4 September 2009


[Toby] shared the bathroom with six illegal Thai immigrants, who kept very quiet. It was said that the CorpSeCorps had decided that expelling illegals was too expensive, so they'd resorted to the method used by farmers who found a diseased cow in the herd: shoot, shovel, and shut up.

On the floor below her there was an endangered-species luxury couture operation called Slink. They sold Halloween costumes over the counter to fool the animal-righter extremists and cured the skins in the backrooms...The skinned carcasses were sold on to a chain of gourmet restaurants called Rarity. The public dining rooms served steak and lamb and venison and buffalo, certified disease-free so that it could be cooked rare - that was what "Rarity" pretended to mean. But in the private rooms - key-club entry, bouncer-enforced - you could eat endangered species. The profits were immense; one bottle of tiger wine alone was worth a neckful of diamonds.
-- from The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood

P.S. 17 Sep: Bonnie Greer's review here.

P.S. 18 Sep: and in her review Jeanette Winterson writes:
Atwood is very good at showing, without judging, what happens when human beings (usually men) cannot love. In the worst of them, like Blanco the Bloat, brutality and sadism take over. In the better of them, like Crake, a utopian desire for perfectability re­places the lost and lonely self. Crake designs out love and romance because he wants to design out the pain and confusion of emotion.

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