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The Year of the Flood - Book of the Month

by Margaret Atwood

“Beware of words. Be careful what you write. Leave no trails.”

It is Year 25, the location is indeterminate and a virulent pandemic - the “flood” - has descended. While luminous green rabbits silflay, keeping an eye open for cuddly-but-deadly liobams, (woolly sheep/lion hybrids) escaped prisoners, survivors of the mutual-elimination Painball prison, also roam, seeking very specific human prey.

The story is told through two female survivors, Ren and Toby. Their back-stories detail the chaotic world leading up to the flood. This is a world of huge inequalities where anarchic gangs rove and where the privileged live in high-security, hermetically-sealed, narcotically-managed, communities, which are regulated by the CorpSeCorps security police. When the flood descends Toby is living as a member of the God’s Gardeners an environmentalist, vegetarian creed, while Ren is an exotic dancer in the slimily named Scales and Tails sex club. Both are trapped in the buildings where they work each wondering if there is anyone else out there…

Multinational corporations, pharmaceutical companies, human greed and fundamentalist doctrine are the focus for this, the latest dystopian polemic from Atwood and aficionados may feel that they’ve been here before. They will recognise characters and situations from her 2003 novel, Oryx and Crake, but this fast-paced, hip, and sometimes hilarious satire bursts with imagination, compassion, brilliant wordplay and an exciting, thought-provoking narrative about those topics that need constantly to be highlighted.

Keep ‘em coming Mags!

Irene Haynes

Read our interview with Margaret Atwood.

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