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MaddAddam
Cover of MaddAddam
MaddAddam
MaddAddam Trilogy, Book 3
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NATIONAL BESTSELLER • From the bestselling author of The Handmaid's Tale and The Testamants—this final volume of the internationally celebrated MaddAddam trilogy "has brought the previous two books together in a fitting and joyous conclusion that’s an epic not only of an imagined future but of our own past" (The New York Times Book Review).
The Waterless Flood pandemic has wiped out most of the population. Toby is part of a small band of survivors, along with the Children of Crake: the gentle, bioengineered quasi-human species who will inherit this new earth.
As Toby explains their origins to the curious Crakers, her tales cohere into a luminous oral history that sets down humanity’s past—and points toward its future. Blending action, humor, romance, and an imagination at once dazzlingly inventive and grounded in a recognizable world, MaddAddam is vintage Atwood—a moving and dramatic conclusion to her epic work of speculative fiction.
NATIONAL BESTSELLER • From the bestselling author of The Handmaid's Tale and The Testamants—this final volume of the internationally celebrated MaddAddam trilogy "has brought the previous two books together in a fitting and joyous conclusion that’s an epic not only of an imagined future but of our own past" (The New York Times Book Review).
The Waterless Flood pandemic has wiped out most of the population. Toby is part of a small band of survivors, along with the Children of Crake: the gentle, bioengineered quasi-human species who will inherit this new earth.
As Toby explains their origins to the curious Crakers, her tales cohere into a luminous oral history that sets down humanity’s past—and points toward its future. Blending action, humor, romance, and an imagination at once dazzlingly inventive and grounded in a recognizable world, MaddAddam is vintage Atwood—a moving and dramatic conclusion to her epic work of speculative fiction.
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  • From the book Egg

    The Story of the Egg, and of Oryx and Crake, and how they made People and Animals; and of the Chaos; and of Snowman-the-Jimmy; and of the Smelly Bone and the coming of the Two Bad Men

    In the beginning, you lived inside the Egg. That is where Crake made you.

    Yes, good, kind Crake. Please stop singing or I can’t go on with the story.

    The Egg was big and round and white, like half a bubble, and there were trees inside it with leaves and grass and berries. All the things you like to eat.

    Yes, it rained inside the Egg.

    No, there was not any thunder.

    Because Crake did not want any thunder inside the Egg.

    And all around the Egg was the chaos, with many, many people who were not like you.

    Because they had an extra skin. That skin is called clothes. Yes, like mine.

    And many of them were bad people who did cruel and hurtful things to one another, and also to the animals. Such as . . . We don’t need to talk about those things right now.

    And Oryx was very sad about that, because the animals were her Children. And Crake was sad because Oryx was sad.

    And the chaos was everywhere outside the Egg. But inside the Egg there was no chaos. It was peaceful there.

    And Oryx came every day to teach you. She taught you what to eat, she taught you to make fire, she taught you about the animals, her Children. She taught you to purr if a person is hurt. And Crake watched over you.

    Yes, good, kind Crake. Please stop singing. You don’t have to sing every time. I’m sure Crake likes it, but he also likes this story and he wants to hear the rest.

    Then one day Crake got rid of the chaos and the hurtful people, to make Oryx happy, and to clear a safe place for you to live in.

    Yes, that did make things smell very bad for a while.

    And then Crake went to his own place, up in the sky, and Oryx went with him.

    I don’t know why they went. It must have been a good reason. And they left Snowman-the-Jimmy to take care of you, and he brought you to the seashore. And on Fish Days you caught a fish for him, and he ate it.

    I know you would never eat a fish, but Snowman-the-Jimmy is different.

    Because he has to eat a fish or he would get very sick.

    Because that is the way he is made.

    Then one day Snowman-the-Jimmy went to see Crake. And when he came back, there was a hurt on his foot. And you purred on it, but it did not get better.

    And then the two bad men came. They were left over from the chaos.

    I don’t know why Crake didn’t clear them away. Maybe they were hiding under a bush, so he didn’t see them. But they’d caught Amanda, and they were doing cruel and hurtful things to her.

    We don’t need to talk about those things right now.

    And Snowman-the-Jimmy tried to stop them. And then I came, and Ren, and we caught the two bad men and tied them to a tree with a rope. Then we sat around the fire and ate soup. Snowman-the-Jimmy ate the soup, and Ren, and Amanda. Even the two bad men ate the soup.

    Yes, there was a bone in the soup. Yes, it was a smelly bone.

    I know you do not eat a smelly bone. But many of the Children of Oryx like to eat such bones. Bobkittens eat them, and rakunks, and pigoons, and liobams. They all eat smelly bones. And bears eat them.

    I will tell you what a bear is later.

    We don’t need to talk any more about smelly bones right now.

    And as they were all eating the soup, you came with your torches, because you wanted to help Snowman-the-Jimmy, because of his hurt foot. And ...
About the Author-
  • Margaret Atwood is the author of more than fifty books of fiction, poetry and critical essays. Her novels include Cat’s Eye, The Robber Bride, Alias Grace, The Blind Assassin, and the MaddAddam trilogy. Her 1985 classic, The Handmaid’s Tale, was followed in 2019 by a sequel, The Testaments, which was a global number one bestseller and won the Booker Prize. In 2020 she published Dearly, her first collection of poetry for a decade.
     
    Atwood has won numerous awards including the Arthur C. Clarke Award for Imagination in Service to Society, the Franz Kafka Prize, the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade, the PEN USA Lifetime Achievement Award and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize. In 2019 she was made a member of the Order of the Companions of Honour for services to literature. She has also worked as a cartoonist, illustrator, librettist, playwright and puppeteer. She lives in Toronto, Canada.
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from June 10, 2013
    The final entry in Atwood’s brilliant MaddAddam trilogy roils with spectacular and furious satire. The novel begins where Oryx and Crake and The Year of the Flood end, just after most of the human species has been eradicated by a man-made plague. The early books explore a world of terrifying corporate tyranny, horrifying brutality, and the relentless rape of women and the planet. In Oryx and Crake, the pandemic leaves wounded protagonist Jimmy to watch over the Crakers, a humanoid species bioengineered to replace humankind by the man responsible for unleashing the plague. In The Year of the Flood, MaddAddamites wield science to terrorize corporate villains while God’s Gardeners use prayer and devotion to the Earth to prepare for the approaching cataclysm. Toby, a God’s Gardener and key character in the second book, narrates the third installment, in which a few survivors, including MaddAddamites, God’s Gardeners, Jimmy, and the Crakers, navigate a postapocalyptic world. Toby is reunited with Zeb, her MaddAddamite romantic interest in Year of the Flood, and the two become leaders and defenders of their new community. The survivors are a traumatized, cynical group with harshly tested self-preservation skills, but they have the capacity for love and self-sacrifice, which in a simpler story would signal hope for the future of humankind. However, Atwood dramatizes the importance of all life so convincingly that readers will hesitate to assume that the perpetuation of a species as destructive as man is the novel’s central concern. With childlike stubbornness, even the peaceful Crakers demand mythology and insist on deifying people whose motives they can’t understand. Other species genetically engineered for exploitation by now-extinct corporations roam the new frontier; some are hostile to man, including the pigoons—a powerful and uniquely perceptive source of bacon and menace. Threatening humans, Crakers, and pigoons are Painballers—former prisoners dehumanized in grotesque life-or-death battles. The Crakers cannot fight, the bloodthirsty Painballers will not yield, and the humans are outnumbered by the pigoons. Happily, Atwood has more surprises in store. Her vision is as affirming as it is cautionary, and the conclusion of this remarkable trilogy leaves us not with a sense of despair at mankind’s failings but with a sense of awe at humanity’s barely explored potential to evolve. Agent: Phoebe Larmore, Larmore Literary Agency.

  • Kirkus

    July 15, 2013
    Atwood closes her post-apocalyptic trilogy (Oryx and Crake, 2003; The Year of the Flood, 2009) with a study of a small camp of survivors, redolent with suggestions about how new-world mythologies are made. The main narrator, Toby, is a gatherer of strays at MaddAddam, an enclave of survivors of the previous years' plague and environmental collapse. Amanda was tormented by vicious "Painballers"; Snowman, the hero of Oryx and Crake, is recovering from a grotesque foot wound; and a small tribe of "Crakers," genetically engineered humanoids, are on site as well. Atwood's story moves in two directions. Looking backward, Toby's love, Zeb, recalls the history of the scientists who set this odd new world in motion while greedy evangelists like his father clung to rapidly depleting oil and cash reserves. Looking forward, the MaddAddamites must police the compound for Painballers out for revenge. As with many post-apocalyptic tales, the past is much more interesting than the present: Zeb's story is a cross sections of end-times North America, from Grand Guignol entertainments to pharmaceutical horrors, and Atwood weaves in some off-the-shelf contempt for casual sexism, consumerism and god-playing. In comparison, the closing confrontation between the MaddAddamites and Painballers is thin, though the alliances are provocative: The Crakers partner with large, genetically engineered pigs--pigoons--to help the surviving humans who unnaturally made them. In numerous interludes, Toby attempts to explain this world to the Crakers, and their dialogue, rife with miscommunications, is at once comic and strongly biblical in tone. Societies invent origin stories, Atwood suggests, by stripping off nuance for simplicity's sake. But Atwood herself has taken care to layer this story with plenty of detail--and, like most post-apocalyptic novelists, closes out the story with just a touch of optimism. By no means her finest work, but Atwood remains an expert thinker about human foibles and how they might play out on a grand scale.

    COPYRIGHT(2013) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Booklist

    Starred review from June 1, 2013
    Ten years after Oryx & Crake (2003) rocked readers the world over, Atwood brings her cunning, impish, and bracing speculative trilogyfollowing The Year of the Flood (2009)to a gritty, stirring, and resonant conclusion. In the wreckage of a maniacal bioengineering empire, Toby, a can-do gal and a key member of the once thriving God's Gardeners, a peaceful green resistance group, reconnects with her great unrequited love, Zeb, of the MaddAddamite bioterrorists. All tactical differences evaporate in the wake of the apocalyptic pandemic as their small band of survivors fights off fiendishly violent Painballers and marauding part-pig, part-human pigoons. The bioengineered Crakerspurring, kudzu-eating, sexually rambunctious, story-demanding quasihumansworship Jimmy, whom they call Snowman. When he falls ill, Toby steps up. Her pseudoreligious attempts to explain life to the Crakers are hilarious and poignant, compared to Zeb's shocking and riveting stories about his father, the malevolent head of the Church of PetrOleum, and what turned Zeb into MaddAddam. Atwood is ascendant, from her resilient characters to the feverishly suspenseful plot involving battles, spying, cyberhacking, murder, and sexual tension. Most resounding is Atwood's vibrant creation of a scientifically plausible, regenerating, and evolving world driven not simply by the reproductive imperative but also by a cell-deep need for stories. The coruscating finale in an ingenious, cautionary trilogy of hubris, fortitude, wisdom, love, and life's grand obstinacy. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Atwood will tour the country and appear on major broadcast and social media to exuberantly promote the extraordinary closing novel in her best-selling trilogy.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2013, American Library Association.)

  • Library Journal

    April 15, 2013

    In this wrap-up to the magisterial trilogy begun with Oryx & Crake and continued with The Year of the Flood, a waterless flood has wiped out most of humanity. While Ren and Toby have returned to the MaddAddamite cob house, the story really belongs to Zeb, who searches for God's Gardeners founder Adam One as his own past is disclosed.

    Copyright 2013 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Library Journal

    Starred review from August 1, 2013

    The compelling conclusion to Atwood's dystopian trilogy opens with a brief synopsis of the series' first two books, Oryx & Crake and The Year of the Flood, then launches directly into the story of the MaddAddamites, survivors of a global pandemic that wiped out most of humanity. Readers, even those unfamiliar with the human characters and the genetically engineered new species Atwood has created in her futuristic world, will be quickly drawn in and eager to find out what happens to the MaddAddamites and to the Crakers, a gentle, quasihuman species created by Crake. Their world is full of many dangers, including direct attacks from criminally insane Painballers and from pigoons, transgenic pigs developed to grow replacement organs for humans. Toby, Zeb, and the rest of the MaddAddamites are alive, but will they be able to continue not only to subsist but to build up their small society and, eventually, live alongside the Crakers and even flourish? VERDICT Certainly of great interest to Atwood fans awaiting this third book of the trilogy and for fans of dystopian/postapocalyptic fiction generally, this finale is a gripping read for any reader. [See Prepub Alert, 3/25/13.]--Shaunna E. Hunter, Hampden-Sydney Coll. Lib., VA

    Copyright 2013 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • The New York Times Book Review

    "Atwood has brought the previous two books together in a fitting and joyous conclusion that's an epic not only of an imagined future but of our own past, an exposition of how oral storytelling traditions led to written ones and ultimately to our sense of origin ... Atwood's prose miraculously balances humor, outrage and beauty. A simple description becomes both chilling and sublime ... In so much genre fiction, language is sacrificed to plot and invention. It's a pleasure to read a futuristic novel whose celebration of beauty extends to the words themselves."

  • Miami Herald "MaddAddam is sharp, witty and strong enough to stand alone ... Peppered with witty neologisms, Atwood's character-driven novel is terrific precisely because of close attention to detail, to voice, to what's in the hearts of these people: love, loss, the need to keep on keeping on, no matter what ... [T]his novel sings."
  • The Wall Street Journal "[S]ardonically funny ... [Atwood] certainly has the tone exactly right, both for the linguistic hypocrisy that can disguise any kind of catastrophe, and for the contemptuous dismissal of those who point to disaster ... MaddAddam is at once a pre- and a post-apocalypse story."
  • Minneapolis Star Tribune "[T]here is something funny, even endearing, about such a dark and desperate view of a future -- a ravaged world emerging from alarmingly familiar trends -- that is so jam-packed with the gifts of imagination, invention, intelligence and joy. There may be some hope for us yet."
  • The Vancouver Sun "Margaret Atwood continues to flourish as she approaches her fifth decade of publication ... A thrilling and enchanting -- funny, sad, clever, audacious -- tale of grumpy, deflated, and perilous post-apocalyptic times, year 0.6."
  • Los Angeles Times "[T]he imaginative universe Atwood has created in these books is huge ... It's a dystopia, but it's still fun ... Atwood doesn't just ask what if, she raises an eyebrow and says, See where we're going? Yet she's not a pessimist: She's invented a future large enough to include, after the end of the world, people falling in love."
  • Boston Globe "This unsentimental narrative exposes the heart of human creativity as well as our self-destructive darkness ... MaddAddam is fueled with edgy humor, sardonic twists, hilarious coincidences."
  • Publishers Weekly, starred review "The final entry in Atwood's brilliant MaddAddam trilogy roils with spectacular and furious satire ... Her vision is as affirming as it is cautionary, and the conclusion of this remarkable trilogy leaves us not with a sense of despair at mankind's failings but with a sense of awe at humanity's barely explored potential to evolve."
  • Booklist "Ten years after Oryx & Crake rocked readers the world over, Atwood brings her cunning, impish, and bracing speculative trilogy--following The Year of the Flood--to a gritty, stirring, and resonant conclusion ... Atwood is ascendant, from her resilient characters to the feverishly suspenseful plot involving battles, spying, cyberhacking, murder, and sexual tension ... The coruscating finale in an ingenious, cautionary trilogy of hubris, fortitude, wisdom, love, and life's grand obstinacy."
  • The Independent (UK) "[T]ense and exciting ... MaddAddam is an extraordinary achievement ... Atwood's body of work will last precisely because she has told us about ourselves. It is not always a pretty picture, but it is true for all that."
  • The Independent (UK) "[MaddAddam] deploys its author's trademark cool, omniscient satire, but adds to that a real sense of engagement with a fallen world. Atwood has created something reminiscent of Shakespeare's late comedies; her wit and dark humour combine with a compassionate tenderness towards struggling human beings."
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MaddAddam
MaddAddam Trilogy, Book 3
Margaret Atwood
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