There’s the story, then there’s the real story, then there’s the story of how the story came to be told. Then there’s what you leave out of the story. Which is part of the story too.

Title: MaddAddam
Author: Margaret Atwood
First Published: 2013
My Rating: 3 of 5 stars (average rating on Goodreads: 4:01)
I would recommend this book to: Margaret Atwood fans and dystopia fanatics
The Beginning: In the beginning, you lived inside the Egg.

I don’t just love dystopia, I LOVE dystopia! And Atwood is my all-time, no comparison, favourite author. Imagine my excitement when Atwood started a dystopia trilogy years back. I loved the two first books, Oryx and Crake and The Year of the Flood. MaddAddam is the conclusion to the trilogy and I’ve been waiting for it forever. Finally it’s mine.

Atwood’s writing is as good as ever, her simple yet beautiful story telling never ceases to amaze me. She is always clever, yet unpretentious. She entertains, but always manages to guide her reader to a deeper level – or as many levels deep as the reader can manage. And she makes us think – if we want to.

But compared to the two previous instalments, this novel disappointed me a bit. I guess I had expected more – both as finale to the trilogy and as an Atwood novel in general. Don’t get me wrong; I enjoyed it, but it left me thinking “That’s it?” Maybe my three stars are unfair – it may very well be that I would have given it four stars had it been written by any other author. But when it comes to Atwood, I have certain expectations.

I missed what Atwood masters: storytelling. We follow a group of characters, but only get under the skin of two of them. And we don’t go deep enough or far enough. What we get is good, but there just wasn’t that much of it – esp. compared to the previous instalments.

I really liked the Crakers. Albeit a bit annoying, it was fun observing Toby trying to explain things to the Crakers. I wish the story wouldn’t end here. But maybe that’s Atwood’s genius: I’ve caught myself thinking back to the characters, wondering how they were doing now. Just like real people.

This review is getting messy – sorry about that. But it represents how I feel: The novel is very good, but not Atwood-good. Or what I would expect of Atwood. And that’s why it gets three stars, even though it may deserve four.


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