The Year of the Flood (MaddAddam Trilogy, Book 2) and millions of other books are available for instant access. The Year of the Flood (MaddAddam Trilogy) Paperback – July 27, Set in the visionary future of Atwood’s acclaimed Oryx and Crake, The Year of the Flood is at. About The Year of the Flood. Adam One, the kindly leader of the God's Gardeners - a religion devoted to the melding of science and religion, the preservation of. The The Year of the Flood Community Note includes chapter-by-chapter summary and analysis, character list, theme list, historical context, author biography and.


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But Margaret Atwood doesn't want any of her books to be called science fiction. In her recent, brilliant essay collection, Moving Targets, she says that everything that happens in her novels is possible and may even have already the year of the flood, so they can't be science fiction, which is "fiction in which things happen that are not possible today".

This arbitrarily restrictive definition seems designed to protect her novels from being relegated to a genre still shunned by hidebound readers, reviewers and prize-awarders. She doesn't want the literary bigots to shove her into the literary ghetto.

The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood | Book review | Books | The Guardian

Who can blame her? I feel obliged to respect her wish, although it forces me, too, into a false position.

I could talk about her new book more freely, more truly, if I could talk about it as what it is, using the lively vocabulary of modern science-fiction criticism, giving it the praise it deserves as a work of unusual cautionary imagination and satirical invention.

As it is, I must restrict myself to the vocabulary and expectations suitable to a realistic novel, even if forced by those limitations the year of the flood a the year of the flood favourable stance. So, then, the novel begins in Year 25, the Year of the Flood, without explanation of what era it is the 25th year of, and for a while without explanation of the word "Flood".

We will gather that it was a Dry Flood, and that the term refers to the extinction of - apparently - all but a very few members of the human species by a nameless epidemic. The nature and symptoms of the disease, aside from coughing, are undescribed.

One needs no description of such events when they are part of history or the reader's experience; a reference to "the Black Plague" or "the swine flu" is enough. But here, failure to describe the year of the flood nature of the illness and the days of its worst virulence leaves the epidemic an abstraction, novelistically weightless.

Perhaps on the principle that since everything in her novel is possible and may have already happened so the reader is familiar with it, the author doles out useful information sparingly.

The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood

I sometimes felt that I was undergoing, and failing, a test of my cleverness at guessing from hints, reading between lines and recognising allusions to an earlier novel.

The Year of the Flood is a continuation of, not exactly a sequel to, Oryx and Crake.

Several characters from the earlier book appear, along with such institutions as God's Gardeners and the Corporations. The Gardeners, an eco-religious sect, farm rooftops, which can be defended from the gangs the year of the flood marauders who infest the streets, and try to follow a way of harmony with nature through the breakdown of civilisation.

Presented with irony and affection, the Gardeners are a vividly memorable invention.


As for the Corporations, these are not the dear familiar corporations that now control our governments in a more or less surreptitious fashion. In the novel, no national governments appear to be functioning.


The setting may be the upper Midwest of the US or Canada, but there is no geography, no history. The Corporations, and particularly their security arm CorpSeCorps, are in total control.

The Year of the Flood - Wikipedia

As in the earlier book, all science and technology is Corporation-owned, in the service of furthering capitalist growth and keeping the populace unrevolutionary, while destroying the resources and ecological balances of the planet at an ever-increasing rate.

Genetic manipulation has been busy producing useless or noxious monsters such as green rabbits, rakunks, and partly rational pigs. You can see that the world of the Year 25 is not an improvement on the world of that other great realistic novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four.

It is, if possible, even more depressing, most of humanity being dead and the few survivors scrabbling out an evidently hopeless existence.

Not even Beckett could make a scene so bleak endurable for several hundred pages. Much of the the year of the flood takes place in flashbacks the year of the flood as early as the Year Five, when things were bad, but not that bad, yet.


And the story finds its vitality in the characters through whose eyes we see these scenes.

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