Every time I've hopped into the car to go anywhere for the past two weeks I've listened to Margaret Atwood's The Year of the Flood . I would even listen to it when I was driving a very short distance. I had to! I was compelled to consume this book as fast as I could. Margaret Atwood's writing is so strong she can make a failing world seem compelling. As far as audiobooks go this one is quite unique with three different voice actors reading the parts of Ren, Toby, and Adam1. There was also singing. All of Adam1's goofy hymns were put to music. But more on that in a minute. Apparently, the book is a sequel or an addition to her earlier book, Oryx and Crake, which introduces a dystopian society on the brink of apocalypse. That story was told from the aspect of the elites and CorpSeCorp, their corrupt paramilitary security force, that rules the world...what's left of it. This one covers the end of civilization mainly from the point of view of the "have-not" people.
Ren and Toby are members of a religious sect called God's Gardeners. Adam1 is their leader. He preaches that a waterless flood is coming and that God's Gardeners must prepare themselves for its eventuality. They do so by eating only a vegan diet, growing or gleaning all their food, using only recycled products, and setting aside food to be used once the flood hits. All of the hymns that they sing are related to extinct animals, or fungus, or vegan diets...weird stuff to sing about. Prior to the cataclysmic event that ushers in the beginning of the "flood" both Ren and Toby are separated from Adam1 and the Gardeners. For a time after the "flood" they think themselves to be the only survivors.
I didn't read Oryx and Crake before I read The Year of the Flood. In fact, I didn't even know that the books were partners until I was well into the story. I never felt like I missed something from the earlier story that was necessary to understand this one. I don't consider myself to be a Sci-Fi fan yet would put this book way up on the list of books that I will recommend to others. Margaret Atwood can write. Her characters are multifaceted, her settings fully flushed out, and her storyline is compelling. What more does one want from a novel?
As I read, a thought kept popping into my head. That nagging, pesky thought that sometimes keeps me awake at night. What if this book comes true? Oh please, oh please, oh please, do not let this book come true. Read it and see what I mean!