Margaret Atwood, heartbreaker

I just finished The Year of the Flood and am eagerly awaiting third book in Margaret Atwood’s Oryx & Crake-verse, MaddAdam.

Or sort of eagerly awaiting it. I found myself, the closer I crept to the end of The Year of the Flood, reading slower and slower. Not because the material was in some way significantly getting more dense or that I was cringing at how it might wrap up, but simply because I didn’t want it to end. As I closed in on the final pages, I increasingly realized that once I finished The Year of the Flood, I only had one more book left before that world would be wrapped up in a tidy bow and completed. Just one more book in this wild-yet-possible future of Atwood’s creation.

As a fan, that’s the double-edged sword. You want more Star Wars, but then you get Phantom Menace and cringe. You love OutKast and think they’ll never do better than Stankonia, but if OutKast hadn’t evolved, then years later they wouldn’t have blown your mind with Speakerboxxx/Love Below. You read about Oryx, Crake, Snowman, Ren, Amanda, Adam One and all of the others, and you just want to read more about the world of the Waterless Flood.

That other sharp, gleaming edge … if you bind a mind and imagination like Atwood’s solely to that fictional existence, what is the opportunity cost? As much as I love Oryx & Crake and The Year of the Flood, and as much as I expect to love MaddAdam, my favorites from Atwood’s catalogue are still The Handmaid’s Tale and The Blind Assassin. The world of the Waterless Flood is not enough. I need to see where else Atwood’s mind will roam. I want to know what else Atwood can do, what new characters she will create, what unique ways she will develop to attack and undermine a global politico-corporate system that oppresses so many. Atwood unbound is the Atwood I want to read.

So I will cherish MaddAdam, and drag out those last hundred or so pages, as long as I can. And then I’ll eagerly await whatever other offerings Atwood chooses to bestow upon her readers.

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