Annihilation - Jeff VanderMeer

I put Annihilation on my "Book-to-movie"-reading list for one reason only: Alex Garland is writing the screenplay and quite frankly, he could write a screenplay based on the phonebook and the movie would be awesome. So I had high hopes for this novel and I wished for at least an engaging story (which I ultimately didn´t get).


Annihilation tells the story of four women, a psychologist, a biologist, an antrophologist and a surveyor, who are being sent into Area X, a mysterious region somewhere on the coast of the US. The explorations of Area X are issued by a clandestine government organization, called the Southern Reach, who keeps sending teams into the area although bad things are happening to them. As soon as the new team arrives in that weird place, things starts to unravel.  


So here is the thing: this book is utterly crap-tastic. It´s one of these books that solely relies on the weird and the bizarre, although there isn´t much of a coherent story to begin with. Honestly, I can´t tell you what this book is exactly about. The only thing I can come up with is that I was doing exactly the same thing as our narrator, the dull and unlikeable biologist, is constantly doing: observing a pristine ecosystem. And I was just bored by it and it just lacked so many explanations that I slightly felt irritated by it. I have two questions which I ultimately needed an answer to (mind you, I didn´t get them):


  1. Why are the Southern Reach sending expedition after expedition into Area X even though it always ends in a catastrophe?
  2. Why do people volunteer for those expeditions?


Thankfully it´s a short read so I didn´t have enough time to get angry with the book ... okay, almost not angry. In the end I wanted to throw my kindle at the wall. The last chapter was just so bad that I´m lost for words.

I´m going to blissfully ignore the other installments in the series. And I´m hoping that the movie is going to be a whole lot better than the book.