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Oryx and Crake

by Margaret Atwood

Snowman wakes up in a tree wrapped in a bed sheet, the last man on earth - or so he thinks. He has been left in charge of a tribe of cloned and modified 'humans' and lives out his days wrapped in an old bedsheet foraging for food in abandoned houses. In this brave new world genetic engineering has been taken to its logical, and sometimes hilarious (he witnesses the blue-bottomed mating rituals of the new-style 'humans'), conclusions.
However, far worse than Snowman's present world is the pre-apocopalyptic society, only a gene splice away from our own, where giant bio-tech corporations are manipulating the world to the cause of Mammon.
Snowman sets off in search of food and safety and on his dangerous journey relives the terrible events, including his love for Crake and Oryx, that led to the final catastrophe.
As dystopias go, Margaret Atwood's vision is unparalleled in its bleakness. It is a fine novel that, while never failing to entertain, explores increasingly relevant ethical and philosophical questions.

Read our interview with Margaret Atwood.

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