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The Year Of The Flood (English Edition) [Format Kindle]

Margaret Atwood
3.7 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (3 commentaires client)

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1Toby. Year Twenty-five,  the Year of the Flood.

In the early morning Toby climbs up to the rooftop to watch the sunrise. She uses a mop handle for balance: the elevator stopped working some time ago and the back stairs are slick with damp, so if she slips and topples there won't be anyone to pick her up. As the first heat hits, mist rises from among the swathe of trees between her and the derelict city. The air smells faintly of burning, a smell of caramel and tar and rancid barbecues, and the ashy but greasy smell of a garbage-dump fire after it's been raining. The abandoned towers in the distance are like the coral of an ancient reef--bleached and colourless, devoid of life. There still is life, however. Birds chirp; sparrows, they must be. Their small voices are clear and sharp, nails on glass: there's no longer any sound of traffic to drown them out. Do they notice that quietness, the absence of motors? If so, are they happier? Toby has no idea. Unlike some of the other Gardeners--the more wild-eyed or possibly overdosed ones--she has never been under the illusion that she can converse with birds. The sun brightens in the east, reddening the blue-grey haze that marks the distant ocean. The vultures roosting on hydro poles fan out their wings to dry them, opening themselves like black umbrellas. One and then another lifts off on the thermals and spirals upwards. If they plummet suddenly, it means they've spotted carrion. Vultures are our friends, the Gardeners used to teach. They purify the earth. They are God's necessary dark Angels of bodily dissolution. Imagine how terrible it would be if there were no death!Do I still believe this? Toby wonders. Everything is different up close.

The rooftop has some planters, their ornamental running wild; it has a few fake-wood benches. It used to have a sun canopy for cocktail hour, but that's been blown away. Toby sits on one of the benches to survey the grounds. She lifts her binoculars, scanning from left to right. The driveway, with its lumirose borders, untidy now as as frayed hairbrushes, their purple glow fading in the strengthening light. The western entrance, done in pink adobe-style solarskin, the snarl of tangled cars outside the gate. The flowerbeds, choked with sow thistle and burdock, enormous aqua kudzu moths fluttering above them. The fountains, their scallop-shell basins filled with stagnant rainwater. The parking lot with a pink golf cart and two pink AnooYoo minibuses, each with its winking-eye logo. There's a fourth minibus further along the drive, crashed into a tree: there used to be an arm hanging out of the window, but it's gone now.The wide lawns have grown up, tall weeds. There are low irregular mounds beneath the milkweed and fleabane and sorrel, with here and there a swatch of fabric, a glint of bone. That's where the people fell, the ones who'd been running or staggering across the lawn. Toby had watched from the roof, crouched behind one of the planters, but she hadn't watched for long. Some of those people had called for help, as if they'd known she was there. But how could she have helped? The swimming pool has a mottled blanket of algae. Already there are frogs. The herons and the egrets and the peagrets hunt them, at the shallow end. For a while Toby tried to scoop out the small animals that had blundered in and drowned. The luminous green rabbits, the rats, the rakunks, with their striped tails and racoon bandit masks. But now she leaves them alone. Maybe they'll attract fish, somehow.Is she thinking of eating these future fish? Surely not. Surely not yet.She turns to the dark encircling wall of trees and vines and fronds and shrubby undergrowth, probing it with her binoculars. It's surely from there that any danger might come. But what kind of danger? She can't imagine.

In the night there are the usual noises: the faraway barking of dogs, the tittering of mice, the water-pipe notes of the crickets, the occasional grumph of a frog. The blood rushing in her ears: katoush, katoush, katoush. A heavy broom sweeping dry leaves. "Go to sleep," she says out loud. But she never sleeps well, not since she's been alone in this building. Sometimes she hears voices--human voices, calling to her in pain. Or the voices of women, the women who used to work here, the anxious women who used to come, for rest and rejuvenation. Splashing in the pool, strolling on the lawns. All the pink voices, soothed and soothing. Or the voices of the Gardeners, murmuring or singing; or the children laughing together, up on the Edencliff Garden. Adam One, and Nuala, and Burt. Old Pilar, surrounded by her bees. And Zeb. If any one of them is still alive, it must be Zeb. Surely is he on his way, any day now he'll come walking along the roadway or appear from among the trees. But he must be dead by now. It's better to think so. Not to waste hope.There must be someone else left, though; she can't be the only one on the planet. There must be others. But friends or foes? If she sees one, how to tell? She's prepared. The doors are locked, the windows barred. But even such barriers are no guarantee: every hollow space invites invasion. Even when she sleeps, she's listening, as animals do--for a break in the pattern, for an unknown sound, for a silence opening like a crack in rock. When the small creatures hush their singing, said Adam One, it's because they're afraid. You must listen for the sound of their fear.

2Ren. Year Twenty-five, the year of the Flood.

Beware of words. Be careful what you write. Leave no trails.This is what the Gardeners taught us, when I was a child among them. They taught us to depend on memory, because nothing written down could be relied on. The Spirit travels from mouth to mouth, not from thing to thing: books could be burnt, paper crumble away, computers could be destroyed. Only the Spirit lives forever, and the Spirit isn't a thing. As for writing, it was dangerous, said the Adams and the Eves, because your enemies could trace you through it, and hunt you down, and use your words to condemn you.But now that the Waterless Flood has swept over us, any writing I might do is safe enough, because those who might have used it against me are surely dead. So I can write down anything I want. What I write is my name, Ren, with an eyebrow pencil, on the wall beside the mirror. I've written it a lot of times. Renrenren, like a song. You can forget who you are if you're alone too much. Amanda told me that. I can't see out the window, it's glass brick. I can't get out the door, it's locked on the outside. I still have air though, and water, as long as the solar doesn't quit. I still have food. I'm lucky. I'm really very lucky. Count your luck, Amanda used to say. So I do. First, I was lucky to be working here at Scales when the Flood hit. Second, it was even luckier that I was shut up this way in the Sticky Zone, because it kept me safe. I got a rip in my Biofilm Bodyglove--a client got carried away and bit me, right through the green sequins and I was waiting for my test results. It wasn't a wet rip with secretions and membranes involved, it was a dry rip near the elbow, so I wasn't that worried. Still, they checked everything, here at Scales. They had a reputation to keep up: we were known as the cleanest dirty girls in town. Scales took care of you, they really did. If you were talent, that is. Good food, a doctor if you needed one, and the tips were great, because the men from the top Corps came here. It was well run, though it was in a seedy area--all the clubs were. That was a matter of image, Mordis would say: seedy was good for business, because unless there's an edge--something lurid or tawdry, a whiff of sleaze--what separated our brand from the run-of-the-mill product the guy could get at home, with the face cream and the white cotton panties? Mordis believed in plain speaking. He'd been in the business ever since he was a kid, and when they outlawed the pimps and the street trade--for public health and the safety of women, they said--and rolled everything into SeksMart under CorpSeCorps control, Mordis made the jump, because of his experience. "It's who you know," he used to say. "And what you know about them." Then he'd grin, and pat you on the bum--just a friendly pat though, he never took freebies from us. He had ethics.He was a wiry guy with a shaved head and black, shiny, alert eyes like the heads of ants, and he was easy as long as everything was cool. But he'd stand up for us if the clients got violent. "Nobody hurts my best girls," he'd say. It was a point of honour with him. Also he didn't like waste: we were a valuable asset, he'd say. The cream of the crop. After the SeksMart roll-in, anyone left outside the system was not only illegal but pathetic. A few wrecked, diseased old women wandering the alleyways, practically begging. No man with even a fraction of his brain left would go anywhere near them. "Hazardous waste," we Scales girls used to call them. We shouldn't have been so scornful; we should have had compassion. But compassion takes work, and we were young.

That night when the Waterless Flood began, I was waiting for my test results: they kept you locked in the Sticky Zone for weeks, in case you had something contagious. The food came in through the safety-sealed hatchway, plus there was the mini-fridge with snacks, and the water was filtered, coming in and out both. You had everything you needed, but it got boring in there. You could exercise on the machines, and I did a lot of that, because a trapeze dancer needs to keep in practice. You could watch TV or old movies, play your music, talk on the phone. Or you could visit the other rooms in Scales on the intercom video. Sometimes when we doing plank work we'd wink at the cameras in mid-moan for the benefit of whoever was stuck in the Sticky Zone. We knew where the cameras were hidden, in the snakeskin or featherwork on the ceilings. It was one big family, at Scales, so even when you were in the Sticky Zone, Mordis liked you to feel you were still participating.Mordis made me feel so secure. I knew if I was in big trouble I could go to him. There were only a few people in my life like that. Amanda, most of the time. Zeb, sometimes. And Toby. You wouldn't think it would be Toby--she was so tough and hard--but if you're drowning, a soft squashy thing is no good to hold onto. You need something more solid.

CREATION DAY

Year Five.

Of the Creation, and of the Naming of the Animals.Spoken by Adam One.

Dear Friends, dear fellow Creatures, dear fellow Mammals: On Creation Day five years ago, this Edencliff Rooftop Garden of ours was a sizzling wasteland, hemmed in by festering city slums and dens of wickedness; but now it has blossomed as the rose. By covering such barren rooftops with greenery we are doing our small part in the redemption of God's Creation from the decay and sterility that lies all around us, and feeding ourselves with unpolluted food into the bargain. Some would term our efforts futile, but if all were to follow our example, what a change would be wrought on our beloved Planet! Much hard work still lies before us, but fear not, my Friends; for we shall move forward undaunted.I am glad we have all remembered our sunhats.

Now let us turn our minds to our annual Creation Day Devotion. The Human Words of God speak of the Creation in terms that could be understood by the men of old. There is no talk of galaxies or genes, for such terms would have confused them greatly! But must we therefore take as scientific fact the story that the world was created in six days, thus making a nonsense of observable data? God cannot be held to the narrowness of literal and materialistic interpretations, nor measured by Human measurements, for His days are eons, and a thousand ages of our time are like an evening to Him. Unlike some other religions, we have never felt it served a higher purpose to lie to children about geology.Remember the first sentences of those Human Words of God: the Earth is without form, and void, and then God speaks Light into being. This is the moment that Science terms "The Big Bang," as if it were a sex orgy. Yet both accounts concur in their essence: Darkness; then, in an instant, Light. But surely the Creation is ongoing, for are not new stars being formed at every moment? God's Days are not consecutive, my Friends; they run concurrently, the first with the third, the fourth with the sixth. As we are told, "Thou sendeth forth thy Spirit, they are created; and Thou renewest the face of the Earth." We are told that, on the fifth day of God's Creating activities, the waters brought forth Creatures, and on the sixth day the dry land was populated with Animals, and with plants and Trees; and all were blessed, and told to multiply; and finally Adam--that is to say, Mankind--was created. According to Science, this is the same order in which the species did in fact appear on the planet, Man last of all. Or more or less the same order. Or close enough.What happens next? God brings the Animals before Man, "to see what he would call them." But why didn't God already know what names Adam would choose? The answer can only be that God has given Adam free will, and therefore Adam may do things that God Himself cannot anticipate in advance. Think of that the next time you are tempted by meat-eating or material wealth! Even God may not always know what you are going to do next!God must have caused the Animals to assemble by speaking to them directly, but what language did He use? It was not Hebrew, my Friends. It was not Latin or Greek, or English, or French, or Spanish, or Arabic, or Chinese. No: He called the Animals in their own languages. To the Reindeer He spoke Reindeer, to the Spider, Spider; to the Elephant He spoke Elephant, to the Flea He spoke Flea, to the Centipede He spoke Centipede, and to the Ant, Ant. So must it have been.And for Adam himself, the Names of the Animals were the first words he spoke--the first moment of Human language. In this cosmic instant, Adam claims his Human soul. To Name is--we hope--to greet; to draw another towards one's self. Let us imagine Adam calling out the Names of the Animals in fondness and joy, as if to say--There you are, my dearest! Welcome! Adam's first act towards the Animals was thus one of loving-kindness and kinship, for Man in his unfallen state was not yet a carnivore. The Animals knew this, and did not run away. So it must have been on that unrepeatable Day--a peaceful gathering at which every living entity on the Earth was embraced by Man. How much have we lost, dear fellow Mammals and fellow Mortals! How much have we wilfully destroyed! How much do we need to restore, within ourselves! The time of the Naming is not over, my Friends. In His sight, we may still be living in the sixth day. As your Meditation, imagine yourself rocked in that sheltering moment. Stretch out your hand towards those gentle eyes that regard you with such trust--a trust that has not yet been violated by bloodshed and gluttony and pride and disdain. Say their Names. Let us sing.


From the Hardcover edition.

Revue de presse

"A gripping and visceral book that showcases the pure storytelling talents she displayed with such verve in her 2000 novel, The Blind Assassin."
Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

"Atwood is funny and clever, such a good writer and real thinker.... As ever with Atwood, it is friendship between women that is noted and celebrated - friendship not without its jealousies but friendship that survives rivalry and disappointment, and has a generosity that at the end of the novel allows for hope.... We don't know how [human nature] will evolve, or if we will evolve at all. The Year of the Flood isn't prophecy, but it is eerily plausible."
Jeanette Winterson, The New York Time Book Review

"Canada's greatest living novelist undoubtedly knows how to tell a gripping story, as fans of The Blind Assassin and A Handmaid's Tale already know. But here there's a serious message too: Look at what we're doing right now to our world, to nature, to ourselves. If this goes on..."
—The Washington Post

"One of the versatile Atwood's authorial calling cards, as far back as her early novel The Handmaid's Tale, has been that of ruthless investigator, never hesitating to cut to bone in describing real-as-life dystopias. In this work, however, she also appears to be having wild fun, gunning it like a daredevil race-car driver: The Year of the Flood serves as an old-fashioned alarm (moral, ecological), a zombie thriller and a series of swashbuckling pokes at modern institutions.... To Atwood's supreme credit, her story is enthralling.... Memorable characters, a tightly controlled pace and shockingly plausible scenes make it fly - to a mysterious, skin-prickling ending. If Atwood also inspires ways to prevent such a gruesomely likely future, we'll owe her far more than literary admiration."
—San Francisco Chronicle

"Atwood unflinchingly holds aloft the sanctity of life - for all species - and the human quest for love."
—Chicago Sun-Times

"The Year of the Flood is timely and gripping.... Atwood creates a totally believable futuristic world in which people, for the most part, are the beasts. Those who have retained their humanity are the outlaws. But no matter what the setting, Atwood just tells a good story, one filled with suspense and even levity."
—USA Today

"Atwood scores a 10 when it comes to creating, from the stragglers of the old one, a whole new world.... Toby, Ren, and their lost-soul friend Amanda, would be sympathetic characters in any setting. That Atwood conjures them into this madcap setting, where vultures open 'like black umbrellas,' misdeeds are punished by kidney removal, and bracelets are made of jellyfish, makes us love them even more."
—Philadelphia Inquirer

"The Year of the Flood consistently does what one expects of any work by Margaret Atwood: It entertains, spins out suspense and rewards a reader's basic impulse, all the while subtly and expertly maintaining its literary respectability."
—Minneapolis Star Tribune

"[The Year of the Flood] shows the Nobel Prize-worthy Atwood … at the pinnacle of her prodigious creative powers. Her weigh-in on the breakdown of the social covenant comes during a time of historic global change that her story eerily both mirrors and foretells."
—Elle Magazine

"There is gallows humor, and then there is Margaret Atwood. The masterful Canadian writer is emerging as literature's queen of the apocalypse. And the dark visions Atwood again summons in The Year of the Flood prove quite illuminating."
Associated Press

"Profoundly imagined. . . . This is a gutsy and expansive novel, rich with ideas and conceits."
—Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Atwood orchestrates her narratives into a heart-pounding, mysterious and surprisingly touching finale. She enchants us so convincingly that after her spell is over, the 'real' world seems temporarily transformed. The Year of the Flood is both a warning and a gift."
NPR.org

"Flood's relentlessly fabulous inventions and despondent predictions become almost unbearable, especially told in such gorgeously trenchant prose. In this way, the book recalls Atwood's 1985 masterpiece, The Handmaid's Tale."
TimeOut New York (five stars)

"Atwood's latest is a fiercely imagined tale of suffering that rivals Job's.... As dark as Atwood's vision may be, the bonds among her women giver he work a bittersweet power."
—People

"Prodigiously imaginative and outrageously funny."
—The Plain Dealer (Cleveland)

"This is a work that amuses, informs, enlightens and, remarkably, also challenges its readers to be better persons."
—San Antonio Express-News
"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, starred review
 
"Iconic Canadian author Margaret Atwood has once again written about a distressingly near future in which mass murder may be the best way to save the world."
—Ms. Magazine
 
"Another stimulating dystopia from this always-provocative author, whose complex, deeply involving characters inhabit a bizarre yet frighteningly believable future."
—Kirkus Reviews
 
Praise for Oryx and Crake:
 
"Oyrx and Crake is a cautionary tale about humanity swept downriver on a raft."
—Mel Gussow, New York Times
 
"The novel's tantalizing questions will have readers turning the pages of this extraordinary book as fast as humanly possible. . . . Like Orwell and Huxley before her, Atwood takes the world as we know it and suggests scenarios both frightening and all-too-probable . . .
"Brilliant, provocative, sumptuous and downright terrifying, Oryx and Crake is a sharp-edged down-and-dirty page-turner with a deftly wrought message in Atwood's smart electric language."
—Victoria Brownworth, Baltimore Sun
 
"A dystopian novel is not intended as a literal forecast, or even necessarily as a logical extension of our current world. It is simply, and not so simply, a bad dream of our present time, an exquisitely designed horror show in which things are changed from what we do know to a dream version of what we don't. . . . Atwood does Orwell one better . . . A "towering and intrepid new novel."
—Lorrie Moore, The New Yorker
 
"A landmark work of speculative fiction, comparable to A Clockwork Orange, Brave New World, and We. Atwood has surpassed herself."
—Kirkus Reviews
 
"Chesterton once wrote of the 'thousand romances that lie secreted in The Origin of Species.' Atwood has extracted one of the most hair-raising of them, and one of the most brilliant. . . . A potential dystopian classic."
—Publishers Weekly


From the Hardcover edition.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 1037 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 529 pages
  • Editeur : Virago (6 juin 2010)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B003PPDBMG
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
  • X-Ray :
  • Word Wise: Activé
  • Composition améliorée: Activé
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 3.7 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (3 commentaires client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°67.635 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)

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4 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Pas mal du tout, pour une suite... 27 juin 2010
Format:Relié
La suite d'Oryx and Crake est moins surprenante que le 1er volume, car nous retrouvons le monde déjà décrit par Atwood. Mais l'écriture et le style sont toujours aussi fins, et l'humour au rendez-vous. Je regretterais juste que M. Atwood prenne (pour une fois) partie et cause pour les principaux protagonistes de ce deuxième volume. Pour une fois, elle semble suivre un discours ambiant (celui du "back to nature") sans poser de questions ou de critiques sur les véritables enjeux de ce discours très occidental.
En revanche, je continue à apprécier son analyse d'une certaine société, se divisant entre les Corps prédatrices et les pleeblands oppressés, ses prédictions quant au pouvoir des Corporations-apprentis-sorciers et à l'extinction des ressources naturelles. Contrairement au 1er volume, il s'agit ici de décrire la vie vécue dans les pleeblands.
La société américaine (ou plutôt nord-américaine) se prend une grosse claque, d'autant plus appliquée que le livre ressemble dans sa construction et ses références bibliques à des journaux de bord de nouveaux "Pilgrim Fathers/Mothers".
Ce livre est donc le contre-point du précédant, faisant revivre la narration avec le point de vue des oppressés.
Nul doute qu'il y aura une suite. Elle sera difficile, j'imagine, car désormais il va falloir re-créer une société avec les survivants des deux bords. Une nouvelle société que je vois mal Atwood décrire comme une morale. D'où la difficulté...
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4.0 étoiles sur 5 A good sequel 7 octobre 2014
Par C. Bosch
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
I loved the first part of the trilogy "Oryx & Crake" which I have read several times. This 2nd book is about 2 other characters , 2 women , and an eco-sect/ group, all this before the catastrophe that we read about in the 1st Part. However I expected more ... The first book gives so much thinking about our times. But anyway "The Year of the Flood " is a fabulous reading, plus the amazingly fine work of a definitely Nobel-Prize-deserving great lady of literature....
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3.0 étoiles sur 5 The Year of the Flood 31 mai 2014
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
6/10 pour un livre intéressant mais, selon moi, compliqué. Certains thèmes comme l'écologie y sont abondamment abordés mais je n'ai pas réussir à entrevoir le fond des pensées d'Atwood : où veut-elle vraiment en venir ? Il serait sans doute intéressant de lire ce tome à l'intérieur de sa trilogie.
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Amazon.com: 4.1 étoiles sur 5  526 commentaires
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5.0 étoiles sur 5 Margaret Atwood makes me want to stick my head in the sand... 31 juillet 2009
Par Susan Tunis - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
I know that sounds bad, but her dystopian visions are so profoundly disturbing, I find they influence my thinking forever after. Say what you will--her nightmares are not easy to dismiss!

Readers of 2003's Oryx and Crake will recognize the world of The Year of the Flood. Neither a prequel nor a sequel, the latter is more of a companion novel. It's set in the same world, covering roughly the same time span. Whereas Oryx and Crake was a post-apocalyptic narrative told from Jimmy's point of view, here the narrators are Toby and Ren. Jimmy, Oryx, and Crake make appearances in this novel, and readers of both books will discovered minor characters from the former novel are major characters in the latter. In short, the two are intertwined, but may be read in any order. It is not necessary to have read Oryx and Crake first, though ultimately reading them both is an immensely satisfying experience, shedding light on many aspects of the story being told.

Now to the story...Toby and Ren have both spent significant portions of their lives involved with a fringe religious group called God's Gardeners. Ren was brought to the ascetic group as a child by her mother. Toby found her way there out of desperation in adulthood. Each has professed disbelief in the tenets of the religion, but the pacifistic and environmental teachings have become deeply ingrained in both. At the opening of the novel, it is Year Twenty-Five in the God's Gardeners' calendar; the Year of the Waterless Flood.

From the beginning, the group's prophet-like leader had preached that a "waterless flood" was coming to wipe out humanity. In addition to their dogmatic environmentalism, the group believed in preparing for this flood with survival skills and food caches called "Ararats." The predicted day has come in the form of a global pandemic. Society has broken down completely. From their respective places of isolation, each woman wonders if she may be the last human left and struggles to survive in this altered world.

As everyone knows, there's nothing like apocalypse to make a person introspective. As each woman reflects upon the ups and downs of her life with the Gardeners and beyond, the reader gradually gleans a fuller picture of the world these women lived in, their individual and joint histories, what led to cataclysm, and what has ultimately happened to the world.

As one might expect from Atwood, The Year of the Flood is a beautiful telling of an ugly story. And what a story it is! In addition to being very much a novel of ideas, it is an utterly un-put-downable page-turner! It's a quick read, with short chapters and lots of white space on the pages. The novel flies by. The ending is satisfying and unsatisfying at once. It sheds some light on Oryx and Crake's enigmatic conclusion and completes this arc of the story, but leaves this reader very much hoping for a final volume of this rumored trilogy.
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5.0 étoiles sur 5 Waiting for Pandemic 30 septembre 2009
Par M. Feldman - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
In Margaret Atwood's three compelling and quite different visions of an apocalyptic future, some things never change. There are always the powerful corporations intent on obtaining profit from every human desire: the Soul Scrolls of "The Handmaid's Tale," which turn prayer into a commodity; the Secretburger franchises of "The Year of the Flood," which dispense cheap burgers of dubious provenance. The environment is always degraded, resulting in a precipitous drop in the birth rate ("The Handmaid's Tale") and the terrifying daily thunderstorms of "The Year of the Flood." In all three stories, there is an Orwellian social structure: a tiny elite intent both on holding power at all costs and on a comfortable, even luxurious, life style; a larger group of terrified, obedient mid-level party/corporate functionaries; and a vast underclass that lives in squalor and in violence---the "pleeblands" of her newest novel. And, most important to all three dystopias, there are cold, brutal men with the most up to date weapons "who make sure--successfully, until the global pandemics in both "Oryx and Crake" and "The Year of the Flood" nearly destroy the human race-- that everyone is terrorized and that power remains with the corporate elites.

Thus, it's quite amazing that her newest dystopia is so different, so inventive, and so convincing, even though elements of "The Year of the Flood" overlap with those in "Oryx and Crake" and the novels are set in parallel, time-wise, with a male protagonist in "Oryx" and two female protagonists, Toby and Ren, in "Flood." Completely original and central to "Flood" is the made-up religion (complete with made-up hymns) of Gods Gardeners, led by its fatherly chief composter, sermonizer, and philosopher, Adam One. He's a wonderful pastiche, equally earnest and ridiculous--straight out of the pages of "Mother Earth News." The characterizations of the rest of the Gardeners, the numbered Adams and Eves, are equally tender, as they tend their bees and mushrooms and the rooftop garden and patiently store away supplies in hidden "Ararats" for the calamity they know is coming. Unlike Orwell's degraded masses, these proles are full of hope. Don't miss this newest Atwood. She can put a plot together better than just about anyone, and the coalescing threads of this one kept me reading until midnight as the world came to an------well, not exactly, and not in the way you might think. Apocalypse, as constructed by Atwood, is never predictable, always astonishing, and certainly not impossible.
78 internautes sur 89 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 I'm in the minority but.... 15 octobre 2009
Par Holly - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
I'm definitely in the minority here, but I didn't love this novel. I didn't hate it either and I did finish it, but it didn't grab hold of me like some books do. I read "Handmaid's Tale" many, many years ago and it's one of those books I held on to ever since. I didn't feel the same way about this one.

Set in a future time period (year unspecified), the earth has largely been decimated - many animal species are extinct, there are deserts where none existed before and the human population has largely segregated itself into subgroups that have very little interaction between them. With this situation, a pandemic (the waterless flood) takes place which wipes out most of the human race. The novel follows two primary characters, both female, as they try to survive in this post-apocalyptic era. Both women share their stories via memories of what their lives were like prior to the pandemic. It took me a long time to read this book since I wasn't totally involved and I think that is for three basic reasons:

1) I never really cared about the characters. They went through lots of horrific events and yet I just didn't seem to get emotionally involved with them
2) By the end of the book, there were too many coincidences where things just fell neatly into place. It just seemed too tidy for me.
3) The names of the animals and future inventions were too "cutsy" and rather than seeming clever, just seemed over-done.

Again, I didn't hate the book and I'm glad I read it, but it won't be something I re-read in the future.
75 internautes sur 87 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Welcome to the future 1 août 2009
Par kellyreaderofbooks - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
Margaret Atwood's latest book The Year of the Flood is another of her dystopian offerings. It's many years in the future (Atwood never gives an exact date), and humans have finally managed to destroy much in the natural world. Many animal species are extinct, pollution is rampant, weather is out of control, and society is buckling down to live out the days the best they can. Into all this comes the "waterless flood", a disaster that has wiped out nearly all the humans in the world. At least two have survived: Toby, the manager of a high-end spa who has barricaded herself inside; and Ren, a dancer/prostitute who was in the "sticky zone" (a type of sick bay) when the disaster hit. Now, separately, the two have to try to survive in this strange new unpeopled world. Will they ever find each other? And, the bigger question: did anyone else survive?

I really liked this book; it's not only a great read but very thought-provoking as well. The story is told with flashbacks to Ren and Toby's former lives, which added a lot to the book; it made an interesting contrast to see what things were like before the waterless flood. Toby is tough, smart, and resourceful; and it's always wonderful to see a strong female protaganist (one reason I love Atwood's books). I also thought Atwood did an excellent job of showing how bad things could possibly get on earth in the years to come, without being preachy about it.

I did have two minor quibbles about the book, which is why I gave it four stars instead of five. The first was the annoyingly cute futuristic names many of the things are given: "Anooyoo", "violet biolet", "SekSmart", "Mo'hairs", "Sea/H/Ear candy", "liobams" (if names will really be this cheesy in the future than the world is indeed in trouble;-)!. Yes, it's a very minor thing, but for some reason it grated on my nerves a bit. The other quibble I can't say without giving away spoilers, but it has to do with some coincidences that happen towards the end of the book. I didn't find these coincidences to be very plausible.

Minor quibbles non-withstanding, I could barely tear myself away from the pages of this book. I highly recommend it, especially if you like your sci-fi with a mix of great literature.
19 internautes sur 20 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
2.0 étoiles sur 5 Nothing happens 28 décembre 2009
Par Usuallee - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
I love Atwood, and Oryx and Crake was truly brilliant...but this sequel is not on par with its predecessor.

The story revolves around Ren and Toby, two survivors of a disaster that wipes out most of humanity. However, most of the book is back story and goes back and forth between their respective pre-disaster stories. However, the two characters weren't differentiated enough, so at first I was having a hard time remembering what happened to who. The book as a whole, while it does have Atwood's usual flawless prose, is unfortunately not very engaging, and has little forward momentum. The sermons and hymns of the God's Gardeners that are interspersed throughout the book are a chore to get through and didn't add much to the story.

I am about halfway through the book and I doubt I will finish. Nothing much has happened so far and I don't feel motivated to continue. I really wanted to love this book, so it's disappointing.

This is the fifth book of Atwood's I have read, and Lady Oracle, Handmaid's Tale, and Oryx and Crake were all brilliant, among my favorite novels of all time. This book shares some of the traits of Bodily Harm, which I did not like, including unlikeable/indifferent protagonists, too much back story, and not enough narrative drive.

Looking forward to reading Atwood's other books as she is a wonderful writer. But for me this one is a misfire.
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