Poor Jimmy

oryx-and-crake-2

Oryx and Crake · Margaret Atwood
Random House, 2003 · 376 pages, paperback

Chickens have been reduced to tits and meat (heads no longer required) and pigs have become living organ farms. Live executions, porn, assisted suicides and naked news anchors stream freely online. Botox is laughable because new skins, head to toe, can be grown if you have enough money. Art and language are, at best, mere tools for marketing scientific achievements or, at worst, subjects of derision. Jimmy grows up in a future that is a grotesque parody of our own present.

And then plague erases this comedy and it really is time to start anew. This second future is the milieu of the Crakers, and it isn’t always easy to tell which is the more bleak.

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