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Annihilation: A Novel (The Southern Reach Trilogy Book 1) Kindle Edition
|Length: 209 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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- Book 1 of 3 in The Southern Reach Trilogy (3 Book Series)
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Top Customer Reviews
And yet, I was still mildly surprised when I heard that he was writing a trilogy of science fiction books. Sci-fi has less scope for the weird. But Vandermeer brings his own darkly fantastical touch to "Annihilation," the first novel of the Southern Reach Trilogy -- it's a sort of a cross between Arthur C. Clarke and H.P. Lovecraft.
Area X is a place that has somehow been cut off from the rest of the world, and has changed completely. Eleven expeditions have been sent there, but they all die in bizarre ways -- cancer, suicide, attacking each other, and so on.
In defiance of logic, The Powers Wot Is decide to send a twelfth expedition, four women including an anthropologist, a shrink, a surveyor, and a biologist. They are alienated from each other, not even knowing each other's names, or anything except their jobs. So unsurprisingly, tensions are running high as they investigate both a lighthouse and an inverted Tower that goes DOWN.
The biologist (our protagonist of sorts) soon discovers that the psychologist is messing with their heads, even as the world around them becomes more and more disorienting. And as more strange things arise in Area X, the four women are slowly warped by the place, and the longer they stay in Area X, the further they descend into the maelstrom.
By standard definitions, "Annihilation" is not a very good book. It doesn't have a very definite beginning or end, it leaves large chunks of it backstory and characters unknown, the threat is unspecified, and it produces no solid answers or conclusions at the end.Read more ›
Jeff Vandermeer's stories are like dreams. They have elements of reality, but they don't completely make sense. Dreams abstract reality and facts are inconsistent. For me this style didn't work in Finch. At least not then. After Annihilation I may give Vandermeer's work another try.
Annihilation also has a dreamscape property to it. But unlike Finch, the suspense of the novel grabbed me in the first pages. The force of the plot was enough to get me through the dream like quality of the story that I found frustrating in Finch.
The problems that some may encounter with Vandermeer's writing have to do with the structure of the story, not the quality of the writing. Vandermeer's writing is vivid in his descriptions of place and scene. This can make the nightmare quality of he writing more difficult to deal with, because of it's haunting immediacy.
Annihilation is an account of a twelfth expedition into Area X. The other expeditions have come to bad ends. The four members of the expedition are all women, who are known only by their profession: the psychologist, the anthropologist, the surveyor and the narrator of the story, the biologist (there was a linguist who either dropped out). The intimate nature of first person narration gives the reader a window into the biologist and her past, resulting in a deeply drawn character.
Considering that the previous eleven expeditions have come to bad, sometimes violent ends, it is unclear why anyone would volunteer for such an expedition.Read more ›
The bones of the story are truly intriguing - a mysterious Area X along the "lost coast" (the location is never truly identified for us by VanderMeer because God forbid we name anything here because names carry something mysterious about them. Unfortunately, we are never really told what. Names and locations are meaningless? Too confining? To defining? Your guess is as good as mine) where something dramatic and alien and unexplainable has occurred. Little goes in or comes out of Area X - and what does come back out is never who or what we think it is.
As I said, VanderMeer is a good enough writer that he hooks the reader early on and doesn't let go. I read all three books in the series, one right after the other, even though, in my opinion, the series remains vastly overpriced. Yet he is a very good writer and I did not want to wait to get through the series until the prices came down for each book. The first book is definitely the strongest of the three, but my feeling is that if you are going to invest time and money in the first book, there isn't much point unless you are prepared to see it through to the end of the series.
Many reviewers have compared the books to the TV series "Lost.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Good book. Looking forward to reading the next two in the series.Published 23 hours ago by A reader
I did not hate this book, though the glowing praise heaped upon it strikes me as uninformed. Just because a work has poetic trappings and ethereal vagueness does not make it good,... Read morePublished 2 days ago by Amazon Customer
Wonderful creepy suspense. Many others have complained about not getting a lot of answers to some of the mysteries, but that is not what this book is about. Read morePublished 3 days ago by Ross Evan Pivovar
The first book of the trilogy feels like a LSD trip and gives no answers. The reader must be patient and wait for the other two books to get a better(if that's possible) idea of... Read morePublished 3 days ago by Martin Miliev
I recommend Annihilation to anyone wanting a book that will mess them up, House of Leaves style. It does, though, possess a brevity House of Leaves does not. Read morePublished 5 days ago by Hedgie
I've never given one star to a book before, but I give this for not just this book, but the whole series which I found frustrating and depressing. Read morePublished 8 days ago by Joe Pardue
This book was unusually written in a narrative form. No names great storyline. If you're a fan of writing you'll be a fan of this bookPublished 9 days ago by Michael Hamilton
Creepy. Weird. Wonderful. Oddly satisfying in its incompleteness. Kind of reminiscent of the first season of Lost. And, thank goodness, no tidy bow in the final chapters. Read morePublished 9 days ago by Shannon CC Nedelka
I couldn't sleep. Strange things happen when I'm sleepless, which happens entirely too often. I am very bad at sleeping and have periods where I might sleep two hours at a time for... Read morePublished 20 days ago by Moderan
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