HomeGroupsTalkMoreZeitgeist
Search Site
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Loading...

Annihilation

by Jeff VanderMeer

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Southern Reach Trilogy (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
4,2372822,037 (3.68)1 / 306
Area X has been cut off from the rest of the continent for decades. Nature has reclaimed the last vestiges of human civilization. The first expedition returned with reports of a pristine, Edenic landscape; all the members of the second expedition committed suicide; the third expedition died in a hail of gunfire as its members turned on one another; the members of the eleventh expedition returned as shadows of their former selves, and within months of their return, all had died of aggressive cancer. This is the twelfth expedition. Their group is made up of four women: an anthropologist, a surveyor, a psychologist--the de facto leader--and a biologist, who is our narrator. Their mission is to map the terrain and collect specimens, to record all their observations, scientific and otherwise, of their surroundings and of one another and, above all, to avoid being contaminated by Area X itself. They arrive expecting the unexpected, and Area X delivers--they discover a massive topographic anomaly and life forms that surpass understanding--but it's the surprises that came across the border with them and the secrets the expedition members are keeping from one another that change everything.… (more)
  1. 71
    Roadside Picnic by Arkady Strugatsky (Tuirgin, jeroenvandorp)
    Tuirgin: The Strugatsky Bros.' Roadside Picnic seems to be a touchstone of the Southern Reach Trilogy—and this continues with greater parallels in Authority. The styles of writing are entirely different, but the concept of Area X is a definite echo of the Zone. Roadside Picnic is a classic of European Science Fiction and well worth reading.… (more)
  2. 61
    Solaris by Stanisław Lem (ShelfMonkey)
  3. 50
    Acceptance by Jeff VanderMeer (LiteraryReadaholic)
  4. 40
    The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin (andomck)
    andomck: Scientists exploring an alien environment
  5. 40
    Swamplandia! by Karen Russell (andomck)
    andomck: Swamps are crazy, man
  6. 20
    The Drowned World by J. G. Ballard (ShelfMonkey)
  7. 10
    The Dream Archipelago by Christopher Priest (AlanPoulter)
    AlanPoulter: Both contain landscapes and people that play with with our sense of reality.
  8. 10
    Nova Swing by M. John Harrison (paradoxosalpha)
    paradoxosalpha: The infection/mutation of characters and their ambivalent encounters with transcendent power are in both cases oriented toward a mysterious region of putatively non-human influence.
  9. 00
    The Last Letter (Conversation Pieces, Vol 31) by Fiona Lehn (psybre)
    psybre: Also set in an odd near-future (where an environmental disaster has made an entire island dangerous and soon to become uninhabitable).
  10. 00
    Cold Skin by Albert Sánchez Piñol (FFortuna)
  11. 00
    City of Saints and Madmen by Jeff VanderMeer (g33kgrrl)
    g33kgrrl: VanderMeer's earlier world-building venture, full of weird-ass fungus war and other monsters. It's lovely and grotesque.
  12. 00
    Binti by Nnedi Okorafor (sturlington)
  13. 11
    Wool by Hugh Howey (thenothing)
    thenothing: dystopia, conspiracy
  14. 00
    The Gone-Away World by Nick Harkaway (hairball)
    hairball: Maybe it's the fuzzy cover of the one book, but they remind me of each other.
  15. 00
    Wilder Girls by Rory Power (bibliovermis)
  16. 01
    The Other Side of the Mountain by Michel Bernanos (marietherese)
  17. 01
    The Ruins by Scott Smith (BeckyJG)
  18. 24
    American Gods by Neil Gaiman (LiteraryReadaholic)
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

» See also 306 mentions

English (270)  Italian (2)  Chinese, traditional (1)  Finnish (1)  French (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (276)
Showing 1-5 of 270 (next | show all)
The water was so dark we could see our faces in it, and it never stirred, set like glass, reflecting the beards of gray moss that smothered the cypress trees. If you looked out through those areas, toward the ocean, all you saw was the black water, the gray of the cypress trunks, and the constant, motionless rain of moss flowing down. All you heard was the low moaning. The effect of this cannot be understood without being there. The beauty of it cannot be understood, either, and when you see beauty in desolation it changes something inside you. Desolation tries to colonize you.

On reread 1/9/16: This book! Wow! Still! What's that you say? You'd like an actual review? Most of my original review still stands. I will add a few things. VanderMeer is playing with some very big ideas here. I'm finding it extremely difficult to talk about any of them without spoiling anything. So I guess I'm going to leave it at this: Big ideas, breakneck pacing, killer characterization, and a genuinely Other setting for it all to play out in. And it holds up on reread. This one is going to go down as one of the greatest SF books ever written, and should rightfully go down as some of the greatest literature ever written.

It does have some things that make it difficult going, depending on your predilections as a reader. Its narrated by a heroine many readers appear to have found rather unlikable, judging by the reviews. The biologist is an antisocial loner with a battered heart and a mercenary agenda, operating in an unknown arena with minimal information given by an uncaring government agency. She is, as her title suggests, a scientist, and she's going to approach her mission like a scientist. Ultimately, a really reckless scientist with nothing left to lose. Also, there's no hand holding here: VanderMeer throws the reader head-first into Area X, and we only get explanations as our guide gets them or remembers them. Ultimately, she does not have a lot of explanation to give, although on rereading I found there were much more solid answers than I felt I had the first time I read it. There also will not be any happy endings here; it is the first book of a trilogy, after all.

Speaking of the trilogy, I'd like to mention that I still haven't gotten around to reading the rest of it. (It appears VanderMeer does the same thing with [b:Authority|18077769|Authority (Southern Reach, #2)|Jeff VanderMeer|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1403941730l/18077769._SX50_.jpg|25384114] in this trilogy that he did with [b:Finch|6582496|Finch (Ambergris, #3)|Jeff VanderMeer|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1388254308l/6582496._SX50_.jpg|6775967] in the Ambergris trilogy, switching not just characters and point of view but even genres, and I just haven't been up for those gymnastics yet.) Which is to say that Annihilation works perfectly well as a stand alone novel, and you need not worry about committing to an entire trilogy to get closure. I will still be reading the rest; I do deeply want more of this world. But I am also completely satisfied with this one book. I do not get to say that about books very often.

**Original review, 9/18/14:**
I do not normally enjoy books of this type. The tale largely exists as a platform for the language, which is almost a character in its own right. (Fitting for a book that centers more on epistemological questions than the tale itself - how do we know who we are? How do we become ourselves? Can we ever know someone else?) I do not really go for apocalyptic fiction, which (I think) this is. I mostly bought it because it was on Kindle Daily Deal and looked interesting enough to spend $2 on. It was worth more. I loved this book. I found the fact that the team members were stripped of their names made identification with them and their strange plight easier rather than harder. The Biologist easily became one of my favorite heroines in recent memory (she would dispute the title). I found the microstory in the disintegration of the team (and the team members themselves) was easily strong enough to carry me past the reality that the reader is ultimately never really given a clear look at what exactly is happening in Area X, not even when the Biologist looks right at the apparent ground (or patient?) zero. (I'm not sure if that's a spoiler, but I'm hiding the review just in case.)* I only hope that the rest of the trilogy is just as good; I bought them both the day I finished this.

*Personal progress: I have learned about spoiler tags since 2014. Go, me! ( )
  amyotheramy | May 11, 2021 |
An interesting but hard read. I will have to read again sometime in the future as I know there are parts that slipped by me. ( )
  Fred_Goodwin | Apr 22, 2021 |
Τα σχόλια που ακολουθούν δεν κάνουν αποκαλύψεις σχετικά με την πλοκή, αλλά δίνουν αρκετά στοιχεία για το τι θα συναντήσει ο αναγνώστης σε θέματα γραφής και λύσεων όσων ανεξήγητων συναντάμε εντός του μυθιστορήματος.


Αυτό το βιβλίο μου άφησε ανάμικτα συναισθήματα. Θα μπορούσα να το αξιολογήσω και με τρία αστέρια, αλλά επέλεξα τέσσερα γιατί έχει στοιχεία που δεν βρίσκεις εύκολα σε αντίστοιχα αφηγήματα.

Ο Vandermeer ανανεώνει τη Λαβκράφτια γραφή με μαεστρία. Αυτός είναι ο βασικότερος λόγος που επιλέγω τέσσερα αστέρια και όχι τρία. Το βιβλίο είναι μια συνεχόμενη προσωπική καταγραφή των εμπειριών που βιώνει η πρωταγωνίστρια, και παραδόξως, παρά τους ελάχιστους διαλόγους και τις επίμονες περιγραφές (πολύ καλύτερες από αυτές του Λάβκραφτ), η ιστορία ρέει, οι σελίδες γυρνούν και σχεδόν κάθε κεφάλαιο κλείνει ωθώντας (θα έλεγα υποσυνείδητα και όχι με βία - ακόμα ένα Λαβκράφτιο χαρακτηριστικό) τον αναγνώστη να ξεκινήσει την ανάγνωση του επόμενου.

Δυστυχώς, δεν ανήκω στους αναγνώστες που απολαμβάνουν ιστορίες των οποίων οι δημιουργοί αρέσκονται να αφήνουν αναπάντητα ερωτήματα και ανεξήγητα στοιχεία, τα οποία εξ αρχής είναι αυτά που με κάνουν να ξεκινήσω την ανάγνωση. Δεν απαιτώ την απόλυτη εξήγηση, όπου δεν μου επιτρέπεται κανένας προσωπικός προβληματισμούς μετά το κλείσιμο του βιβλίου, αλλά οπωσδήποτε έχω την απαίτηση ο συγγραφέας να με πείσει πως γνώριζε από την αρχή τι ήθελε να γράψει.

Αυτός είναι ο λόγος όπου το βιβλίο δεν λαμβάνει από εμένα το απόλυτο πέντε και με οδηγεί να αμφιταλαντευτώ ανάμεσα στο τρία και το τέσσερα. Και αν τελικά δίνω τέσσερα είναι γιατί ο Vandermeer με πείθει πως ξέρει πολύ καλά τι συμβαίνει εντός της Area X, αλλά επιλέγει να μην μου αποκαλύψει τίποτα και να με αφήσει να εικάσω ό,τι επιθυμώ.

Κι έτσι εικάζω τα ακόλουθα:

Το Annihilation είναι μια ιστορία για ενοχές που νιώθουμε εξαιτίας πράξεων, των οποίων δεν έχουμε τον έλεγχο. Για ενοχές οι οποίες μας βασανίζουν οδηγώντας μας στη μοναξιά και την εσωτερική απομόνωση. Για επιλογές, οι οποίες λαμβάνονται ενώ ακόμα ψάχνουμε να βρούμε τη θέση με στον κόσμο, που τελικά δεν είναι και τόσο επιλογές, μιας και μας επιβάλλονται. Για βιώματα και καταστάσεις οι οποίες μας πλάθουν και μας οδηγούν θέλοντας και μη σε αποφάσεις οι οποίες είναι ήδη προγραμματισμένες βαθιά μέσα μας, εξαιτίας αυτών των πρωταρχικών, εκβιασμένων επιλογών. Κάποιοι σε κάποιο σημείο της ζωής τους έχουν την τύχη να βιώσουν μια βαθιά αποκάλυψη, και μονάχα τότε να συμφιλιωθούν με το αναπόφευκτο των όσων συνέβησαν και απλώς να συνεχίσουν το ταξίδι τους (στο άγνωστο), έχοντας αλλάξει ριζικά και έχοντας απελευθερωθεί από όσα τους βάραιναν μέχρι εκείνη τη στιγμή. ( )
  Stamat | Apr 20, 2021 |
Was für ein krauses Zeugs: kryptisch - überambitioniert - voll von pseudointellektuellem Geschwafel und Selbstbetrachtungen der Protagonistin. Vielleicht stellt es sich nach dem 3. Band als großartig heraus, bin aber derzeit nicht sicher, ob ich die Reihe überhaupt weiterlesen soll. Sehr ärgerlich, dass der dt. Verlag die folgenden Bände noch bis in's nächste Jahr zurückhält. Entweder lade ich mir noch heute die engl. Ausgabe auf den Kindle, oder ich lasse es ganz. ( )
  MrKillick-Read | Apr 4, 2021 |
3.5 would be more accurate...

So, on the one hand this perplexing story is wonderful and packed with detailed imagery that brings the world to light, but on the other I'm not entirely sure I understand what happened. I want to rate it higher because I enjoyed the story, but I simply cant bring myself to do it when I had (and still have) no idea what was going on for 80% of this book. The ending seemed to sum it up nicely, but I haven't the faintest idea what it summed up! I know it wasn't supposed to be easy to follow, and the concept seemed to be of something unexplained and unexplainable, but there are other books that have done this better.

Still worth reading, but not a favourite. ( )
  TCLinrow | Mar 17, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 270 (next | show all)
Atemberaubend!
 
...strange, clever, off-putting, maddening, claustrophobic, occasionally beautiful, occasionally disturbing and altogether fantastic...Annihilation is a book meant for gulping — for going in head-first and not coming up for air until you hit the back cover.
added by zhejw | editNPR, Jason Sheehan (Feb 7, 2014)
 
"Annihilation," in which the educated and analytical similarly meets up with the inhuman, is a clear triumph for Vandermeer, who after numerous works of genre fiction has suddenly transcended genre with a compelling, elegant and existential story of far broader appeal.
added by zhejw | editLos Angeles Times, Lydia Millet (Jan 20, 2014)
 

» Add other authors (23 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jeff VanderMeerprimary authorall editionscalculated
Aula, NikoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Blomeyer, MarionCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Corral, RodrigoCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kellner, MichaelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McCormick, CarolynNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nyquist, EricCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Strick, CharlotteCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
For Ann
First words
The tower, which was not supposed to be there, plunges into the earth in a place just before the black pine forest begins to give way to swamp and then the reeds and wind-gnarled trees of the marsh flats. Beyond the marsh flats and the natural canals lies the ocean and, a little farther down the coast, a derelict lighthouse. All of this part of the country had been abandoned for decades, for reasons that are not easy to relate. Our expedition was the first to enter Area X for more than two years, and much of our predecessors’ equipment had rusted, their tents and sheds little more than husks. Looking out over that untroubled landscape, I do not believe any of us could yet see the threat.
Quotations
Desolation tries to colonize you.
"Annihilation!" she shrieked at me, flailing in confusion.  "Annihilation! Annihilation!" The word seemed more meaningless the more she repeated it, like the cry of a bird with a broken wing.
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Area X has been cut off from the rest of the continent for decades. Nature has reclaimed the last vestiges of human civilization. The first expedition returned with reports of a pristine, Edenic landscape; all the members of the second expedition committed suicide; the third expedition died in a hail of gunfire as its members turned on one another; the members of the eleventh expedition returned as shadows of their former selves, and within months of their return, all had died of aggressive cancer. This is the twelfth expedition. Their group is made up of four women: an anthropologist, a surveyor, a psychologist--the de facto leader--and a biologist, who is our narrator. Their mission is to map the terrain and collect specimens, to record all their observations, scientific and otherwise, of their surroundings and of one another and, above all, to avoid being contaminated by Area X itself. They arrive expecting the unexpected, and Area X delivers--they discover a massive topographic anomaly and life forms that surpass understanding--but it's the surprises that came across the border with them and the secrets the expedition members are keeping from one another that change everything.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Area X has been cut off from the rest of the continent for decades. Nature has reclaimed the last vestiges of human civilization. The first expedition returned with reports of a pristine, Edenic landscape; the second expedition ended in mass suicide; the third expedition in a hail of gunfire as its members turned on one another. The members of the eleventh expedition returned as shadows of their former selves, and within weeks, all had died of cancer. In Annihilation, the first volume of Jeff VanderMeer's Southern Reach trilogy, we join the twelfth expedition.
The group is made up of four women: an anthropologist; a surveyor; a psychologist, the de facto leader; and our narrator, a biologist. Their mission is to map the terrain, record all observations of their surroundings and of one another, and, above all, avoid being contaminated by Area X itself.
They arrive expecting the unexpected, and Area X delivers—they discover a massive topographic anomaly and life forms that surpass understanding—but it's the surprises that came across the border with them and the secrets the expedition members are keeping from one another that change everything.
Haiku summary

Quick Links

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.68)
0.5 2
1 34
1.5 4
2 137
2.5 29
3 370
3.5 117
4 592
4.5 63
5 309

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 157,851,073 books! | Top bar: Always visible