinuations, and passionate designs decorate every postcard, letter, envelope and stamp exchanged. As always, the voyeuristic thrill of opening someone’s mail cannot be ignored.

Sept ’11 was…

Here I am, writing about September almost two weeks into October. That’s what I get when I run away to Maine for ten days. I feel weird about these end of month recaps because not only do they feel stranded, without proper structure, they don’t really reflect accomplishment on my part. Traditionally, I start the month with the statement This Is What I Want To Read and at the month I list everything I was and wasn’t able to get to in that 28-31 day time. Without a reading plan I feel utterly afloat and yet, free.
Anyway, enough babble. Here’s the list for September:

  • World According to Garp by John Irving. Not my favorite Irving (that would have to be Hotel New Hampshire), but this was funny and well worth the second read.
  • In Country by Bobbie Ann Mason. I couldn’t quite believe a teenager would be so completely and resolutely obsessed with the Vietnam War but she lost her father in that war, so who am I to judge?
  • Stuffed: Adventures of a Restaurant Family by Patricia Volk. This was hysterical. I found myself rereading parts just because it was so true. By the end of it I felt like I knew Patricia and her whole family. Well, maybe that was the point.
  • Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain. Another reread from my younger days. Enjoyable, but not a favorite.

So. There it is. The List. Four books. This doesn’t list the books I started (and didn’t finish). Nor does it mention any Early Review books from LibraryThing. Supposedly, I have been selected to receive two books. Haven’t seen either one. Yet.