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by Jeff VanderMeer
Books Read in 2016 (942)
Books Read in 2015 (415)
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Put a Bird On It (30)
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SFFCat 2015 (18)
this is a series i'm sure i'll re-read some day, and i'll take my time with it properly. this is also a series i have a really hard time describing or reviewing, so i'm just going to leave it at "i loved it, and i finished reading it while crying and not really knowing why i was doing so."
Very disappointed in this book. I really liked the first two books of the trilogy, but this one did nothing for me. There are multiple points of view in the book, timelines that shift from past to present, yet there is no satisfactory resolution of the whole Area X mystery. I bumped up from 2 stars given the quality of the writing.
Della trilogia, anche se non mi ha fatto impazzire, salverei solo il primo volume, per il resto solo parecchia noia. Peccato perché l'idea di fondo non era male, così come lo stile di quest'ultimo libro.
Jeff VanderMeer's final book in the Southern Reach Trilogy feels just as different from the first two books as the second book did from the first. As one would hope, "Acceptance" gives us some explanations behind the mysteries described in the first two books. But having read these explanations, I came away thinking they only look like explanations. I know a little more than I did before, but not nearly enough.
"Acceptance" was neither surprising nor scary nor completely satisfying. Unlike the first two books, "Acceptance" is heavy with multiple points-of-view. Characters from the previous books appear in both flashbacks and contemporary circumstances. We learn a number of different things about how Area X came to be, and the conspiracies it generated, and how secrets contained secrets like so many nesting Russian dolls. But there is much we don't learn as well.
The story of the TV show "LOST" comes to mind. By the end of the final season, we knew the puzzle pieces fit together, even if we couldn't quite visualize the cover on the puzzle box. The ending of "LOST" brought the story to a conclusion, however susceptible it may have been to different interpretations. (And admittedly, more than a few viewers were left frustrated.)
The ending of the Southern Reach Trilogy, however, seems to wander, as if the book itself were mirroring the minds of the people in the story, like the lighthouse keeper as he endures transformation. It makes me wonder if the author himself entered (and returned?) from Area X. In the end, the bits and pieces don't fit together. Rather than puzzle pieces in a box, they seem like a collection of artifacts in a cabinet of curiosities.
[T]he real accomplishment of these books lies less in their well-designed plots than in VanderMeer’s incredibly evocative, naturalist eye....
At its best, VanderMeer’s language is precise, metaphorical but rigorous, and as fertile as good loam. More than mere atmosphere, the rich natural details are the trilogy’s most powerful technique — and, in some ways, its point....
With Area X, VanderMeer has created an immersive and wonderfully realized world; I wouldn’t be surprised if he revisits it. If so, I’ll happily sign up for the next expedition.
One peculiar satisfaction of being a reader is seeing an author you have followed for a long time finally break into the big time. VanderMeer has been a favourite among aficionados of New Weird fiction for more than a decade, exploring his fascinations with fungi, subterranean spaces and decay across half a dozen books. But with his Southern Reach trilogy – Annihilation, Authority and Acceptance, all released in 2014 – he has finally hit the bestseller lists. And with good reason. This trilogy is a modern mycological masterpiece.
Finding a way satisfactorily to pay off so much mysteriously tense apprehension is no small challenge for a writer – and VanderMeer manages to avoid banality and opacity both, and generates some real emotional charge while he's about it.
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Wikipedia in English (2)
It is winter in Area X. A new team embarks across the border on a mission to find a member of a previous expedition who may have been left behind. As they press deeper into the unknown--navigating new terrain and new challenges--the threat to the outside world becomes only more daunting. In the final installment of the Southern Reach Trilogy, the mysteries of Area X may have been solved, but their consequences and implications are no less profound--or terrifying.
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Melvil Decimal System (DDC)813.54 — Literature English (North America) American fiction 20th Century 1945-1999
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Control is changed really: he's still kind of incompetent and wildly unable to cope with anything much out of his comfort zone. And Area X is definitely way outside of it. I liked getting the backstories of the various characters and how they were interlaced with what was going on in the present of the book. Likewise with the former Director (who is always referred to as simply "the Director").
But, in the end, this did not wow me. I wanted it to. Quite a bit in fact, but it failed. The semi-academic tone adopted by VanderMeer just drains it. "Rocks digging into his posterior"? Who the hell thinks or talks like that outside scientific papers or when joking? Ghostbird/The Biologist is/are the only really likable character(s). Control never much appealed to me (which is why I disliked #2 so much). The Director has her moments. Saul, the lighthouse keeper, is good. But I didn't fine Grace, the deputy director, particularly sympathetic. It's just weak characterizations, I guess.