Although I am a HUGE Margaret Atwood fan and would list her as one of my favourite authors I have not read Oryx and Crake until now because I just did not think it would be a book that I would enjoy - at all. I was very, very wrong. I picked this up from my library one day after work this week and as I was a little early for my pilates class I started reading it in the car while I waited. I almost missed my pilates class - I just did not want to put this book down (that is one of my only gripes with pilates - I can't read while doing it!).
Since finishing the book this morning I have been browsing Atwood's site for the book and reading some of her interviews and thoughts about the novel and her process of writing it - I always find these insights from authors interesting. I was particularly interested to hear Atwood describe Oryx and Crake as speculative fiction - not science fiction. I like this distinction because it make sense to me now why I enjoyed this book so much but I really do not enjoy science fiction. I am ashamed to say that I had never really thought about the difference before. I was trying to explain to my partner (a huge science fiction and fantasy genre lover) why I liked this book so much and all I could really come up with was that it had a strong humanist element contained within it - even though it was a different (although scarily possible) view of our world I could still locate myself or people I care about within this story and I connected with the characters and their experiences - even though I have of course never been in a situation like this in my own life. I had empathy for and connection with the story - two key elements for me in my reading.
I liked the way that Atwood showed us the present and then worked backwards with flashbacks of the history of the characters leading up to that point in time - I thought it was brilliantly done with great suspense and timing.
I am now eager to read The Year of the Flood - have people read either of this books? Did they enjoy one more than the other?