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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful blending of the dystopian and the literary - but doesn't add much to its predecessors
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...
Published 3 months ago by Georgiana89

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Weakest of the three
I ama huge fan of the first two books in the trilogy and was eagerly awaiting the third installment.

I found it really disappointing, Zeb is the least interesting of the characters and the reality surrounding the characters in the ruined world would have been far more interesting that the contstant flashbacks to a sideline character.
Published 6 months ago by S. Chadwick


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful blending of the dystopian and the literary - but doesn't add much to its predecessors, 28 Dec 2013
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This review is from: MaddAddam (Hardcover)
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. The focus is on the story-telling sessions, on the group defending themselves against Painballers and the world's strange man-made animals, (though there is very little action), and on Toby's relationship with Zeb. The storytelling concept and the development of the Crakers was interesting, but otherwise, these sections, while redeemed by Atwood's writing skills and characterisation, were ultimately quite dull.

The storytelling sessions and Toby's diary, which ultimately become a sort of Bible, are well done, playing with ideas of folklore, origin stories and the development of a shared culture. Though this premise was intriguing, I ultimately felt it was a little laboured and overdone. Constant Craker interruptions and misunderstandings of Toby's stories became trying when I just wanted to immerse myself in the tale, and the sections told by the Crakers felt a little twee. Cloud Atlas did a similar thing much more succinctly and subtly, by showing how one character's police interview became a religious text in the future. Still, I'm a firm believer that there shouldn't be a solid divide between literary and genre fiction, so it's refreshing to see such complex ideas being explored in this sort of story.

The best parts of the book were the flashbacks. The dystopian world is so well developed that it's fascinating to spend time there. That said, I didn't feel that these sections, focussed on Zeb and Adam One this time, added much to what readers have seen in earlier books. Zeb has lots of adventures, but doesn't really seem to do much. And while it's heavily implied that Adam is heavily embroiled in various plots, I was no clearer on his actual role in events by the end.

In essence, I don't think this book needed to be written in order to make this a complete series, and I don't think it's as good as its predecessors. That said, the writing, the imagination on display and the fascinating world still make it a pleasure to read, and I raced through it, complex ideas about storytelling and exciting tales of fights with mutant bears alike. I'd definitely recommend to fans of the author and the series, and if you haven't read the earlier books yet, do so now. If you have, a quick re-read may be in order - at times I struggled to remember the details of earlier plots and it would be interesting to see how they all merge together.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Weakest of the three, 3 Oct 2013
By 
S. Chadwick (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: MaddAddam (Hardcover)
I ama huge fan of the first two books in the trilogy and was eagerly awaiting the third installment.

I found it really disappointing, Zeb is the least interesting of the characters and the reality surrounding the characters in the ruined world would have been far more interesting that the contstant flashbacks to a sideline character.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The last in the trilogy, 8 Dec 2013
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This review is from: MaddAddam (Hardcover)
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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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous and flawless (as always), 2 Sep 2013
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This review is from: MaddAddam (Kindle Edition)
I couldn't wait to get started on this one, having waited for a new Margaret Atwood book for what seems like forever, but I do wish I'd paced myself and re-read Oryx and Crake and The Year of the Flood (the first two parts of the trilogy) just to refresh my memory as to what had gone before. Not that it doesn't work as a stand-alone story - and there's enough material at the front to provide the necessary background for any reader out there who is not familiar with the preceding two books - but I think I should have read the first two again, just to put it into context for myself.

So this last instalment in the trilogy presents the story of Toby, Zeb, the other survivors from "the waterless flood/time of the great chaos" and the Crakers themselves as they continue to adapt to the wider world outside of the Paradice complex. I loved the format of the story - how it is presented in a series of folk/traditional tales told by either Toby or later Blackbeard the Craker boy and how Zeb's back story is linked into this. It was as if these stories were being presented as what would form the Craker's bible of traditional stories about how they came into being. It was as if it was not just presenting closure to the Oryx and Crake trilogy but it was questioning where such stories come from (and their reliability? Especially when the reader considers how much artistic licence Toby and Jimmy take with the relation of their tales). This point is made when Toby wonders to herself whether she had really believed old Pilar's folklore, but then answers herself "People need such stories, Pilar said once, because however dark, a darkness with voices in it is better than a silent void."

As with any Margaret Atwood book, the characters are instantly engaging and the narrative is flawless. When Jimmy-the-Snowman emerged from his coma it was like rediscovering an old friend; he is such a fabulous character.

This concluding part of the trilogy ties things up nicely and brings matters to a tidy conclusion. Long may Margaret Atwood continue writing such wonderful stories to illuminate my (as a reader's) silent void.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A triumphant ending to the MadAddam trilogy, 24 Aug 2013
This review is from: MaddAddam (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
1.0 out of 5 stars Extremely disappointing. Don't read beyond the first book of this trilogy., 12 Mar 2014
By 
C. Downes "card reader" (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: MaddAddam (Hardcover)
I absolutely loved Oryx and Crake; it was such a haunting, jaded, dystopic nightmare that no one could put down . Maddaddam and The Year of the Flood are terrible books mainly because Atwood chose to focus on groups of characters that were simply uninteresting and fairly dimensionless in comparison to the amazing characterization that happened in Oryx and Crake. Absolutely nothing was added to the story by these two weak additions and I genuinely think that all the information that was retrofitted on to the rise of Crake story could have been summed up in an epilogue of the first book. And the final shock deaths at the end of Maddaddam were anticlimatic and seemed to have been tacked on the end to make this flat pancake of a book palatable. I still really love Atwood, although I'm disappointed that nothing was done with this great story apart from the annoying retrospective on events that no one was curious about. What about the history of Oryx? The behind the scenes of the spectre that is the Corps? Any perspectives from the Painballers and their experiences? Delving into these would have been quite juicy. Opportunities sorely missed here. And the Crakers got quite annoying and predictable by the end.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the perfect ending, 16 Feb 2014
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This review is from: MaddAddam (Kindle Edition)
This is a spectacular book. Add the whole trilogy to every reading list and make it compulsory in every school! This is Margaret Atwood at her best and unbeatable - cant image any other book giving me more satisfaction this year!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not her best, 9 Dec 2013
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This review is from: MaddAddam (Kindle Edition)
We don't learn anything new in this book. Despite this I did enjoy reading the first 3/4. the end, however, ruined it for me. It was the sudden switch in narrative and it was unnecessary predictability and wonton killing for no purpose except to finish the trilogy off.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love this book, 2 Dec 2013
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This review is from: MaddAddam (Kindle Edition)
Lone this book, love the trilogy. I wont review the story as I dont want to leave spoilers but I would recommend.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Maddaddam, 1 Nov 2013
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This review is from: MaddAddam (Kindle Edition)
Read the first two books in this trilogy and you have to read this final book. these books pose questions about the way we are living and effect on the world. Is this extreme fantasy writing? Or not?
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MaddAddam
MaddAddam by Margaret Atwood (Paperback - 7 Aug 2014)
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