Heads Up: MaddAddam
Back to the future: Margaret Atwood speculates once more
Sunday 14 July 2013
What are we talking about?
What are we talking about? Margaret Atwood’s third instalment in the trilogy that began with Oryx and Crake and continued with The Year of the Flood. By this stage, pretty much all human life has been obliterated by genetic engineering, corrupt corporations, and the Waterless Flood pandemic. Where to go next?
Some flying pigs are more equal than others in Atwood’s latest dystopian vision.
The Canadian novelist, poet, and literary critic has written more than 50 books, including 1987’s A Handmaid’s Tale and 2000’s The Blind Assassin. The latter won her the Booker Prize, and she has been nominated a further four times. Meanwhile she has also been awarded the Arthur C Clarke Award for sci-fi. She is also one of the literary world’s most prolific tweeters.
The only humans left in MaddAddam are mushroom-and-bee-expert Toby and her flirtatious-but-shady lover Zeb, whose mysterious past will be revealed. They share the planet with Crakers, gentle, green-eyed creatures bio-engineered to replace humans, God’s Gardeners, a group of not-quite human but pacifist survivors, and the giant and menacing hog-like Pigoons. All of them are threatened by the Painballers: vicious, dehumanised former prisoners.
The early buzz
An early review by trade publication Publishers Weekly has raved that “it roils with spectacular and furious satire ... [Atwood’s] 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.”
As part of the publicity campaign to launch the book, Atwood will be joining the cruise liner RMS Queen Mary 2 on its transatlantic journey from New York to the UK between 15 and 22 August, signing advance copies for fellow passengers.
It’s great that…
The book includes a clear summary of the previous instalments.
It’s a shame that...
Some misguided readers may be put off by the book’s science-fiction bent. Although Atwood herself prefers the classification “speculative fiction”, in any case.
Hit potential The first two books in the trilogy were international bestsellers, so there is nothing to suggest this one won’t be too.
The details MaddAddam is published on 29 August by Bloomsbury.
There’s revolution in the air, but one lady’s not for turningTV
Robin Thicke admits he didn't write 'Blurred Lines'music
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Rihanna 'nude photos' claims emerge on 4Chan as hacking scandal continues
- 2 Frank Lampard equalises for Manchester City against Chelsea: how Twitter reacted
- 3 Stamford Hill council removes 'unacceptable' posters telling women which side of the road to walk down
- 4 Kim Kardashian 'nude photos' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence scandal
- 5 Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
Downton Abbey series 5, episode 1, review: Revolution still seems far off
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written
Friends 20th anniversary: The highs and lows of the cast's careers since TV series ended in 2004
Downton Abbey series 5, episode 1, ITV, review: There’s revolution in the air, but one lady’s not for turning
Friends 20th anniversary: Six things we wouldn't have without influential comedy series
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Hilary Mantel 'should be investigated by police' over Margaret Thatcher assassination story, says Lord Bell
Plebgate MP Andrew Mitchell called officer a 'little s**t', claim court documents 'exposing ex-Chief Whip's 'record of abusing police'
Scotland could still declare independence – even without referendum, says Alex Salmond