Sunday, March 22, 2015

Annihilation (by Jeff VanderMeer)

Sometimes the experience of reading a book becomes entwined with the book itself. So it is with Annihilation, which I read during a long sleepless night in the ER with an extremely sad-and-in-pain three-year-old. (She fell out of bed and broke her clavicle.) This felt appropriate.

This is book one of the Southern Reach Trilogy, a contender in the 2015 Tournament of Books, and a recommendation from my book besties Wendy and Chris. It was a compelling read, very tense, with a wonderful unreliable narrator. You know how I feel about unreliable narrators. Plus, the setup was basically The Andromeda Strain, a fun association, even if it went ultimately in a completely different direction (into what you might call sci-fi or speculative fiction).

It's so full of creepy moodiness, and the night at the ER was so unpleasant and exhausting, my reaction to this book isn't all that intellectual, it's just an overwhelming feeling of a sort of pleasurable ookiness. I've heard mixed reviews of the next two books in the series, but I will probably read them anyway, because I want more of whatever this experience was -- minus the ER stuff, of course.

For more cogent intellectual analysis, tune into the ToB tomorrow, where it is competing against An Untamed State. No idea how that would go; I think I would pick Annihilation.

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