The flood referred to by the title of Margaret Atwood’s new novel isn’t the biblical deluge, sent by God to wipe out wickedness and sin, but a waterless one: an uncommon pandemic that cannot be contained by “biotools and bleach,” and that sweeps “through the air as if on wings,” burning “through cities like fire, spreading germ-ridden mobs, terror and butchery.” This flood has killed millions upon millions, and electrical, digital and industrial systems are failing, as their human keepers die.
In “The Year of the Flood” we are transported to a world that is part Hieronymus Bosch, part “A Clockwork Orange.” “Total breakdown” is upon the land, and a private security firm named CorpsSeCorps has seized power, taking control where the local police forces have collapsed from lack of financing. The Corps people not only use brutal tactics like Internal Rendition to enforce their will, but they are also conducting sinister experiments, monkeying with human and animal genetics and creating strange new mutant species.
- Michiko Kakutani, New York Times Online
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