Margaret Atwood: MaddAddam

MaddAddam is the third novel in Margaret Atwood’s dystopian trilogy, following Oryx and Crake and The Year of the Flood. Published in 2013, the novel continues to explore a post-apocalyptic world ravaged by a man-made plague, and it examines humanity’s capacity for destruction and redemption.


number of pages: 416
literary movement: POSTMODERNISM
1st edition: 2013


The narrative primarily focuses on two storylines: the present-day survival of the small group of human and post-human characters, and the past told through the character Zeb’s life story.

The protagonists from the first two novels converge in MaddAddam. The God’s Gardeners group (Toby, Ren, Amanda, and others), the Crakers (genetically engineered humanoid beings), and Jimmy (also known as Snowman) come together in their fight for survival. As they struggle to form a new society, they must also confront the remaining Painballers, violent criminals who pose a significant threat.

One of the main narrative arcs in MaddAddam revolves around Zeb. His history is revealed through stories he recounts to Toby, with whom he’s in a relationship. His narrative provides an understanding of the corporate world’s rampant corruption, which contributed to the societal downfall. As a former member of the MaddAddamite underground hacktivist group, Zeb’s stories introduce readers to the resistance efforts against the powerful corporations.

As the survivors navigate their new existence, Toby takes on the role of a teacher for the Crakers, the bioengineered creatures created by Crake. They are innately peaceful, naive, and struggle to comprehend the complexities of the human world. The Crakers’ inquiries about religion lead to Toby inventing a mythology with Zeb and others as key figures.

MaddAddam further explores the consequences of advanced biotechnology, genetic manipulation, and corporate power, themes introduced in the earlier books. Simultaneously, it delves into topics of love, sex, community, spirituality, and storytelling as essential aspects of the human experience. The novel illustrates the capacity of stories to preserve history, impart wisdom, inspire, and provide comfort.

Atwood also introduces a sliver of hope in the otherwise bleak narrative. The hybrid human-Craker child born to a human woman, hinting at the potential for new life and perhaps a new kind of species in this drastically altered world.



1st book – Oryx and Crake
2nd book – The Year of the Flood
3rd book – MaddAddam


Jimmy (Snowman)

The protagonist of the story, Jimmy was once a brilliant scientist who worked for a company called Rejoice. He was also in love with Oryx, a young woman who was sold into sexual slavery. When Oryx was killed, Jimmy became disillusioned with the world and created a new society of genetically engineered humans called the Crakers. After the apocalypse, Jimmy is found by Toby and Ren, and he joins their group of survivors.


A young woman who was raised by the God’s Gardeners, a religious group that preached environmentalism and sustainability. Toby is a skilled herbalist and midwife, and she is also a talented storyteller. After the apocalypse, Toby joins forces with Ren and Jimmy to rebuild society.


A former Painballer who was rescued by Toby and Amanda. Ren is a skilled fighter and hunter, and she is also a loyal friend. After the apocalypse, Ren joins forces with Toby and Jimmy to rebuild society.

Amanda Payne

A former Painballer who was rescued by Toby and Ren. Amanda is a brilliant scientist who was working on a cure for the virus that killed most of the human population. After the apocalypse, Amanda joins forces with Toby, Jimmy, and Ren to rebuild society.

The Crakers

A group of genetically engineered humans created by Jimmy. The Crakers are peaceful and innocent, and they have a deep connection to nature. After the apocalypse, the Crakers join forces with Toby, Jimmy, Ren, and Amanda to rebuild society.

The best way of being kind to bears is not to be very close to them.



  • The book is set in a post-apocalyptic world where a bioengineered plague has wiped out most of humanity. The plague was created by Crake, a brilliant scientist who worked for the corporation that created the Crakers. Crake created the plague in an attempt to rid the world of humanity, which he saw as a destructive and self-destructive species.
  • The main characters are Toby, Ren, Jimmy (Snowman), Amanda Payne, Zeb, and the Crakers. Toby is a young woman who was raised in the God’s Gardeners, a religious group that believes in living in harmony with nature.
  • Toby is a strong, resourceful, and fiercely loyal to her friends. She is determined to find other survivors and rebuild society.
  • Ren is also a strong and resourceful woman. She is a skilled fighter and a natural leader. She is determined to help Toby find other survivors and rebuild society.
  • Jimmy (Snowman) Crake is a complex and enigmatic character. He is brilliant, but he is also cold and calculating. He is determined to create a new world, a world without humanity.
  • Amanda Payne is a traumatized young woman. She has been through a lot, but she is also a survivor. She is determined to find a place in the new world.
  • Zeb is a kind and gentle man. He is quickly falling in love with Toby. He is determined to help Toby and her friends rebuild society.
  • The Crakers are a new species of human being created by Crake. They are innocent and loving, but they are also vulnerable to the dangers of the new world. They are determined to learn about the old world and find their place in the new world.
  • The characters must learn to trust each other and work together if they are to rebuild civilization. They must overcome their differences and work together to create a new world, a world that is better than the old world.
  • MaddAddam is a complex and thought-provoking novel that explores the themes of love, loss, hope, and survival. It is a story about the power of the human spirit and the importance of community.

MaddAddam ends on a cautiously hopeful note, with the Painballers defeated, Toby and Zeb’s relationship maturing, and the birth of the hybrid child. However, the long-term survival of the remaining beings remains uncertain, leaving the reader to ponder the potential future of this devastated world. The novel is a profound meditation on humanity’s capacity for both destruction and resilience, underscored by Atwood’s sharp wit and dark humor.


Locus Award for Best Novel



Margaret Atwood is a renowned Canadian author, poet, literary critic, and environmental activist. With a career spanning over five decades, she has written numerous novels, short stories, and essays that have been translated into more than 40 languages. Atwood is best known for her speculative fiction works, which often explore themes of feminism, social and political critique, and environmentalism.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *