(MaddAdam Trilogy, Bk. 3). 11 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 13½ hours. Books on Tape. 2013. ISBN 9780385367400. $45; 11 CDs. retail ed. Penguin Random Audio; Playaway digital; digital download. F
OrangeReviewStarThis is the final installment in Atwood's epic trilogy (After Oryx and Crake and The Year of the Flood) chronicling a postapocalyptic world in which a human-made plague has wiped out most of civilization, leaving behind a small group of human survivors and a clan of genetically engineered semihumans called the Crakers. While familiarity with the preceding books will magnify the pleasures of this one, it isn't strictly necessary, as readers are quickly brought up to speed. The theme of storytelling is central: what it means and why it matters and its ethical and philosophical implications. In typical Atwood style, all of this is grounded in vivid descriptions of this new physical world and underlined by her unique brand of brutal humor. In spite of the dark subject matter, one can't help but take delight in Atwood's creation. Appropriately, this is both a caution against and a praise for our human desire to leave our mark on the world we see as ours. Bernadette Dunn and Bob Walter bring convincing grit to Toby and Zeb, the book's compelling central characters. Robbie Daymond comes in late in the audiobook as the young Craker Blackbeard, adding a satisfyingly rueful note to the final chapters.
VERDICT Essential listening for fans of speculative fiction and longtime fans of Atwood, but even readers who fall into neither category should find this a compelling odyssey, well suited to audio. ["Certainly of great interest to Atwood fans…and for fans of dystopian/postapocalyptic fiction generally, this finale is a gripping read," concurred the review of the Nan A. Talese: Doubleday hc, LJ 8/13.—Ed.]
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