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Veniss Underground by Jeff Vandermeer
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Veniss Underground (original 2003; edition 2005)

by Jeff Vandermeer

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3491545,105 (3.66)50
Member:selfnoise
Title:Veniss Underground
Authors:Jeff Vandermeer
Info:Spectra (2005), Paperback
Collections:Your library
Rating:****1/2
Tags:fantasy, weirdfiction, holiday2005, read 2006

Work details

Veniss Underground {expanded edition} by Jeff VanderMeer (2003)

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Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
Hauntingly horrific! Wow, just fantastic. This is VanderMeer's first novel and is set in a dystopian future where government has collapsed and bioengineering is the norm. With Quin being the dangerous man in charge of it all. It's also a story of love: between twins, lovers and the unrequited kind. Now that I've read most of VanderMeer's novels I can say that I know what to expect. He draws you in with superb writing of dysfunctional societies/worlds then he will spring upon you the horrific. His detail for the grotesque reminds me of Clive Barker; it makes you squirm. This book includes all the Veniss stories: the original novel, three short stories and a novella. The short stories are ok but the novella is brilliant, living up to the novel. ( )
  ElizaJane | Apr 18, 2018 |
Veniss Underground is full of the weirdness, sense of wonder, world building, and just general quality that I have come to expect from a Vandermeer book. Comparable to the stories of Cordwainer Smith and Jack Vance, this far future novel about a Living Artist and the quest for his missing twin sister is an adventure that only Jeff Vandermeer could conceive. ( )
  rickklaw | Oct 13, 2017 |
This was my first non-Ambergris VanderMeer, and I’ll admit, I was a little worried. I shouldn’t have been. Veniss is amazing, a science fantasy of depth and wonder with a wealth of detail. It’s a dark Orpheus tale where the hero descends into the underworld and comes away with both more and less than he (or I) expected. VanderMeer uses some incredibly beautiful prose to describe some incredibly horrific things, but there’s an underlying sense of wonder here, too. ( )
  Mrs_McGreevy | Nov 17, 2016 |
"Okay," not great - more aesthetic concept than narrative.

Dystopian novel about a guy who genetically modifies people and animals into entirely new organic creations, and a few characters connected to him. It comes across as more of a writer's exercise in worldbuilding than a novel in the classic sense, as there wasn't a lot of plot or depth of character to it, but it was interesting all the same to watch the unfolding of VanderMeer's crafted universe. It feels very much like the building blocks upon which his much more successful Southern Reach trilogy was built. ( )
  KLmesoftly | May 16, 2016 |
The book contains one short novel, a novella, and three short stories, revolving around the city of Veniss. Reminiscent of Harrison's Viriconium in the way the portrayal of the city changes so much, while some elements reappear from story to story. Not quite as memorable as Vandermeer's Ambergris, but an interesting blend of dystopian science fiction and dark fantasy elements. ( )
  CarlosMcRey | May 22, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
... a nightmare vision that shows off VanderMeer's many virtues - his linking of character and plot to the mythic core of his story, his idiosyncratic inventions which derive straight from the psyche, rather than from any generic inspiration, his ambitious style and his vivid descriptive powers. The denouement is as powerful as any I have read.
added by andyl | editThe Guardian, Michael Moorcock (Nov 29, 2003)
 

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jeff VanderMeerprimary authorall editionscalculated
Dringenberg, MikeCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rostant, LarryCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Let me tell you why I wished to buy a meerkat at Quin's Shanghai Circus.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0553383566, Paperback)

In his debut novel, literary alchemist Jeff VanderMeer takes us on an unforgettable journey, a triumph of the imagination that reveals the magical and mysterious city of Veniss through three intertwined voices. First, Nicholas, a would-be Living Artist, seeks to escape his demons in the shadowy underground–but in doing so makes a deal with the devil himself. In her fevered search for him, his twin sister, Nicola, spins her own unusual and hypnotic tale as she discovers the hidden secrets of the city. And finally, haunted by Nicola’s sudden, mysterious disappearance and gripped by despair, Shadrach, Nicola’s lover, embarks on a mythic journey to the nightmarish levels deep beneath the surface of the city to bring his love back to light. There he will find wonders beyond imagining…and horrors greater than the heart can bear.

By turns beautiful, horrifying, delicate, and powerful, Veniss Underground explores the limits of love, memory, and obsession in a landscape that defies the boundaries of the imagination. This special edition includes the short stories “The Sea, Mendeho, and Moonlight”; “Detectives and Cadavers”; and “A Heart for Lucretia” and the novella Balzac’s War, offering a complete tour of the fantastic world of Veniss.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:52 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

A triumph of the imagination that reveals the magical and mysterious city of Veniss through three intertwined voices. First, Nicholas, a would-be Living Artist, seeks to escape his demons in the shadowy underground, but in doing so makes a deal with the devil himself. In her fevered search for him, his twin sister, Nicola, spins her own unusual and hypnotic tale as she discovers the hidden secrets of the city. And finally, haunted by Nicola's sudden, mysterious disappearance and gripped by despair, Shadrach, Nicola's lover, embarks on a mythic journey to the nightmarish levels deep beneath the surface of the city to bring his love back to light. There he will find wonders beyond imagining ... and horrors greater than the heart can bear.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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