Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Year Of The Flood

The Year Of The Flood is Margaret Atwood’s latest novel about the world gone wrong. It is the same dystopian world she envisioned with the novel Oryx and Crake. The world has been decimated by a plague. The Year Of The Flood focuses on two women, who aren’t separated by a great distance, but each believes they are alone. They aren’t sure how long they are going to survive; their food sources are dwindling. Will they find each other or anyone else?

The Year Of The Flood is an intense read. So much happens in just over four hundred pages. I had to put the book down a few times to think about what had just happened. It was beautifully and intelligently written. The story was exciting and unique. It took the worst of human nature and accentuated it, then sprinkled it with the best. The Gardeners seemed like a crazy cult, but who were the ones to survive the Waterless Flood?

The main characters, Toby and Ren, are amazing people. Toby has been hardened over the years through her many trials, before and after The Flood. Everyone, including Ren, thinks Ren is weak, but she has to be strong to survive everything she has and not end up giving up on life. The last hundred pages are so exciting that I could barely put it down.

I read Oryx and Crake a few years ago, but I don’t think it’s necessary to read it first. The Year Of The Flood is not a sequel, it’s a parallel story. Many of the characters overlap, including the main ones, but I don’t think it takes away from the story. I want to re-read Oryx and Crake now, because I don’t think I remember the story as well as I thought. The first thing I thought about Jimmy was that I don’t remember Jimmy/Snowman being such an @$$hole. I don’t remember reading about some of the other characters either. I definitely need a break from the intensity though. Bad things happen to good people. Happiness is frail and fleeting. This book is about truth and possibility. The Year Of The Flood is one of Atwood’s best.

Other's Reviews:
The Book Mine Set
Kate's Bookcase
So Many Books 
Literary Musings
If you've reviewed this book, let me know and I'll add your link.


  1. I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed it too. A lot of the reviews that I've read have been negative or mixed, but it was one of my favourite books of 2009.

  2. This sounds fantastic! I fell in love with Atwood's work last year after reading The Handmaid's Tale (which I know is one of your all-time faves), and I have O&C on my shelf begging to be read. I'll definitely read YOFTF as soon as I can!

  3. Kate, I've read a couple less than stunning reviews and I can understand how these individuals came to their opinions. There is quite a bit of jumping around in perspective, not just between Ren and Toby, but between first and third person. Not everyone is going to appreciate the Gardener hyms or Adam One's speeches. It depends on if you like novels that do that sort of thing. I thought it went well with the tone of the story.

    Teacher, I LOVE The Handmaid's Tale. I've actually been itching to re-read it. But after reading this, I think if I re-read an Atwood, it might have to be Oryx and Crake. We'll see.

  4. I also read The Year of the Flood as couple of years after reading Oryx and Crake and felt like re-reading it after. However, I will wait until the third book is published and will reread them both at that time.
    Good review!