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Fine qualities but not as good as O & C
on 10 October 2013
I have reread this directly after reading Oryx and Crake and this has confirmed my view that while it has all the classic Atwood qualities, it lacks the originality and taut narrative structure of O & C. Adam's homilies and the hymns do drag at times, though you can see how cleverly Atwood uses them to reinforce her message. One problem is the number of coincidences needed to hold the plot together, another the rather drippy character of Ren - it's a relief when the voice shifts back to the wonderfully feisty Toby. The depiction of male violence is unsettling but Atwood is making the point that the brutality of the painballers and customers at Scales & Tails is just that of the Corps writ small. Reading the business pages of the papers tends to back her up on that one.