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MaddAddam Hardcover – 29 Aug 2013


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing (29 Aug. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1408819708
  • ISBN-13: 978-1408819708
  • Product Dimensions: 16.4 x 3.5 x 23.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (138 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 58,133 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Margaret Atwood is the author of more than thirty books of fiction, poetry and critical essays.

In addition to the classic The Handmaid's Tale, her novels include Cat's Eye, shortlisted for the Booker Prize, Alias Grace, which won the Giller Prize in Canada and the Premio Mondello in Italy, The Blind Assassin, winner of the 2000 Booker Prize and Oryx and Crake, shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. Her most recent novel, The Year of the Flood, was published in 2009. She was awarded the Prince of Asturias Prize for Literature in 2008.

Margaret Atwood lives in Toronto, Canada.

(Photo credit: George Whitside)

Product Description

Review

Margaret Atwood also has the really fine writer's light-footed ability to keep dancing around her characters...moving, but also very funny ... MaddAddam is an extraordinary achievement (Independent on Sunday)

A haunting, restless triumph ... Deadpan wit, intellectual sizzle and sensuous immediacy - Atwood's fictional trademarks - run through the teeming inventiveness of the novel's pre-disaster episodes (Sunday Times )

This final volume deploys its author's trademark cool, omniscient satire, but adds to that a real sense of engagement with a fallen world. Atwood has created something reminiscent to Shakespeare's late comedies; her wit and dark humour combine with a compassionate tenderness towards struggling human beings ... Since almost everything in the world has been broken or has broken down, the novels' form, whirling as brilliantly as the bits of glass in a kaleidoscope, or the pixels in a complex computer game, seems simply to replicate that chaos. However, behind the apparent disorder Atwood the conjuror remains in firm control, juggling her narrative techniques with postmodern glee (Independent)

Sure to be a success (Independent on Sunday)

There are few writers able to create a world so fiercely engaging, so funny, so teeming - ironically - with life. MaddAddam is ultimately a paean to the enduring powers of myth and story, and like the sharpest futuristic visions, it's really all about the here and now (Hephzibah Anderson Daily Mail)

MaddAddam is remarkable for enacting the transition from oral to written history within a fictional universe - one complete with myths and false gods ... MaddAddam is the work of a wild, subversive writer who has looked long and hard at her craft (TLS)

If you want complete escapism this summer, Margaret Atwood fans will not be disappointed with Maddaddam (Woman's Way)

MaddAddam is an extraordinary achievement. Atwood's body of work will last precisely because she has told us about ourselves (Independent on Sunday)

Atwood has created something reminiscent to Shakespeare's late comedies; her wit and dark humour combine with a compassionate tenderness toward struggling human beings ... Atwood's story ends intensely movingly, with the damaged world potentially renewed through storytelling, through writing (Michele Roberts Independent)

A haunting, restless triumph ... A writer of virtuoso diversity, with an imagination that responds as keenly to scientific concerns as it does to the literary heritage in which she is steeped ... A dystopia over which Atwood sets swirling a glitterball of different kinds of fiction (Sunday Times)

There is much that is bleak and terrifying in Atwood's fiction, but it is leavened by her humour ... MaddAddam is remarkable for enacting the transition from oral to written history within a fictional universe - one complete with myths and false gods ... the work of a wild, subversive writer who has looked long and hard at her craft (TLS)

It may have been a decade in the making, but it has been well worth the wait ... Margaret Atwood not only completes one of the most harrowing visions of a near-future dystopia in recent fiction, but lures us even further into new zones of existential terror (John Burnside The Times)

One of the most important writers in English today (Germaine Greer)

Margaret Atwood is the quiet Mata Hari, the mysterious, violent figure ... who pits herself against the ordered, too clean world like an arsonist (Michael Ondaatje)

It's easy to appreciate the grand array of Margaret Atwood's works ... in all their power and grace and variety. When I think of it, and put it together with her writerly gifts and achievements, it takes my breath away (Alice Munro)

Atwood is a poet. Scarcely a sentence of her quick, dry yet avid prose fails to do useful work (John Updike)

She may be deadly serious but she is also seriously funny (Alan Taylor Glasgow Herald)

A trilogy set in a dystopian America some decades in the future, depicting - graphically, satirically, brilliantly - an environmental disaster (Ruth Franklin Prospect)

Not since the Cold War has the end of the world been so chic ... Just when you think you are suffering from apocalypse fatigue, along comes Margaret Atwood to wipe the floor with the limp, lame competition and inject new life into the genre ... Atwood is one of the world's finest and funniest living writers. This is a brilliantly realised, needle-sharp and imaginative novel. What more could you want? (Craig Purshouse New Humanist)

Her writing casts spells ...She is prolific (Tom Adair Scotsman)

The MaddAddam trilogy shows a master artificer inventing nothing less than a cosmogony, one shining constellation at a time (Sarah Churchwell New Statesman)

The final book in Atwood's MaddAddam sci-fi trilogy confirms her as the arch-prophet of global catastrophe ... It's exciting stuff ... The book masterfully evokes a doomed civilisation, and raises intriguing questions about the boundaries of science and the nature of religion (Anthony Gardner Mail on Sunday)

Atwood is the master of this genre and her incredible imagination continues to hold the black mirror up against the technological forces which might drive us to destruction (Stylist)

A wonderful and justly venerated novelist (Theo Tait Guardian)

A blinding piece of writing (Andrzej Lukowski Metro)

Unsettling, funny and savagely satirical (Irish Times)

Written with admirable energy and bravura (Justin Cartwright Observer)

Darkly funny ( Vogue )

Marvellously concludes the trilogy of apocalyptic near-future fables (Adam Roberts Guardian Books of the Year)

Review

'An epic dystopian journey through a wasteland of high science and low deeds that ends in hope.' (The Independent)

'The final entry in Atwood’s brilliant MaddAddam trilogy roils with spectacular and furious satire.' (Publishers Weekly)

'The final entry in Atwood’s brilliant MaddAddam trilogy roils with spectacular and furious satire … Her vision is as affirming as it is cautionary, and the conclusion of this remarkable trilogy leaves us not with a sense of despair at mankind’s failings but with a sense of awe at humanity’s barely explored potential to evolve.' (Publishers Weekly) --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm a big fan of Margaret Atwood. he quality of her prose, her characters, and her imagination is such that she writes some of the few realistic, contemporary tales that I'm happy to read, but I think she's at her best when she's writing full-blown science-fiction with a literary edge. While the Handmaid's Tale is probably the best known example of this, I actually prefer Oryx and Crake and its sequel, the Year of the Floor. The series presents one of the most intriguing and well-developed futuristic dystopias I've ever come across, combined with an interesting plot set both before and after the plague deliberately designed to wipe out humanity and replace it with a race of genetically modified perfect beings.

Oryx and Crake dealt with the upper-echelons of society and the scientific genius who created the plague and the new humans, while Year of the Flood told the interlocking story of the underclass and the God's Gardeners environmentalist cult. The two books worked well together to fill in each other's blanks, give various different perspectives on the world and the plot, and create a fully rounded universe. I was therefore unsure what else this third book could add.

As with the earlier books, MaddAddam presents both a linear narrative of life after the "Waterless Flood" for the handful of survivors, and flashbacks to life in the pre-plague world of genetic engineering, stark class divides and armed corporations.

The "modern-day" sections focus on Toby, who is holed up with a combination of God's Gardeners, former MaddAddam affiliates, a (mostly unconscious) Jimmy from the first book, and a large group of Crakers, the new humans, to whom she tells selective stories of the past as a sort of creation myth.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mrs T Carter-Miles on 8 Dec. 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I enjoyed the trilogy, but had to go back and read the first one again after 10 years. I practically gobbled the books up wanting to know what happened to the characters, also fascinated by Atwood amazing and clever imagination - could some of this really happen to our world? Raised many questions and thoughts for me - as did her previous books. I look forward to her next books.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J. E. Birch on 18 April 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Attwood is a wonderful imagineer, in the 3rd of the trilogy the world has changed immeasurably due to human stupidity but reading it I could still feel connected and part of the world and especially the characters she has portrayed.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By PhilipStirups on 24 Aug. 2013
Format: Hardcover
[Definite spoilers]

Having been absolutely enthralled by Oryx and Crake, and slightly less so by theYear of the Flood, I thought Maddaddam could go one of two ways. I am pleased to say the final instalment is an absolute triumph. The story starts off in a very tense manner with Amanda traumatised, Jimmy in a coma, Toby wondering whether she will ever see Zeb again, and Adam nowhere to be seen. With the dangerous Painballers still lurking in the midst of the apocalyptic world, it is only time before the Madaddamites and the remnants of God's Gardeners must make a decision as to how they are going to survive.
The back story focusses primarily on Zeb and Adam (who we discover early on are in fact "brothers"). Without giving too much away, they are both on the run from the character of Rev (one of Margaret Atwood's finest creations). Rev of the Petroleum church, stands for religious hypocrisy and the general misconduct that goes on in the name of religion. It is through this narrative that we begin to understand the disconnect between Adam and Zeb, when they part of God's Gardeners.
One of the finest aspects of this book is the stories which Toby tells the Crakers. She has effectively taking over the role of Snowman-the-Jimmy, aka Snowman, aka Jimmy. The best part of the book for me has to hands down be the part when Blackbeard discovers writing. This is effectively the legacy of the Madaddam world - a world in which "propagating" ones' own provides a basis for the future.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By ClaireD on 1 Mar. 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I adore Oryx & Crake and the Year of The Flood so I was eager to devour this book as soon as it dropped through my letterbox. Unfortunately, I was quite disappointed. It didn't seem to have the heart and substance of the first two books, as if the 3rd one was written to conclude a story for demanding fans. After reading the first two books I went straight back to the beginning and read them again and several times since. MaddAddam didnt do that for me. It gave some kind of finality to the story, but didn't capture me like the first two did. Unlike the first two books, you can't read this novel in isolation, you need to read the first two or it will be pretty meaningless.
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Format: Paperback
MaddAddam, by Margaret Atwood, is the final book in a trilogy which started with Oryx and Crake in 2003 and continued with The Year of the Flood in 2009. All three books tell stories that run in parallel, although each takes the overlapping characters a little further along in time.

MaddAddam focuses on the street-wise Zeb. In telling his story we get the final links in the plot strands that join characters we have been introduced to in the previous books, the MaddAddamites and God’s Gardeners. The survivors from these groups are now living as a small community, trying to eke out an existence following the chaos that Crake unleashed in his attempt to rid the world of the evils of humanity.

The peaceful replacements that he created, the Crakers, play a prominent role in this instalment as do several of the other creatures bioengineered by the gene splicing scientists before the waterless flood. As well as more detailed background we are given a glimpse of how the new world order will develop once the chaos has settled. I found this glimpse the most depressing aspect of the book as it looked rather too familiar. It suggested that the world is condemned to repeat its mistakes from whatever new start, perhaps that is the point which the author wishes to make.

The MaddAddam trilogy tells of a dystopian future that makes for powerful reading because it is so perceptive, detailed and believable. This final part is as compelling and skilfully written as the previous two. Key plot details are first unveiled as simplified stories told each evening to the Crakers. These are biblical in style, the writing of them serving as a spiritual text more than a history. The whole book has an allegorical feel running alongside the tension and action.
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