Payback – Margaret Atwood

Margaret Atwood is one of my favourite authors, so I had to pick up this non fiction collation of lectures she had given on the nature of debt.

Payback is not an economics book, but is instead a book looking at the human perception of debt and revenge as a form of debt as something which is owed. Atwood looks at a variety of fictional sources to illustrate this concept, focusing on Dickens’ work focusing on the impact debt has on the human condition.

Atwood has some fascinating insights into the nature of debt, and Payback is as well-written as the best of her fiction.

The Year of the Flood – Margaret Atwood

The Year of the Flood is in the same setting as Atwood’s Oryx and Crake with many of the same characters featured. As a prequel to Oryx it is a good stand-alone novel, although there is a slight focus on the characters who become Oryx and Crake respectively.

The plot centres around a ‘Waterless Flood’ which takes the form of a deadly pandemic. This has been foreseen and prepared for by a minor eccentric environmental psudo-Christian movement, who style themselves after Noah preparing for the biblical flood. We hear from different perspectives what life was like in the build up to the pandemic and those who survived looking for and defending themselves from other survivors.

Atwood creates believable and terrifying distopian futures well, and this is no exception.