The dark humour and attention to detail that Atwood is known for is definitely one of the strong points of this book. It just made the crazy things happening seem more realistic. Really, it’s one of the best dystopias I’ve ever read, and I do love them, so that’s saying a lot.
While Oryx and Crake was told from the point of view of Jimmy and focused largely on the events that took place, especially what led up to the pandemic, The Year of the Flood focuses more on the lives of other characters, especially the God’s Gardeners, and is told from the alternating perspectives of Toby and Ren. The story is more about how the characters lived before the pandemic, why they survived it, and how they are continuing to live and trying to figure out what to do in a world where they’re not sure if there is anyone else alive.
I forgot how much I loved Atwood’s writing until I picked up this book.
Oryx and Crake is a cross between a post-apocalyptic novel of speculative fiction (Atwood reportedly doesn’t agree with it being labelled as “science fiction”) and dystopian fiction at its finest. It’s different from The Handmaid’s Tale, which is based on a national theocracy, while Oryx and Crake is based more on the idea of scientific creations and discoveries that affect the future of humanity.