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Annihilation

de Jeff VanderMeer

Altres autors: Mira la secció altres autors.

Sèrie: The Southern Reach Trilogy (1)

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaConverses / Mencions
4,2782792,031 (3.68)1 / 307
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.… (més)
Afegit fa poc perRennie80, luulaa, vaultdwemer, MysteryTea, The_Literary_Jedi, sparrowhawk20, sofficinalis, biblioteca privada, averyavidreader
Biblioteques llegadesTim Spalding
  1. 71
    Roadside Picnic de 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.… (més)
  2. 50
    Acceptance de Jeff VanderMeer (LiteraryReadaholic)
  3. 40
    La mà esquerra de la foscor de Ursula K. Le Guin (andomck)
    andomck: Scientists exploring an alien environment
  4. 40
    Swamplandia! de Karen Russell (andomck)
    andomck: Swamps are crazy, man
  5. 62
    Solaris de Stanisław Lem (ShelfMonkey)
  6. 10
    Nova Swing de 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.
  7. 10
    The Dream Archipelago de Christopher Priest (AlanPoulter)
    AlanPoulter: Both contain landscapes and people that play with with our sense of reality.
  8. 21
    The Drowned World de J. G. Ballard (ShelfMonkey)
  9. 00
    Wilder Girls de Rory Power (bibliovermis)
  10. 00
    City of Saints and Madmen de Jeff VanderMeer (g33kgrrl)
    g33kgrrl: VanderMeer's earlier world-building venture, full of weird-ass fungus war and other monsters. It's lovely and grotesque.
  11. 00
    La pell freda de Albert Sánchez Piñol (FFortuna)
  12. 00
    The Last Letter (Conversation Pieces, Vol 31) de 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).
  13. 00
    Binti de Nnedi Okorafor (sturlington)
  14. 11
    Wool de Hugh Howey (thenothing)
    thenothing: dystopia, conspiracy
  15. 00
    The Gone-Away World de Nick Harkaway (hairball)
    hairball: Maybe it's the fuzzy cover of the one book, but they remind me of each other.
  16. 01
    The Other Side of the Mountain de Michel Bernanos (marietherese)
  17. 01
    The Ruins de Scott Smith (BeckyJG)
  18. 24
    American Gods de Neil Gaiman (LiteraryReadaholic)
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» Mira també 307 mencions

Es mostren 1-5 de 278 (següent | mostra-les totes)
Originality
Although I've seen the idea of mimicry in a Star Trek episode, it hasn't cropped up in a while--and the description of the idea is unique. So, I would give this book a thumbs up for unique sci-fi ideas.
Writing
The quality of the writing is quite strong: descriptive and evocative. Sentence structure was complex. Those biology words really got me and I had to refer to the dictionary--but that's in character.
Characterization
In spite of the fact that we're in the main character's first person point of view--and she's trying to be objective--the other character motivations could be shown more. However, as it stands, not enough attention is paid to them and hence their motivations come off as unrealistic or, at best, unknown.
Story
My suspension of disbelief is pretty low for this book because of the pseudo-epistolary nature of the narrative. I say pseudo-epistolary because there are no dates (not even Day 1) and it's been rewritten. Furthermore, intentionally leaving out details that shouldn't be left out in a rewritten work promotes false suspense. Pacing is slow; the descriptions of the physical surroundings are vivid, but there's too much of it.
p,74: Humorous use of the biologist's obsession with the "tower." I laughed out loud.
"I'll tell you one thing that we're not doing tomorrow. We're not going back into the tunnel."
"Tower."
She's becoming part of Area X--is that what happened to the 11th expedition?

Personal Notes
The bottom line: The world and ideas are unique and the descriptions palpable, but the first-person pseudo-epistolary just kills it for me. Although I liked the complex sentences with their numerous clauses, my working memory just can't hold them all. Also, the vagueness of the narrator's feelings and observations: too many "somethings", "sometimes", "whatever". Ishmael Reed, my creative writing college professor, had intoned: "Make the image concrete!" ( )
1 vota quantum.alex | May 31, 2021 |
area x: the vibes in this place are atrocious ( )
  mousetrapreplica | May 30, 2021 |
I found this book very boring. There were a couple of times when something interesting happened that signaled that some action was coming, but no. This one wasn't my cup of tea. ( )
  amcheri | May 25, 2021 |
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! ( )
1 vota 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 |
Es mostren 1-5 de 278 (següent | mostra-les totes)
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.
afegit per zhejw | editaNPR, 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.
afegit per zhejw | editaLos Angeles Times, Lydia Millet (Jan 20, 2014)
 

» Afegeix-hi altres autors (23 possibles)

Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Jeff VanderMeerautor primaritotes les edicionscalculat
Aula, NikoTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Blomeyer, MarionAutor de la cobertaautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Corral, RodrigoDissenyador de la cobertaautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Kellner, MichaelTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
McCormick, CarolynNarradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Nyquist, EricAutor de la cobertaautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Strick, CharlotteDissenyador de la cobertaautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
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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.
Citacions
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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.
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Referències a aquesta obra en fonts externes.

Wikipedia en anglès (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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