Annihilation (Southern Reach trilogy) teaser trailer (and a little book discussion)

The teaser trailer for Annihilation was released today. Even though I didn’t really like the book, I’m looking forward to the movie. It looks like they’ve captured the mood, it has a good cast, and I’m a big fan of the director (Alex Garland).

So about the book: this is the kind of story I usually love - well written, no clear answers, ambiguous characters that aren’t divided into good guys and bad guys. But for some reason it bugged me. Part of it might be because I listened to it as an audio book, and I’m not a big audio book guy. One specific thing that bugged me was flashbacks in stories should give new insight into a character’s motivations and why they act the way they do. I felt like one or two flashbacks were sufficient for this, and I got annoyed by the constant repetitive flashbacks that didn’t reveal anything new.(spoilered for those who don’t want to know anything about the book, but this is a general comment that doesn’t reveal plot points)

So convince me to give the book another try. Is this kind of story not represented well in an audio book? Am I likely to enjoy the other books in the trilogy more?

Oh, I’m totally down for this.

I’m gonna ignore the books until after the last movie, tho, prolly.

I’ve read the first two but haven’t laid hands on the third. There’s no way these are gonna translate onto film.

That’s what I told my wife last night, anyway. This morning I watched the trailer, and now I owe her an apology. That looks amazing.

LHoD, does the second book rely less on flashbacks than the first?

I will give the first one another try, in paper format this time. Frequent flashbacks don’t usually bother me in books or movies where there is a visual indication. When someone is telling me a story out loud, it feels more disjointed.

I didn’t like the first book and didn’t bother to finish the series, now I’ll have to read it again to figure out what I missed.

Tried to read the first book, it provoked reactions of physical disgust, it wasn’t that it was badly written (it wasn’t) I think it was the author’s intent to provoke them, since I don’t enjoy reading things like that I promptly abandoned it.

Jeff Vandermeer is one of the big movers and shakers in the New Weird fiction movement. His work has a fair amount of something like body horror in it, and is unsettling as fuck. For my money he’s taken Lovecraft’s basic aesthetic, removed the rampant racism, and added a ton of prose talent to the mix.

Definitely not for everyone, and I don’t really want to read one of his books more than once every few years; but I find him delightful.

Troutman, I honestly don’t remember. I think there are flashbacks in the second book; I think there’s a different protagonist entirely. I remember that it was not an easy, straightforward read, and there were passages I had to read several times in order to have any hope in hell of figuring out what was going on, and even then I was still kind of confused. That was, I believe, on purpose: the mood of the book is one of desperate bewildered dread that gradually changes to desperate bewildered terror (and finally to desperate bewildered resignation). Again, not everybody’s cuppa.

His more recent book Borne, a postapocalyptic tale about a five-story-tall golden bear that flies around a ruined city eating people, and the sentient purple blob plucked off its fur by the girlfriend of a guy who makes psychoactive drugs out of genetically engineered beetles, is far more straightforward.

Disagreement among the producers, with one concerned the movie is too cerebral for typical dumb audiences. Fortunately, it appears another producer won out and they didn’t change Garland’s cut of the movie. Unfortunately, this led to Paramount offloading the international distribution of the movie to Netflix, where it will bypass a theater release and go direct to streaming. That doesn’t bode well for the chances that the other books will be made into movies.

I’ve just finished reading the first two books in the trilogy and so far I’m really enjoying the trilogy. As far as the second book, it does feature a different protagonist but the use of flashbacks is very similar to the first book.