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Annihilation: The thrilling book behind the most anticipated film of 2018 (edition 2015)
by Jeff VanderMeer (Autore)
Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer
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Lovecraft's The Color Out of Space meets Stalker by way of existential self-analysis. A decent, popularist take on common weird themes. ( )
Unique and super creepy
Softly whispering "annihilation" to people would be a terrifying occupation.
2.5 Stars rounded up to 3.
Well I really don't know what to think of this one to be honest. It was quite weird. Like good weird but still really weird weird. I wish I felt like I understood more about...ummm...pretty much everything. I can see that I will have to reread this at some point.
A very strange story; I think I liked it but want to let it settle a bit before I'm sure. Sort of like a love story by Philip K. Dick. I do know I couldn't stop reading, so that's a clue. I may yet bump it up a star.
I had had a sample on my Nook for several months now, and it didn't grab me enough to make me buy the book. But when I bought the second in the Southern Reach series (Authority) at Mysterious Galaxy the clerk said I should really read the first one first. Sometimes order doesn't much matter but she said this time it does.
Briefly, there's an area apparently in America's southeast that has been taken over by...something, and sequestered inside some sort of barrier. Team after team of investigators enter Area X and mostly don't come back, or if they do they're different somehow. This book is the story of a biologist whose husband was on an earlier team, and who feels compelled to follow him.
Oh, and this is why I called it a love story. None of the other reviews I've read commented on that angle, but it's one of the things I enjoyed about the book. Our narrator and her husband seem to have had a very detached relationship and yet she follows his trail into Area X and ultimately discovers that he seems to have wanted her to. Her understanding of their relationship deepens with the exploration of the mysterious terrain.
Anyway, it was quite different fare from the space opera stuff I usually read and it is sticking with me. Not going to jump right into Authority though. Sorry to be so ambivalent.
ADDED: Second reading three years later, following the release of the movie...
I was so looking forward to the film, wondering how they'd handle the existential unease of the book. Apparently they couldn't. The only thing the movie had in common was the outline of the story, a team of four women enters a creepy place. Very disappointing.
So, three years later to compare it to the film, I re-read the book and enjoyed it even more than the first time, because I was less bewildered by the events and could spend more attention on the mood and narrative. (And of course, I have read the two following books, though I can't say they added much to my understanding of what happened in Area X.) I think I will add a star to my rating.
...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.
"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.
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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.
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Annihilation - page-turner or soporific? in Science Fiction Fans
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Melvil Decimal System (DDC)813.54 — Literature English (North America) American fiction 20th Century 1945-1999
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