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

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It’s time for the THIRD reaction post for the Oryx & Crake read-along! If you haven’t read this book, there will be SPOILERS ahead, so use caution! I will definitely post a spoiler-free review of the book in the new year.

Have you signed up for the read-along yet? You can do so HERE.

Did you miss my first reaction post? You can read it HERE.

Did you miss my second reaction post? You can read it HERE.

oryx and crakePart 7 – 9 Reaction

As I got about three pages in to this week’s reading, i came to the conclusion that none of the food in the book has sounded appetizing — ant-covered mangoes, baby turd cocktail sausages. *cringes* Clearly, this isn’t a world where taste is a factor.

“Crake!” he whimpers. “Why am I on this earth? How come I’m alone? Where’s my Bride of Frankenstein?”

Anyway, I’m very curious as to who Snowman actually is. He comes across people who still seem to be the Children of Crake — is Snowman the last of his kind? Where did everyone go? How did he survive? Was he the only one saved by Crake? And who is this Crake person, anyway? The last we saw, he was a kid growing up with Snowman/Jimmy, but now he seems to be some kind of genius who’s engineering this world. I DON’T GET IT! And if he and Jimmy were so close (at least, I’m assuming their friendship in “before” is close), then why is Crake like a God and Jimmy some unhappy nobody who doesn’t even have protection against the wolvogs?

At any rate, Jimmy is still a very unhappy camper — just soo pessimistic that it makes my heart hurt. We learn more about his mother, though, and I’ve come to the conclusion that a lot of his unhappiness stems from losing her. Or thinking that he lost her — maybe seeing her on the TV during that protest put thoughts in his head that she abandoned him because he was him? Not, like Oryx said, for a different reason? That hurt of her adandonment still seems to haunt him.

“God is a cluster of neurons.”

I will admit, my jaw dropped when I read about the idea of mating and childrearing. I thought it was absolutely hilarious that Crake programmed it so that women went into heat once every three years was enough AND that her butt and male’s penises turn blue when ready to go. AND when she is pregnant, the blue fades. I understand the concept of it all — less unrequited love, no prostitutes, no guessing games when it comes to romance (since, obviously, romance doesn’t exist anymore), but it’s still nuts. And then there’s the idea of childrearing being a waste of time — more specifically, how the first 16 years of a child’s life is unnecessary. Instead, they pretty much spurt from newborn to adult in no time (carrying my own child now for 5 months, I thought this was crazy!).

And the purring! What is with that? Oh that all ailments of this world could be cured by purring. It would main pain-intolerant people like me happy.

Why is it he feels some line has been crossed, some boundary transgressed? How much is too much, how far is too far?

When we get to go to Crake’s school for geniuses, things get so weird. Remember that food thing I talked about earlier? I would be lying if I said I wasn’t completely crossed out by the fact that chicken is grown — from a chicken without a head, but rather a hold where the nutrients are poured in. From there, the breasts and drumsticks grow off the parent bird.

Gross.

Or the wolvogs. Yes, it sounds like a feat to create these seemingly innocent beasts, but to think that nature and life won’t find a way, that they won’t escape is ridiculous.

I’m also curious what happened to art in this society. It seems that anything that might let the mind think outside of the box of physics, genetics, and all that, has been completely wiped out of the curriculums. Already, we see this in our society — art and music classes being taken away at schools, the focus going more on academics. How is it that our minds have made it so that everyone must be a genius in anything that isn’t (in my opinion) fun? Like how being a child for 16 years is frowned upon — whatever happened to just … being? Why must we all be scholars?

Take your time, leave mine alone. 

Regarding Crake’s dreams and the screaming — when Jimmy says that “[every] moment he’s lived in the past few months was dreamed first by Crake,” does he mean that Crake’s dreaming up what the future brings? And that it’s terrifying?

There’s a section in Part 9 that talks about how once society crumbles, it can’t be built back up again because all of the resources used to originally build society would no longer be available. Are we overusing the resources we have? Will the day come when the world will crumble and there’ll be no forest left to fashion even the simplest of devices? Basically, are we screwing ourselves?

I’ll leave my update with this:

“Remember the plight of the dentists, after that new mouthwash came in? The one that replaced plaque bacteria with friendly ones that filled the same ecological niche, namely your mouth? No one ever needed a filling again, and a lot of dentists went bust.” 

Want.

One news article I remembered while reading these chapters: 

Tomorrow’s Food: What You’ll Be Eating Soon (MacLeans, April 2012)

And one song I thought of: 

“Do you wait for the tick-tock of the infinite clock … 
And think you’re keeping time?”

Reading Schedule

Are you participating in this read-along? What are your thoughts on parts 7 – 9? 

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

  1. I think I’m at the point in the book where I’m having LOST flashbacks. Give me some god damn answers!!!

    Even thought I’m LOVING the book, the one criticism I have is that we have no concept of what the world is actually like. Jimmy’s telling of the story is so insular, it’s so relegated to his own experience. I want to know how many people there are, how society is functioning, is there government, is Crake ruling like a king? Do people still drive cars, buy groceries, make art, watch television … it seems like all of this is gone, but such total societal desolation seems insane. How can things happen so completely? What did Crake do?!

    I CAN’T WAIT to meet current-day Crake. He’s built up into a super villain in my head at this point haha. It’s going to be awesome.

  2. Pingback: Oryx and Crake Read-Along: Final Post (Part 13 – 15 Reaction) | Reading In Winter

My home is where my books are. - Ellen Thompson

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