MaddAddam (Book Review)
In Margaret Atwood’s final novel in the MaddAddam trilogy, Atwood combines the stories of the two previous books: the lonely and heartbroken Snowman alone with the Crakers, and the surviving cult of the God’s Gardeners. While Snowman is recovering from a foot infection, Toby, one of the God’s Gardeners, takes up Snowman’s post as the teller of stories to the Crakers (the GMO humans who are designed to avoid war, heartbreak and anxiety about death). Within the book, Toby weaves her own story into the mythology the Crakers are compiling about the world before them.
“There’s the story, then there’s the real story, then there’s the story of how the story came to be told. Then there’s what you leave out of the story. Which is part of the story too.”
Through Toby’s stories, we learn about Zeb, the brother of Adam One, the leader of the God’s Gardeners. Zeb has a nefarious past, and has been hunted throughout his life by his father who is the leader of the PetrOleum cult that worships oil and spurns anyone trying to live an eco friendly lifestyle like the God’s Gardeners cult. Essentially, Atwood spins us along through Zeb’s life for most of this book, taking us through strange new possibilities of hacker culture and computer interaction. Zeb participates in a strange new world of online vices including killing women on online sex sites.
“The possibility of injury or death was a strong attraction: as the online world became more and more pre-edited and slicked up, and as even its so-called reality sites raised questions about authenticity in the minds of the viewers, the rough, unpolished physical world was taking on a mystic allure.”
The readers are reminded why the Crakers were created, and the human race wiped out in the first place through one man’s steadfast belief. The God’s Gardeners were not supposed to survive the plague that knocked out all human life, and sometimes throughout the book you wonder if the Earth, the Crakers and the animal and plant forms would be better off without these last remaining straggler humans.
“The people in the chaos cannot learn. They cannot understand what they are doing to the sea and the sky and the plants and the animals. They cannot understand that they are killing them, and that they will end by killing themselves. And there are so many of them, and each one of them is doing part of the killing, whether they know it or not. And when.”
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© Copyright 2018 Annie Windholz