MaddAddam Summary

The third book in Margaret Atwood’s trilogy, MaddAddam, begins with characters Ren and Toby looking for Amanda in an attempt to rescue her from the Painballers. Amanda is eventually found and recovered. 

The Crakers and human survivors come to live together in the same camp. However, this presents some challenges, such as when the Crakers assault Amanda and Ren as part of their mating rituals, innocently believing the women are primed for reproduction.

Jimmy is also brought to the camp, but he is feverish and mostly unconscious from his injured and infected foot. Since Jimmy is no longer able to lead the Crakers, Toby takes over this role and she tells the Crakers stories about the world before the apocalypse. Toby tells them stories of Zeb’s life. During this storytelling, the Crakers find out about BlyssPluss and the company that made it, HelthWyzer. They also learn that Toby’s mentor, Pilar, was responsible for protecting the pills but gave them to Zeb, who was trying to keep them from CorpsSeCorps. Zeb hides the pills in a chess set that is given to a boy named Glenn after Pilar dies. The Crakers then discover that Glenn is Crake and he created Paradice to distribute BlyssPluss to humans. This is when the Crakers discover Crake caused the plague that ended humankind alongside his creation of the Crakers, his version of new and improved humans.

The stories of Zeb’s life also provide more information about the MaddAddamites, the scientists recruited for Crake’s project, and these same scientists, as well as survivors from the God’s Gardeners, are now a part of the new Craker and human community. We are given more backstory into the creation of the God’s Gardeners, and it is revealed that Adam and Zeb are brothers. Meanwhile, the MaddAddamites, God’s Gardeners, and Crakers are continuously adjusting to their new environment.

Toby begins to teach a young Craker, named Blackbeard, to write, and this allows him to become a translator between the humans and the Pigoons.

The Painballers continue to threaten the camp and plan to go to the Paradice dome for weapons, causing the MaddAddamites to ally with the Pigoons to protect themselves and the Crakers. Humans and Pigoons go to Paradice to kill the Painballers. During the battle, they find Adam and attempt to save him, but fail, and Jimmy is also killed. They do manage to kidnap the Painballers and take them back to camp for a trial, and the new posthuman community votes to execute the Painballers, deciding they are no longer capable of redemption.

In the closing pages, we learn that Swift Fox, Ren, and Amanda give birth to human-Craker hybrid babies. It is also revealed that Toby and Zeb got married and Toby became the new prophet of the Crakers, teaching the human-Craker children to write as she did with Blackbeard, allowing them to tell their own stories as well. Later on, we find that Zeb dies during a mission and Toby goes to poison herself in the forest, killing herself. In the final moments of the book, Blackbeard tells these stories to the new generation of Craker Children.