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Annihilation (Southern Reach #1)

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3.61  ·  Rating Details  ·  36,326 Ratings  ·  5,188 Reviews
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 eleven
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ebook, 208 pages
Published February 4th 2014 by FSG Originals (first published 2014)
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Maureen
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Nico yeah! leggilo che ti potrebbe piacere molto :D

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Xander
Feb 21, 2015 Xander rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Current leader of the pack in "most frustrating book of 2014".

VanderMeer creates a fascinating, grotesque, brilliantly detailed world and then spends the entire book focused on the incessant navel-gazing of the most boring person in it: "The Biologist", so aggressively dull that she never even gets a name.

She's not underdeveloped: far from it. In fact, we spend half the fucking book learning everything about her life and what has brought her to this place. It's just that all that information is
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Jeffrey Keeten
Jun 08, 2015 Jeffrey Keeten rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: post-apocalyptic
”...but whether it decays under the earth or above on green fields, or out to sea or in the very air, all shall come to revelation, and to revel, in the knowledge of the strangling fruit and the hand of the sinner shall rejoice, for there is no sin in shadow or in light that the seeds of the dead cannot forgive…”

 photo AreaX_zps0d11e624.jpg

An Anthropologist, a Surveyor, a Psychologist, and a Biologist, all female, make up the 12th expedition to AREA X. The expeditions that have come to this region before have not fared we
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Alejandro
I am sure that it will shock to many readers my low rating of this popular novel, but sadly I think that it's the best way to express my own personal reading experience with the book. And I prefer to be honest than just giving a high rating if I don't believe on it.

First of all, I don't hate the author and I am not looking for affecting the average rating of this novel.

Basically, I had to balance the meaning of each rating here on Goodreads against what I thought about my reading experience with
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Eve
Feb 18, 2014 Eve rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Really a waste of time. The book seems to be going for the eerie "each man is every man" type of feeling that you got from Cormac McCarthy's "The Road," in which none of the characters have names. Here we have a small group of women, among them "the psychologist," "the surveyor," and "the biolgist" (our narrator) exploring Area X, a supernatural-type district that borders our own mundane world. I found myself completely uninvolved and not at all scared or disturbed by the team's discoveries. It ...more
Dan Schwent
Mar 05, 2015 Dan Schwent rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebooks, 2015
Four women, the twelfth such expedition, enter the mysterious Area X to observe and collect samples. Will the calamities that have befallen previous expeditions befall them as well?

I'd read four Jeff VanderMeer books prior to this one and they were all unsettling in one way or another. This one was par from the course.

Annihilation is a horror tale about secrecy, the unknown, and insanity. The biologist is the narrator and an unreliable one at that. The other characters are known only by their jo
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Carmen
Mar 28, 2016 Carmen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
I am convinced now that I and the rest of the expedition were given access to these records for the simple reason that, for certain kinds of classified information, it did not matter what we knew or didn't know. There was only one logical conclusion: Experience told our superiors that few if any of us would be coming back.

Area X is thought to be a myth. A conspiracy theory. Something whispered about in environmental circles.

But it's real. Appearing 30 years ago and baffling everyone with its exi
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Maggie Stiefvater
Sep 21, 2014 Maggie Stiefvater rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult, recommended
FINE, FINE, FINE, I'm buying book 2.
Brendon Schrodinger
Well it seems like Annihilation has divided the SF community into two, lovers and 'meh'ers. I'm pretty sure I'm one of the latter. I have been trying to think why a novel with a blurb that instantly sparked my curiousity was just so bleh. There are parts here that I love. I think the whole novel was under a cloud of boring, grey fungus spores.

While you have this wonderful premise of an expedition to a remote 'Area X' where the world is not quite right after some mysterious intervention from out
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Patrick
Really good books. Very different. Very atmospheric and different than anything else I've ever read.

I read part of this trilogy off the page and listened to some of it on audiobook. And looking back, I wish I'd read the entire thing off the page. I think it would have been a better overall experience that way.

Highly recommended.
Richard Derus
Apr 06, 2016 Richard Derus rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rating: 4* of five

The Publisher Says: 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 r
...more
Carol.
Sep 20, 2014 Carol. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of jeanette winterson, environmental exploration, the New Wierd
"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."

So is it with Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer. Summaries do not do this book justice. Its story colonized me. It was not an invasion; it did not attack my brain, insistent that I continue reading. I was not forced by fear to discover if the hero lives. My limbic system did not spike m
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Will M.
Curiosity could be a powerful distraction

When the 12th expedition planned on further investigating the mysterious Area X, things started to get weird again. The team was comprised of a biologist, anthropologist, surveyor, and a psychologist. This expedition proved to be just as dangerous as the first 11. Will this one finally be the successful one, or will it be the worst one of them all?

Annihilation received a huge amount of buzz and positive feedback over the past few months. I've also bee
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Trudi

Welcome to Area X. Ecologically pristine. Cut off from civilization. Hostile to humans. What lurks there? Does it have a name? Will you live to tell about what you've seen? Who will believe you?



If one can be said to "do" weird, then I don't think I do it very well. Annihilation -- the first book in the Southern Reach Trilogy -- is Weird with a capital 'W' with its roots in H.P. Lovecraft and Algernon Blackwood. It has a post-modern mindfuck vibe as well reminiscent of House of Leaves.

That is to
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Melki
Feb 25, 2014 Melki rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The first thing I noticed on the staging level before we reached the wider staircase that spiraled down, before we encountered again the words written on the wall...the tower was breathing. The tower breathed, and the walls when I went to touch them carried the echo of a heartbeat...and they were not made of stone but of living tissue.

Four scientists embark on an expedition to Area X.

From the beginning, they view each other with suspicion and doubt; it does not help that they have been encourag
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Brad
Sep 09, 2015 Brad rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, sci-fi, biopunk
So I went to the Natural History Museum in NYC and watched a wonderful IMAX film about the wonders of the ocean world, the horrors of a living coral reef, and animals that more properly resembled plant life. One life form slowly devours another, using all the myriad tricks of evolution, from symbiosis and natural selection, to rise, unerringly, to be the top of the food chain.

I felt like I just read a SF/Horror hybrid that was just narrated by Jacques Cousteau, full of even and progressive prose
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Mara
Mar 07, 2014 Mara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thrill-me, 2014-reads
Feed Area X but do not antagonize it, and perhaps someone will, through luck or mere repetition, hit upon some explanation, some solution, before the world becomes Area X.

This is the story of the 12th expedition to Area X- a name which brings to mind some sort of secret government lab in the desert but which, in this story, seems more akin to Amazonian jungle ruins, or the wilderness from a Miyazaki film.

Princess Mononoke came to mind early on in the story when the narrator, who we know as the b
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Melissa
Feb 20, 2014 Melissa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oh my god, what is going on here? Never have I been so freaked out by a book where so much vague, unsettling stuff happens; I can't even tell you why I was so spooked while I was reading this. This reminded me a lot of both House of Leaves and The Ruins but it's not really like either of those books, except there was a lot going on in HoL that scared me without me really being able to articulate why. I'm really, really glad that I stopped reading & went to bed before pushing through on the l ...more
Joe Valdez
The next stop in my end-of-the-world reading marathon was Annihilation, the first entry in Jeff VanderMeer's Southern Reach trilogy. While the novel doesn't introduce a doomsday scenario or send the population of a major city fleeing in terror, an apocalyptic vibe permeates the story, which is elliptical, imaginative, removed, occasionally creepy and mostly lifeless.

The heavily concept oriented novel deals with an expedition into Area X, an ecological dead zone that has appeared in an unnamed re
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Joseph
Oct 24, 2014 Joseph rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Annihilation (Southern Reach Trilogy #1) by Jeff VanderMeer is one of the books the cool kids already beat me to. It has received mostly good ratings with one exception from those in my circle. The reviews and some prodding brought me to this book.

This is one of those books where the reader is dropped right into a bizarre story without much preface. To complicate the matter the characters are not much better off information wise than the reader. There is a boundary at the Southern Reach, which
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Matt
Jan 04, 2014 Matt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If Annihilation is any indication, 2014 will be a good year for fiction.

Written by Jeff Vandermeer, promoter of the new weird (see also: Jagannath), Annihilation is a tour de force, a slow burn of wonder and dread the culmination of which leaves the reader demanding more. Happily, Annihilation is the first entry in The Southern Reach Trilogy; Authority will be published in June, and Acceptance in September. (Fun fact: Whilst Googling, I discovered that the books are slated to be made into movies
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Jason
Feb 25, 2014 Jason rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-books, read-2014
5 Stars

Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer is a trip to the unknown “Area X” told by the master of the new weird. Vandermeer is one of my favorite authors and Finch one of my all time favorite novels period. He writes fantasy, the new weird, where things are not always what they seem and the unusual will be the ordinary. This book is no exception to that only it is done with a light touch. Like in his Ambergis series the setting itself ‘Area X’ is a character in of itself. Although it does not reach
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Jenny (Reading Envy)
I've put off reviewing this for a few days because I feel like the author is out there watching me, ready to scream "Annihilation, annihilation!" if I get it wrong. Ahem.

I have seen a lot of pre-press hype for this book, partly because I follow the author on Facebook. I even went to a reading in 2012 where Jeff VanderMeer read from an earlier draft, based on a dream he had with writing on the wall. I knew back then that I would need to read the book, and then it turned into a trilogy!

A lot of co
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Mogsy (MMOGC)
4.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum http://bibliosanctum.blogspot.com/201...

This is the first time I’ve ever read anything by Jeff VanderMeer, and I’ll admit at first I had my misgivings. I’d picked up this book because of the great things I’ve heard about it, and also because the premise sounded fascinating. However, VanderMeer is also best known for his contributions to “New Weird”, a literary genre that’s been hit or miss with me – but mostly miss. Still, I looked at the modest page count of
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David Katzman
May 04, 2014 David Katzman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of literary fantasy, sci fi or horror, House of Leaves or H.P. Lovecraft
Jeff Vandermeer's latest work is haunting. Annhilation is a short cross-genre horror sci-fi fantasy work that packs quite a punch. I would describe it as roughly a cross between House of Leaves, Pollen by Jeff Noon, and H.P. Lovecraft. The House of Leaves comparison arises from the way that Vandermeer manages to derive a significant creep-factor from structures. The Pollen connection arises from the way nature (is it?) has finally turned against humanity despite humanities presumption of dominat ...more
Katy
May 12, 2014 Katy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Lovecraftian, surreal, bizarro fiction
Recommended to Katy by: Amazon Vine
Book Info: Genre: Psychological thriller (Per publisher); Lovecraftian fiction (per me)
Reading Level: Adult
Recommended for: Fans of Lovecraftian stories, surreal or bizarro fiction
Book Available: February 4, 2014 in paperback, Kindle, and audiobook formats
Trigger Warnings: killing, mind control, murder, attempted murder

My Thoughts: An early reader of this book described it as, “A little Kubrick, a lot Lovecraft...” and who could resist that juicy plum? I'm not sure what genre to put this in, how
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Terry Brooks
May 15, 2014 Terry Brooks rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My recommendation this month goes to Jeff Vandermeer's "Annihilation." This is a book about a doomed expedition following on the heels of other expeditions into country that has proven to be all but impenetrable and which appears to change those who go into it. The writing is first rate. At times I was reminded of Ursula LeGuin. The author has that uncanny ability to see an issue from more than one side and to make a story that has little actual violence into a a thrilling page turner. This is t ...more
Danger
Sep 26, 2015 Danger rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Annihilation is all about tone. Hitting a single note on a piano and letting it ring out for as long as it can.

It takes a special kind of talent to get me as enraptured as I was while reading this book. Descriptionporn. Settingporn. Atmosphereporn. That's what this is. But I’m not saying these things were PORNOGRAPHIC in here, I’m saying Vandermeer revels in the scenery of Area X so much, it’s almost as if it were being fetishized. And, in a way, I suppose it is. The main character, simply calle
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Giovanna
Mar 07, 2016 Giovanna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So...this is my 1000th book read.

Italian review here, English review below!

Partiamo con l'affermare l'ovvio: Annientamento è un libro strano . Per essere completamente onesta e fare sfoggio della mia ignoranza ammetto persino di non saperlo collocare in un genere letterario. Certo è che, se siete allergici alle stranezze, Annientamento non fa per voi.

Io personalmente, che nel genere "stranezze" ci sguazzo, non ho potuto non apprezzarlo.

Annientamento segue la dodicesima spedizione nell'Area X,
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Nikki
Mar 06, 2015 Nikki rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review could easily just be: what the fuck? What the fuck? What the fuck?

As I was just saying to my partner, who is reading these books at the same time as me, the concept isn’t that strange in many ways. You can explain it as a straightforward SF or horror story. It’s just the way VanderMeer writes it: it’s so insidious, so sideways; it creeps up on you. The depersonalisation of the nameless characters helps with that, and the half-said things. The contradictions and confusions and the way
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Stuart
This is not a complete novel, so I can't give it a proper review. It sets out the intriguing premise of the mysterious and dangerous Area X, sends 4 nameless scientist explorers to investigate it, and then throws you off the deep end into a seriously phantasmagorical experience that is more like the fever dream of H.P. Lovecraft after watching the LOST series while tripping on LSD. There is some terrific writing and disorienting imagery that grabbed me, and the audiobook narrator Carolyn McCormi ...more
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Jeff VanderMeer's most recent fiction is the NYT-bestselling Southern Reach trilogy (Annihilation, Authority, and Acceptance), all released in 2014. The series has been acquired by publishers in 15 other countries and Paramount Pictures/Scott Rudin Productions have acquired the movie rights. His Wonderbook (Abrams Image), the world's first fully illustrated, full-color creative writing guide, won ...more
More about Jeff VanderMeer...

Other Books in the Series

Southern Reach (3 books)
  • Authority (Southern Reach, #2)
  • Acceptance (Southern Reach, #3)

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“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.” 54 likes
“That's how the madness of the world tries to colonize you: from the outside in, forcing you to live in its reality.” 50 likes
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