Monday, 10 March 2014

Maddaddam

00:14:00 Posted by Damp incendiary device , , , , No comments

While we await the arrival of a new blogger for Mondays, we will be posting short book reviews in this slot. The last book I read was the final part of the Oryx and Crake trilogy by Margaret Atwood: Maddaddam.

Having been thoroughly absorbed in the future dystopias of Oryx and Crake and The Year of the Floods, I found this book hard work. I can handle a little flashback in a series but the extensive repetition of character background and reminiscence was tedious and took up much of the content. I don't know if it's still called exposition when you're relaying information the reader should already know, but I find it equally clumsy.

Such plot that there was smacked of loose ends. I think an epilogue would have served the same purpose in far fewer words. The characters' individual backgrounds and reactions to the events in books one and two are explored to some depth. In that way, the book is more like extended character profiles than an engaging narrative. I expected new plot twists or journeys but they were lacking.

The fascinating insights into natural/survival living were present to an extent as were the spiritual philosophies from book two. The science fiction element from book one did not return but the pigoons have a more prominent role this time. There was a sense of the fractured worlds coming together and some of the darkness being turned to light.

Overall, the series is a remarkable insight into humanity's inability to adapt until change is forced upon us. I found it to be conceptually stimulating and depressing in equal measure.

Fans will need to read this book to find closure. They will be satisfied in that respect but, sadly, a riveting read it is not.

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