Tagged: Oryx and Crake

Reading in Bed Year in Review #1: Literary Crushes

I’ve been working away at a Year in Review mega-post for a while now, but realized if I wait to finish the whole thing, it’ll probably never get posted. So I’m posting it in pieces. Here’s a fun one to start with. Literary crushes: Not just for Twilight Moms.

This is also probably a good place to announce that I won a Bare it For Books calendar. So this list might grow after I receive it!

Author Crushes
1. Michael Ondaatje,
which I already embarrassed myself about here. Let’s just revisit this classic pic, and please do check out the source, the Can Lit is Sexy tumblr.

Michael Ondaatje Play Doctor

Via http://canlitissexy.tumblr.com which you should all visit immediately

2. Anton Chekhov. I was looking at some Wikipedia page about Russian authors, probably trying to determine if there were any women writing in the 1800s (seems not) when something caught my eye. It was Anton with his excellent hair and bone structure, and let’s just ignore the beard. If Bangable Dudes in History was still updating, I would submit this in a second.

via wikipedia

via wikipedia

3. Joseph Boyden. The lovely folks at Penguin Canada are sending me a copy of The Orenda so I can finally join in the award-snub outrage! In the meantime, check out Joseph’s holiday message for the Penguin Delights campaign – great smile, no pants, yes please:


Character Crushes

1. David Slaney from Lisa Moore’s Caught. David is one of those people who can seduce you by walking into a room. There’s a memorable scene where he is hiding from the police in a bride’s hotel room. She’s minutes away from walking down the aisle, and while they don’t, they come so close… dang.  In my head, David looks like James McAvoy circa The Last King of Scotland:

via filmdetail.com

via filmdetail.com

2. Jimmy from Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake. The secret’s out: Part of the reason I love O&C so much, and wasn’t as into the other Maddaddam books, is that I have a massive crush on Jimmy. Unlike David, who could have anyone, Jimmy only preys on vulnerable women. He’s got a massive inferiority complex. Mommy issues abound.  He’s awful, actually. I’m not sure what this says about me. If I were casting Jimmy, I’d go with 12 Monkeys era Brad Pitt. You know, a little dirty, a little crazy.

via extremetech.com

via extremetech.com

So, fess up: Who were your literary crushes this year?

Oryx and Crake Read-Along: Post Six (Part 13 – 15 Reaction)


For all the details on this read-along, head over to the sign up post on Reading in Winter.

Reading Parts 13-15 The shortest section, and after the shocker in part 12, maybe a little anti-climactic, I read this bit like a maniac, probably in the middle of the night, hoping to find out why.  Of course, I didn’t find out. The next morning, I bought The Year of the Flood. And yesterday, I finished Maddaddam, and so, the trilogy in it’s entirety. Full review of the whole shebang to come.

Part 13-15 Reaction

Poem: On revisiting this section, I noticed some nice symmetry in the table of contents. And when you think about it, the chapter titles kind of sound poetic, when read together. Don’t you think? Or is this a symptom of Atwood fangirling?


Continue reading

Oryx and Crake Read-Along: Post Five (Part 10 – 12 Reaction)


For all the details on this read-along, head over to the sign up post on Reading in Winter.

Reading Parts 10-12

I’m struggling to write about this section without spoilers – there are a couple major developments, and, while rereading in preparation for this post, I had a new thought that kind of blew my mind, but I can’t talk about it yet! So I’m going to take a different approach.

I am such a loser when I read, I often laugh, cry, gasp, put my hand over my mouth, or on my cheek, Home Alone style. Here are a few of my visceral reactions to this section:

Shudder: I still think Chickie Nobs win the prize, but there were a very passages that gave me the heebie jeebies:

Soon, said the artists, ignoring him, there would be nothing left but a series of long subterranean tubes covering the surface of the planet…People would creep along through this tubing, single file, stark naked, their only view the asshole of the one before them in line, their urine and excrement flowing down through vents in the floor, until there were randomly selected by a digitized mechanism, at which point they would be sucked up into a side tunnel, ground up, and fed to the other through a series of nipple shaped appendages on the inside of the tube.

That’s a little too Human Centipede for me.

Cringe: When Jimmy uses his dad’s turns of phrase, I cringe so hard. And wince. I’m embarrassed for him. I don’t know if he’s still parodying his parents, but his audience is gone. To his girlfriend Amanda, who has presumably not met dear old dad:

“I could join the ranks of the permanently unemployed. Or, hey, I could go on being a kept man, like now. Joke! Joke! Don’t kill me!” Continue reading

Oryx and Crake Read-Along: Post Four (Part 7 – 9 Reaction)


For all the details on this read-along, head over to the sign up post on Reading in Winter.

Reading Parts 7-9

This is probably the section of the book I remember the least about. Maybe I read it late at night. Or maybe I read it really fast, because we`re finally making some progress. Jimmy’s on the move, and he’s telling us more about Crake. Looking back, there are actually a bunch of really important things in these chapters, but I can’t talk about them yet! So if you`re still reading, PAY ATTENTION.

My thoughts are a little disjointed, but as always, there’s lots to comment on. The writing is so dense.

Continue reading

Oryx and Crake Read-Along: Post Three (Part 4 – 6 Reaction)


For all the details on this read-along, head over to the sign up post on Reading in Winter.

Reading Parts 4-6

If parts 1-3 left me engrossed, parts 4-6 left me enthralled. I read parts 4-6 on my first day with the book. It was near the end of this section that I realized I was going to finish the book soon – really soon.

I was staying in a cabin on Cape Breton Island with my family, and I must thank my 18-month-old for demanding to nurse constantly while we were away – we were down to once a day, but he was looking for something familiar, I guess. As much as it sucks (ha ha) to have a 30+ lb, squirmy, violent toddler latched on to you 24-7, there are benefits.  Oh, I guess I have to sit down and, oh, I’ll just grab my Kobo… no, no, you go to the beach without me… Seriously, I finished like four books on this vacation.

Anyways, the book. There’s a lot going on, and this section is more than twice as long as the previous one. Let’s get to it. Continue reading

Oryx and Crake Read-Along: Post Two (Part 1 – 3 Reaction)


For all the details on this read-along, head over to the sign up post on Reading in Winter.

“Read-along” implies that the participants will read the book on the same schedule. I deviated from the assigned dates a little bit with Moby Dick, but this is a bit extreme. I read the first assigned section, parts 1-3, in my first sitting. I believe I read all the way to part 6 or 7 on the first day. I tried to ration it. I tried to read my other book instead, but my other book was Northanger Abbey which is such a bore compared to this. I finished the book in four days. Continue reading

Oryx and Crake Read-Along: Post One (Introduction)

It’s time to get cracking on Oryx and Crake! Go to Readinginwinter.com for all the particulars, and apologies for formatting etc as I am writing this from my phone while on vacation.


My Copy
I’m reading on my Kobo, though it’s occurred to me that I should pick up a paper copy. Ereaders are great, but they are terribly for flipping through to find quotes. Unlike Moby-Dick, i probably can’t find the whole text of this one fee online, so I’ll have to pay up.

I saw the mass market paperback on the “Summer Reads” table at Chapters, which is odd, as I don’t really think of Atwood as beach read material.

What I Know About the Book
Not much at all. I noticed that “oryx” is in my phone’s dictionary, so maybe it’s a real word. I’m trying to stay away from google and go in blind.

I know it’s a trilogy, followed by The Year of the Flood and Maddadam. I don’t read many series so I’m intrigued and wary of the commitment!

My Experience Reading Atwood
To paraphrase a great 90s movie, Atwood is a totally important Canadian writer. I’ve read The Handmaid’s Tale (loved, but don’t remember well) and Surfacing, an early novel that I found a little too weird, and I like weird. Not having read more Atwood is one of my (not so) secret shames when it comes to CanLit.

What I Hope To Get Out of the Read-Along

I hope to absolve my CanLit guilt, improve my ratios of Canadian and female authors read this year, and find out what the heck an oryx is. Oh, and have fun!