Thursday, October 08, 2009

Very Anti-Burger

This evening [in a Starbucks near me] I finished reading Margaret Atwood's latest doomsday book.
The Year of the Flood.
Do I think you should read it?
Yes, I do.
I am not going to write any sort of official review of it here, I will direct you, later on, to a really terrific posting -- but I just wanted to drop by and suggest that this is a significant, enjoyable, bleak, and masterfully crafted work of art.
Do not stumble over that word "bleak".
If any well-written dystopia about the demise of civilization is ever anything but horrendously bleak, well, it's probably quite unrealistic.
We're talking about THE END OF THE WORLD HERE!
And one thing I found especially horrid in this new work of Maggie's, is that in her particular armageddon she even attacks the entire realm of hamburger!
That's messing with the sacred!
In these pages we find the world of the SecretBurger, [one word] made from pretty much whatever fell into the grinder that day, even humans!

In an undated future and unspecified land [even though it is quite obviously Somewhere U.S.A.]... a religious cult called God's Gardeners gather converts, and preach about the coming pandemic! This group, led by the ever-wise Adam One are something straight out of Harrowsmith magazine. They "don't eat anything with a face."
They talk to bees. Are opposed to all forms of modernized technology.
And, most amazingly [unlike real cults] their predictions and dire warnings COME TRUE!
The world is devastated by plague.
Many of these God's Gardeners survive the plague, in one [overall plausible] way or another... along with more than a desirable amount of carnivorous villains, to make survival all that more interesting.
Let the games begin!
What happens in a dog-eat-dog world, when the heroic survivors would never eat a damn good hamburger, much less, a dog?

For former readers of Atwood's Oryx and Crake, let me just say that I found this book to be a much more enjoyable read. Enjoyable, in the sense of...... just all-around better! I initially thought it was a sequel [if anything, maybe it ends up being a prequel?]... but, regardless, you do not need to take a massive refresher-course in Oryxandcrake-ism to read The Year of the Flood.
It's a terrific book, and let's face it, coming from a die-hard carnivore who as early as this very morning made himself a breakfast that contained four strips of bacon and two chicken embryos, that's saying something!

At this point I will now direct you towards a REAL review... one that is not only erudite and contains actual quotes and stuff, but is just, in about 14 different ways, about 17 times better than what I have written, above.
Read Isabella, at --> Magnificent Octopus!



Stefanie said...

So is Maggie convincing you to relent in your burgerly ways or are you a card carrying member of the SecretBurger Society? :) I am glad to hear the book is good. I was rather disappointed with Oryx and Crake, though even a not so good Atwood book is better than most books.

Beth said...

I’m not fond of futuristic novels (even those written by Atwood) but based on the review I read via that link and your own take on this book (minus the hamburger bit!) I’ll give it a go.

Isabella K said...

Wasn't it good?! But, oh, you are so full of... burgers. Thanks for your kind words, but the honest truth is my review is only 3 times better in maybe 2 ways, and even that's a stretch. :)

BTW, Atwood's own technical term to describe the relationship between YOTF and O&C is "simultaneuel."

Thomas Hogglestock said...

Boy I can't wait to read this one. I ordered mine weeks ago, but I stupidly ordered it with other things that won't be available until later this month, then made the mistake of choosing to have them shipped (for free) all at the same time. So I have to wait. Sigh.