Feature

Novel of the week: MaddAddam by Margaret Atwood

Margaret Atwood brings her singular post-apocalyptic trilogy to a “strangely satisfying” conclusion.

(Nan A. Talese, $28)

“The world has rarely ended so beautifully,” said J. Robert Lennon in The Globe and Mail (Canada). In the final volume of a trilogy she launched with 2003’s Oryx and Crake, Margaret Atwood offers little in the way of new action, but still brings her singular post-apocalyptic epic to a “strangely satisfying” conclusion. Once again, the reader embeds with a small band of survivors who, in the wake of a global pandemic, are caring for a few childlike humanoids, known as Crakers, who stand to inherit the world. But rather than staging multiple mortal battles, Atwood teases out “some of the subtler ramifications” of the scenario she’s devised. She “miraculously balances humor, outrage, and beauty” on every page, said Andrew Sean Greer in The New York Times. As Toby, our heroine, tries to explain recent history to the Crakers, storytelling becomes Atwood’s subject. The Crakers, like humans before them, must begin the project of building their world by embracing a beautiful fiction.

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