Book Bits: Review of ‘MaddAddam’ by Margaret Atwood | Quill & Quire
“With MaddAddam, Margaret Atwood’s imposing speculative-fiction trilogy – spanning a decade that has seen at least a few of her predictions from Oryx & Crake and The Year of the Flood prove eerily prescient – comes to an end. But while it shares much with the first two volumes, including a familiar cast of characters and a time-shifting narrative structure, this third volume is distinctly muted by comparison. The overblown surrealism and recourse to hard science in the earlier books are here replaced by a far more grounded and reflexive meditation on humanity.” – Jan Dutkiewicz
From the Publisher:
Months after the Waterless Flood pandemic has wiped out most of humanity, Toby and Ren have rescued their friend Amanda from the vicious Painballers. They return to the MaddAddamite cob house, newly fortified against man and giant pigoon alike. Accompanying them are the Crakers, the gentle, quasi-human species engineered by the brilliant but deceased Crake. Their reluctant prophet, Snowman-the-Jimmy, is recovering from a debilitating fever, so it’s left to Toby to preach the Craker theology, with Crake as Creator. She must also deal with cultural misunderstandings, terrible coffee, and her jealousy over her lover, Zeb.
Zeb has been searching for Adam One, founder of the God’s Gardeners, the pacifist green religion from which Zeb broke years ago to lead the MaddAddamites in active resistance against the destructive CorpSeCorps. But now, under threat of a Painballer attack, the MaddAddamites must fight back with the aid of their newfound allies, some of whom have four trotters. At the center of MaddAddam is the story of Zeb’s dark and twisted past, which contains a lost brother, a hidden murder, a bear, and a bizarre act of revenge.
Combining adventure, humor, romance, superb storytelling, and an imagination at once dazzlingly inventive and grounded in a recognizable world, MaddAddam is vintage Margaret Atwood—a moving and dramatic conclusion to her internationally celebrated dystopian trilogy.
- Review: by Theo Tait – “MaddAddam is slightly crazed, usually intriguing and often great fun. I would have enjoyed it even more, however, were it not for the nagging voice that said: instead of this, we might have had another Alias Grace, or another The Blind Assassin.” The Guardian
- Review: By Andrew Sean Greer – “What a joy it is to see Margaret Atwood taking such delicious pleasure in the end of the world. And it is nothing but flowers. In “MaddAddam,” the third volume of Atwood’s apocalyptic MaddAddam trilogy, she has sent the survivors of “Oryx and Crake” and “The Year of the Flood” to a compound where they await a final showdown. But what gives “MaddAddam” such tension and light are the final revelations of how this new world came to be, and how the characters made their way to this battle for the future of humanity. Atwood has brought the previous two books together in a fitting and joyous conclusion that’s an epic not only of an imagined future but of our own past, an exposition of how oral storytelling traditions led to written ones and ultimately to our sense of origin. ” The New York Times
Interview: Dialects Specialist and Actor Scott Adans becomes storyyeller for new audio book, with Malcolm R. Campbell – “Wwhen I read, I rapidly come up with a voice in my head for each of the recurring characters. I usually don’t have one when I start off a book, but as their personality or primary character traits appear, their voices start coming to me and before I know it, I am hearing each specific voice in my head as I read their dialogue.” Malcolm’s Round Table
- Viewpoint: The Salinger Industry’s Idol Worship, by Shane Salerno – “I pay Salinger the ultimate compliment of treating him as a complex, contradictory human being, which is what made his writing so good in the first place, because it’s informed by massive agony and anxiety, that is, human frailty. He wasn’t a god. He was just a man. That’s the point.” Esquire
- News: Costco Objects to Fixed Prices in Quebec, by Luca Palladino – “Costco presented its opposition Wednesday to the proposed fixed price system for books in Quebec, citing fears it would adversely affect Quebec’s book sales as a whole. The remarks came from Costco v-p Andrée Brien as the Parliamentary Committee studying the issue enters its final week of hearings.” Publishers Weekly
“Book Bits” is compiled by Malcolm R. Campbell, author of the Garden of Heaven Trilogy of contemporary fantasies “The Sailor” and “The Seeker.”