Rating – 4.33 out of 5
Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer reads like a dream. The novel centers around the Biologist, a woman who, as a part of an expedition into the Southern Reach, travels into one of the most bizarre biomes with the hopes of discovering its secrets. As the story unfolds it becomes obvious that there is more going on in the Southern Reach that meets the eye, mysteries more personal than others. The biologist and her team face frightening monsters, and things that go bump in the night as well as their own personal demons. Questioning the nature of life on this earth itself, this novel is not for the faint of heart.
“Silence creates its own violence.” -Jeff Vandermeer, Annihilation
Why I liked Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer
This book is unlike most everything that I have read. It is not a long book, but it took me several sittings to get through. There was a sense of existential dread that permeated throughout the story that is hard to quantify but is undeniably present. I had a hard time reading this in the dark or alone. While there were parts that were horrifying the majority of the novel was not. Yet, it still left me with a general sense of unease, even when what was being described was mundane or general field study.
The deeper concepts explored the connection to the outside social world and the nature of our work was fascinating. The passages about how the biologist viewed her husband and their connection were the ones that stuck with me the most. The detail that she goes into about how she is so wrapped up in her own little world that she lost sight of herself and her husband. The amount of sadness that accompanied that realization was one of the biggest horrors of the book. The emotional fall out of the book was large for me. I’m going to think about this much more as time goes on, I can feel it.
P.S. I’m probably not going to be able to watch the movie Annihilation until it comes to the small screen… I legit have an eversion to horror and that is what it’s being billed as… if any of you have seen it and think I might be able to handle it anyway, LET ME KNOW!
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