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MaddAddam, Margaret Atwood's highly anticipated conclusion to the 'disturbingly credible' dystopian trilogy begun with Orynx and Crake and The Year of the Flood, has finally

arrived and gets the Book Talk treatment this month, at the hands of Paul Gallagher, freelance writer Lee Randall and Book Riot contributor Edd McCracken.

Bringing together the parallel stories covered in the first two books, MaddAddam follows a small tribe of survivors of a man-made plague, focusing mainly on former God's Gardener Toby and Zeb, the object of her affections. Surrounding them are a madcap cast that includes Snowman-the-Jimmy, a reluctant, hallucinating prophet; Amanda, the survivor of a vicious attack at the novel's start; and Ivory Bill, who loves Swift Fox, who's attracted to Zeb.

Atwood's story is darkly humorous, chilling and deals with an enormous number of themes: misogyny, storytelling, rape and trauma, and bioengineering, to name just a few. Was Atwood successful in balancing all her ideas, or does the book fall short? Does the book manage to convey her usual mastery of delving deeply into her characters? Is it possible to enjoy this book as a standalone, or is it necessary to read the entire trilogy? Find out what our panel has to say, and leave your thoughts on MaddAddam and Atwood's work in the comments below or by tweeting us your thoughts @scottishbktrust or leaving a message on our Facebook page.

BookTalk is produced by Colin Fraser of Culture Laser Productions.

Filed In: Book Talk, Reading Tags: Margaret Atwood, dystopia