Annihilation

(The Southern Reach Trilogy, Book 1)

Paperback, 208 pages

English language

Published April 17, 2014 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

ISBN:
9780374104092

View on OpenLibrary

4 stars (45 reviews)

Area X has been cut off from the rest of the world 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 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 …

3 editions

Exzessives Schreiben

5 stars

Wie angekündigt habe ich Annihilation schon wieder gelesen (vermutlich zum vierten Mal, zuletzt erst im Dezember), Anlass ist die angekündigte Besprechung des Werks im empfehlenswerten Science Fiction-Podcast Sprawl Radio.

Was mir bei dieser Lektüre auffiel, war der Bezug zum exzessiven, sinnlosen Schreiben. Darauf kam ich, weil ich zur Zeit wieder in so ein Journaling/immer ein Notizbuch dabeihaben-Rabbithole gefallen bin. In Annihilation schreiben immer alle, der Crawler schreibt einen endlosen, alttestamentarischen Sermon auf die TunnelTurmwand, die Notizbücher der Expeditionen vergammeln in mannshohen Haufen, zugleich lesen wir den Report der Biologin. Das passt dann vielleicht auch irgendwie zu dem exzessiven Schreiben Richard Seymours in The Twittering Machine.

Beautiful Horror

5 stars

I greatly enjoyed the movie, but loved the book even more. While the movie does a great job of visually portraying everything, it just can't compare to the books and your imagination. The book also seems to put a bit more focus on the characters conflicts with each other, and what happens between them.

It goes into such detail of the weird things happening in Area X, and all the strange happenings. I found it less scary, and more beautiful.

Not only is everything amazingly and skillfully written, but just the goings on are beautiful as well, in my opinion.

A different take

3 stars

I enjoyed the oppressive tone and writing style. Not a book for those who want sharp focussed action. Would have rated it higher my was put off by commenters elsewhere who thought the Novel was the second coming and couldn’t exist alongside the movie.

Review of 'Annihilation' on Goodreads

5 stars

1) "Our mission was simple: to continue the government's investigation into the mysteries of Area X, slowly working our way out from base camp.
The expedition could last days, months, or even years, depending on various stimuli and conditions. We had supplies with us for six months, and another two years' worth of supplies had already been stored at the base camp. We had also been assured that it was safe to live off the land if necessary. All of our foodstuffs were smoked or canned or in packets. Our most outlandish equipment consisted of a measuring device that had been issued to each of us, which hung from a strap on our belts: a small rectangle of black metal with a glass-covered hole in the middle. If the hole glowed red, we had thirty minutes to remove ourselves to 'a safe place.' We were not told what the device …

Review of 'Annihilation' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

I really enjoyed this book! I am honestly a little surprised at how many people found it boring, but I was quickly wrapped up in the world and enamoured by our narrator's priorities changed and her detailed descriptions of the environment.

Perhaps the writing was a bit dry for some, but I found it on par with H.P. Lovecraft; although far less racist (so infinitely better than Lovecraft).

Review of 'Annihilation' on 'Goodreads'

1 star

Update 2021: My one-star review stands. .

2018: If I were to sum up this book in one thought it would be:

BORINGBORINGBORINGBORINGBORINGBORINGBORINGBORINGBORINGBORINGBORINGBORINGBORINGBORINGBORINGBORINGBORINGBORINGBORINGBORINGBORINGBORINGBORINGBORINGBORINGBORINGBORINGBORINGBORINGBORINGBORINGBORINGBORINGBORINGSOMETHINGALMOSTHAPPENEDBORINGBORINGBORINGBORINGBORINGBORINGBORINGBORINGBORINGBORINGBORINGBORINGBORINGBORINGBORINGBORINGIT’SOVER

I absolutely despised this waste of time, pointless, never should have been written piece of garbage.

Review of 'Annihilation' on 'GoodReads'

2 stars

В который раз сталкиваюсь с удивительным эффектом: книга, легшая в основу фильма, будучи прочитанной после просмотра, воспринимается в лучшем случае как школьное сочинение по мотивам собственно фильма.

Предвзятость восприятия, возможно, но если пытаться судить о качествах книги объективно, то картина не становится приятней - стиль изложения вызывает сомнения в том, родной ли английский язык для автора (я посмотрел, кратко: да, но с некоторыми оговорками), декорации будничны (Зона имени Аркадия а также Бориса, сценарий 235/Б), происходит ничего.

Review of 'Annihilation' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

A section of America has been cut off from the rest of the continent; this has been dubbed Area X. While no one has been too sure what caused Area X to be cut off, a clandestine government agency called the Southern Reach keeps sending expeditions to this new ecosystem, to study the last vestiges of an untouched environment. Eleven expeditions have gone to this abandoned and unspoilt stretch of US coastline, eleven catastrophic failures. Four women known only by their disciplines: surveyor, anthropologist, psychologist and biologist are preparing for the twelfth expedition; will they find the answers to explain Area X, this enigmatic and frightening ecosystem?

Annihilation is the first book in the much talked about Southern Reach Trilogy by Jeff VanderMeer; a short 200 page novel that packs a huge punch. The reader is thrown into this world and soon finds themselves with many questions; however the answers …

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