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The Year Of The Flood Paperback – 29 Jul 2010

4.1 out of 5 stars 147 customer reviews

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Paperback, 29 Jul 2010
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Product details

  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Virago (29 July 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844085643
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844085644
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 3.3 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (147 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 255,380 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


Prescient and inventive (Tracy-Ann Oberman)

** 'A tour de force . . . as pacy as a thriller . . . laced with Atwood's dry wit, and her savage, credible invention (Erica Wagner, The Times)

** 'Atwood knows how to show us ourselves, but the mirror she holds up to life does more than reflect . . . The Year of the Flood isn't prophecy, but it is eerily possible (Jeanette Winterson)

** 'Margaret Atwood has outdone - and outsung - herself this time. The Year of the Flood is at once a solemn praise song to human hope and a dead-serious poke at our capacity for self-destruction . . . Shows Atwood at the pinnacle of her prodigious creative power s' Elle (** 'A sharp observer of the female psyche . . . Atwood's richly fertile imagination plays to exuberant and often comic effect')

Caroline Moore, Daily Telegraph (** 'A gripping and visceral book that showcases her pure storytelling talents with energy, inventiveness and narrative panache')


'Atwood is funny and clever, such a good writer and real thinker ... The Year of the Flood isn’t prophecy, but it is eerily possible.' (The New York Times Book Review)

'A tour-de-force ... laced with Atwood's dry wit and her savage, credible invention.' (The Times)

'Everything she forms in words has substance and weight.' (The Daily Telegraph)

'Another stimulating dystopia from this always-provocative author, whose complex, deeply involving characters inhabit a bizarre yet frighteningly believable future.' (Kirkus Reviews)

'Atwood's mischievous, suspenseful, and sagacious dystopian novel follows the trajectory of current environmental debacles to a shattering possible conclusion with passionate concern and arch humor.' (Booklist) --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
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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Format: Hardcover
"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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Format: Hardcover
First of all, it should be said that this book is a follow up to Atwood's previous novel 'Oryx and Crake'. Howvever, this book could be enjoyed without reading 'Oryx and Crake' as it's focus is on other characters. Jimmy, Crake (here as Glenn)and a few other characters do feature in this book in lesser roles, but are not the focus. The revlelations at the end of 'Oryx and Crake' would be spoiled if you read this book first. Therefore I would suggest first reading 'Oryx and Crake'.

This is a very solid book that takes our focus to the pleeblands of Atwood's dystopian future world. The 'God's Gardener's' are a cult working against the pollution and over-use of the world's resources while awaiting the great 'waterless flood' that will engulf the world's human population.

Instead of following a single character, Atwood chooses to flip between two members of the cult, Toby and Ren. The story is always pushed forward, however, events are told from one character's perspective or the other. It's a strategy that works quite well and considering how 'Oryx and Crake' was written from a male character's perspective, it's quite welcome to have female perspectives. Atwood, as always, is able to deliver solid female characters that are believable and easy to relate to despite the bizare world she has created around them.

The story is written in parallel to the events of 'Oryx and Crake' and ends not too long after where that book left off. Since the characters are linked in quite strange and unexpected ways to the characters of 'Oryx and Crake', expect to see quite a few of your favourites from that book popping up here as well.

One aspect that I enjoyed less were the frequent sermons given by the 'God's Gardeners' leader, Adam One.
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