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The Year of the Flood [Hardcover]

Margaret Atwood
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (119 customer reviews)
RRP: £18.99
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Book Description

7 Sep 2009
Adam One, the kindly leader of the God's Gardeners - a religion devoted to the melding of science and religion, the preservation of all species, the tending of the Earth, and the cultivation of bees and organic crops on flat rooftops - has long predicted the Waterless Flood. Now it has occurred, obliterating most human life. Two women have avoided it: the young trapeze-dancer, Ren, locked into the high-end sex club, Scales and Tails; and former SecretBurgers meat-slinger turned Gardener, Toby, barricaded into the luxurious AnooYoo Spa, where many of the treatments are edible. Have others survived? Ren's bioartist friend Amanda, or the MaddAddam eco-fighters? Ren's one-time teenage lover, Jimmy? Or the murderous Painballers, survivors of the mutual-elimination Painball prison? Not to mention the CorpSeCorps, the shadowy and corrupt policing force of the ruling powers...Meanwhile, in the natural world, gene-spliced life forms are proliferating: the lion/lamb blends, the Mo'hair sheep with human hair, the pigs with human brain tissue. As Adam One and his intrepid hemp-clad band make their way through a ruined world, singing their devotional hymns and faithful to their creed and to their Saints - Saint Francis Assisi, Saint Rachel Carson, and Saint Al Gore among them - what odds for Ren and Toby, and for the human race? By turns dark, tender, violent, thoughtful and uneasily hilarious, The Year of the Flood is Atwood at her most effective.

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The Year of the Flood + MaddAddam + Oryx And Crake
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC; 5th Impession edition (7 Sep 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747585164
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747585169
  • Product Dimensions: 16.4 x 23.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (119 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 140,417 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


Praise for Margaret Atwood: 'Margaret Atwood is one of the most brilliant and unpredictable novelists alive' - Literary Review 'Margaret Atwood deserves an adjective - Atwoodian - in recognition of her virtuoso wit and unmistakeable style' - Chicago Tribune 'Everything she forms in words has substance and weight' - Daily Telegraph

Book Description

* A major paperback from one of our great writers:following the first of her speculative fiction, ORYX AND CRAKE --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
51 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The future's bleak, the future's Atwood 29 Oct 2009
By BookWorm TOP 500 REVIEWER
Nobody can write postapocalyptic future fiction like Margaret Atwood. This latest novel covers the same time period as 'Oryx and Crake', and extends beyond it. The setting is an unnamed city - presumably in Canada - in a future dominated by powerful corporations and genetically engineered animals. A plague has wiped out most of humanity, leaving only a few survivors - most of whom were members of the Christain-ecological cult, God's Gardeners. The novel tells the story of two survivors; their histories with the Gardeners, and the trials and tribulations of their existence post-plague.

Some of the characters in the novel, particularly its latter part, also feature in 'Oryx and Crake', and there are some spoilers for that novel. Nevertheless, it would be quite possible to enjoy 'The Year of the Flood' without having read the earlier book, as I can't really remember 'Oryx and Crake' and it didn't affect my understanding or enjoyment of this book.

Atwood has created a frightening plausible vision of the future. She doesn't like the term 'science-fiction' used for her books as she argues all of the technologies and social trends featured in her novels are already in existence, she has just taken them further along their paths. Thus the future she portrays is bleak and morally bankrupt, with materialistic wealth valued above all else and the environment systematically destroyed. It's pessimistic, but it is worryingly realistic at the same time.

The religious cult of God's Gardeners is very thoroughly imagined, with hymns, sermons and a whole host of Saints' days. The interaction between the cult members is well written, believable and often very humourous.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
By Alison TOP 500 REVIEWER
"The Year of the Flood" is an enjoyable and imaginative accompaniment to "Oryx and Crake" with the main focus on the pleeblands and an eco-religious cult known as "God's Gardeners" complete with hymns, sermons and saints' days. The story is told from two perspectives: Toby, a adult female, and Ren, a younger girl.

I read Oryx and Crake some time ago and couldn't remember all the detail so it was nice to revisit the same world. I enjoyed the opportunity to read more of another aspect of the world that Atwood had created and read more about what came before the waterless flood. It was really good fun to read and the only downside for me was the convenience of the latter events of the story.

If you have not already read Oryx and Crake, then I would recommend that you read it before reading The Year of the Flood. There are some cross-overs which would be spoilers if you read Oryx and Crake after reading The Year of the Flood. The Year of the Flood can be read as a standalone book though, you don't have to had read Oryx and Crake first.

As the book is a futuristic dystopia, it may be categorised as 'science fiction' but this is not really sci-fi as the future science is more incidental, it's better categorised as 'speculative fiction'. The book examines more of how life could be in the future and it's often frightening in the sense of the world that Atwood paints is a difficult place full of struggle. I'm going to start building up my ararat (read the book to find out what it is) as soon as possible!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Human side of a dystopia 4 Nov 2009
By M. K. Burton VINE VOICE
This companion novel to Oryx and Crake takes the reader into the pleeblands, exploring the effect that Crake's super virus had on the ordinary people. Toby and Ren both spent a time as God's Gardeners, a religion devoted to worshipping God through plants and science, but later leave the group through events out of their control. Toby, an older woman, is working at a spa when the catastrophe happens, and manages to stay alive through eating the edible treatments. Ren is a young woman working as a trapeze dancer in a sex club, thankfully locked into a controlled room and saved from the virus. As these women attempt to survive, they wonder if their friends have survived, and reflect on the paths their lives took before they ended up here.

Whereas it was difficult to relate to any of the characters in Oryx and Crake, it's amazingly easy here, and I feel comfortable saying that Ren and Toby put a human face on this dystopian world. They are the marginalized members of society, but they are still real women forced to confront women's issues. Toby is driven to the Gardeners after her boss basically rapes her and then decides that she is his, probably intending to kill her. When Ren joins the Gardeners, she is just a young girl at the mercy of her mother's mercurial temperament, and later suffers from unrequited love with a man who really does not deserve her. In a totally alien, if well-described, world, Ren and Toby are easy to relate to and bring the suffering home in a way that Oryx and Crake fails to do. Ren was actually my favorite, if only because we watch her grow up. Even though she eventually ends up in one of the elite high schools, she's still dealing with issues every teenager understands:

"I saw the temptation. I saw it clearly.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping part two
If you are thinking of buying this book because you enjoyed Oryx and Crake, then you do not need much encouragement from me. The Year of the Flood does not disappoint in any way. Read more
Published 4 days ago by quillpen
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
As MaddAddam
Published 25 days ago by disappointed
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant.
This is the second time I have read 'The Year of the Flood' and I enjoyed it as much as I did the first time I read it. Read more
Published 28 days ago by Paula Mc
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping read!!
A fantastic and scarily believable vision of a bleak and violent future. What a cliff-hanger! On to the next book
Published 1 month ago by kevin bridger
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
An awful book, I deleted it from my kindle
Published 1 month ago by Sue Ayres
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a patch on Oryx and Crake
Not nearly as good as Oryx and Crake. The idea of a prequel was a good one and there are good things in this story, but it felt a bit laboured, almost as though it was written by a... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Longfellow
5.0 out of 5 stars Read Oryx and Crake First!
A must read for any lovers of Oryx and Crake, and more importantly, Oryx and Crake is a must read for people wanting to read the Year of the Flood - the two are more interlinked... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Great dystopian sequel that shows the world and certain characters...
As I explained in an earlier review of the first book in this series, Oryx and Crake, this is a fantastic series. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Georgiana89
5.0 out of 5 stars Suprisingly enjoyable
I wasn't sure if I would like this book as I typically don't read what I call 'sci-fi'. However the characters developed really well and it never felt too far away from that I... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Jess
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Not as good as the first book - but I'm reading book3 so it can't be that bad.
Published 3 months ago by Mac
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