Eve's Reviews > Annihilation

Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer
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it was ok

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 was far too cryptic. While less is often more (Michael Chabon - are you listening?), less is also often less. And so it is here. I was hoping for something gripping that would draw me into this mystery, but none of the hooks worked. While our protagonist does learn something about herself in the course of the (thankfully short) novel, her realizations leave no emotional impact. I will not be reading the sequels even tho they are being released by the publisher on an accelerated schedule. (NYT recently reported on this new publishing phenomenon of quick releasing of series. And this series is being published by FSG, usually known for quality books. Don't get it!).
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Reading Progress

February 3, 2014 – Shelved
February 3, 2014 – Shelved as: to-read
February 11, 2014 – Started Reading
February 14, 2014 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-29 of 29 (29 new)

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Julianne YES. So much yes.


message 2: by Kim (new) - rated it 2 stars

Kim Agreed!


John Always gotta have the hipster backlash.


message 4: by Eve (new) - rated it 2 stars

Eve John wrote: "Always gotta have the hipster backlash."

What does that comment mean??? please explain!


Michelle Winkle I agree with you 100%.


message 6: by Eve (new) - rated it 2 stars

Eve thanks Michelle - I think that we're in the minority! Maybe the movie will be better . . . if there's a movie!


message 7: by Sam (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sam Loved the book, but respect your take. The pace, perspective, and themes of the second book are very different from the first, if you ever get the urge to give Vandermeer a second chance.


message 8: by Eve (new) - rated it 2 stars

Eve Thanks for the suggestion, Sam. I'll take it under consideration. Didn't realize that book 2 was out already . . .


Tobias Winkler I absolutely agree. Somewhere I read about this book that the protagonist shows a never before seen depth of solitude and loneliness. That and the promise of a very strange world made me read the book. Fatal mistake. This book is so mundane, so trivial... I highly doubt that I'm gonna try the second book soon.


message 10: by Eve (new) - rated it 2 stars

Eve Yes, Tobias! I am thinking about the previous commenter who suggested that I give the second (very different apparently) book a chance. I would like to be open minded. But life is so short!!


message 11: by Clif (new) - rated it 2 stars

Clif Eve, put me in the minority party too!


message 12: by Eve (new) - rated it 2 stars

Eve Clif - at least the minority is growing! One by one . . . .


Julie And one...


message 14: by Eve (new) - rated it 2 stars

Eve Maybe we are the true silent majority?


Thomas my fav book ive read in a long time !


message 16: by Thelma (new) - added it

Thelma Gabbett Have only just started this i get the feeling i won't be rating this book too highly hard to get to grips with the story!


message 17: by Eve (new) - rated it 2 stars

Eve Thomas wrote: "my fav book ive read in a long time !"

Just goes to show that there are all kinds! Glad that you enjoyed it!


message 18: by Eve (new) - rated it 2 stars

Eve Thelma wrote: "Have only just started this i get the feeling i won't be rating this book too highly hard to get to grips with the story!"

Let me know what you think when you finish.


Karen It made me think of _The Road_, too, but when I read _The Road_, I could hardly put it down, and I sobbed at the end. This mushy thing took me a month to read and I was so glad to finally be done. Since someone said the second book is very different, maybe I'll give it a try someday, but if the first 20 pages don't really suck me in, I'm not going to bother continuing.


Linda Cuckovich And one more for the skeptics


message 21: by Hoeon (last edited Nov 19, 2014 05:28PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Hoeon "Don't get it!" --- no you sadly didn´t.


Johnny Profane I found this right on par with Mr. Lovecraft. There. I said it.


Fizzyvimto I never usually give up on a book but this bored me to tears. Got 50 pages in then that was it. Terrible!


Fizzyvimto I never usually give up on a book but this bored me to tears. Got 50 pages in then that was it. Terrible!


message 25: by Stef (new)

Stef It's worth the read but you need to commit to the whole trilogy - highly recommended.


message 26: by Greg (new) - rated it 3 stars

Greg R Totally agree with this review, except that I found the protagonist's realization quite touching.

The only creepy thing in the book was the incomprehensible conspiracy surrounding Area X. I found the fascination with the tower rather silly -- writing shit on walls is a fairly mundane and localized activity, even if you do write the shit using fungus.


message 27: by M Alan (new)

M Alan Kazlev "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." - to me this is the greatest turn off in this book. It makes it compare very unfavourably with a somewhat similar (weird anomaly fiction) work, Arkady and Boris Strugatsky's Roadsside Picnic, where the protagonist and other characters do have names and lives and do feel like real people.


message 28: by JJB (new)

JJB Thanks for that Eve, after 65 pages I wondered if it was worth persisting. Looks like a no!


message 29: by Eve (new) - rated it 2 stars

Eve JJB - glad that I saved you from committing the time!


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