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Veniss Underground by Jeff VanderMeer
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Veniss Underground (original 2003; edition 2003)

by Jeff VanderMeer

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5552417,987 (3.65)45
Member:ashamel
Title:Veniss Underground
Authors:Jeff VanderMeer
Info:Night Shade Books (2003), Hardcover, 192 pages
Collections:Your library
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Tags:novel

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Veniss Underground by Jeff VanderMeer (2003)

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» See also 45 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 24 (next | show all)
From the more or less normal top world to the increasingly weird subterranean levels, this book sends you on a trip to deeply surreal el bosco-type world. Although some parts work better than others it is definitely worth a read for its uniqueness. And then I'll read anything featuring meerkats. ( )
  kinsey_m | Jul 30, 2013 |
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 |
What a strange, sad, dreamy, interesting novel. It takes place at the sunset of humanity, when genetic engineering is done at the whim of a creator. The people who populate this book are desperate, in this weird dream-like, scary world. It feels very real, as if the author caught a glimpse of the end of the world and wrote it down.

There are elements of ancient stories in here - such as Orpheus saving his beloved from Hades. Or even hints of Dante's Inferno. At times, this book heartbreaking and lovely, all at the same time.

A wonderful, scary book that reminds me of Philip K. Dick mixed with Gibson with more than a dash of Lovecraft thrown it. ( )
  TheDivineOomba | Feb 11, 2012 |
I give up. I tried and tried to get into this - I liked the first part (Nicholas) but could not get past (or into) his sister (Nicola) and the shift in perspectives to 3 main chars - and it's creepy - not in a good way (to me). It's too bad, I usually like dark, dystopian, surrealistic stuff - no go here. ( )
  jlparent | Apr 22, 2011 |
Showing 1-5 of 24 (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)
 

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jeff VanderMeerprimary authorall 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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:51:38 -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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