Area X: The Southern Reach Trilogy
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Area X: The Southern Reach Trilogy : Annihilation, Authority & Acceptance

3.73 (5,352 ratings by Goodreads)
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'A contemporary masterpiece' Guardian

ALL THREE VOLUMES OF THE EXTRAORDINARY SOUTHERN REACH TRILOGY - NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY ALEX GARLAND (EX MACHINA) AND STARRING NATALIE PORTMAN, OSCAR ISAAC, GINA RODRIGUEZ AND TESSA THOMPSON



Area X has been cut off from the rest of the world for decades, explored only in a series of expeditions dispatched by a secret government agency called the Southern Reach. So far these expeditions have returned - when they have returned - with more questions than answers. The first group came back with reports of a pristine, Edenic landscape; the second expedition ended in mass suicide; the members of the eleventh expedition returned but soon all died of cancer. At the beginning of the Southern Reach Trilogy, we join the twelfth expedition: four female scientists prepared to map the terrain, to document and analyse samples. But once they cross into Area X it becomes apparent that the rules of nature as they understand them do not apply.


Back at headquarters, the Southern Reach itself falls into disarray, its arcane bureaucracy and obsessive secrecy collapsing into paranoia and paralysis. Those tasked with understanding and controlling Area X seem doomed to respond only with irrational, desperate measures. Is it possible that one last mission across the border can save them?


Together for the first time in one volume, the three celebrated novels of Jeff VanderMeer's Southern Reach Trilogy - Annihilation, Authority, and Acceptance - tell an exhilarating, disturbing, and all but unbearably suspenseful story of humanity engaged in what might be an existential confrontation with nature. It is destined to become a classic of its kind.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 896 pages
  • 159 x 227 x 57mm | 1,060g
  • FOURTH ESTATE LTD
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0008288216
  • 9780008288211
  • 91,692

Review quote

Praise for THE SOUTHERN REACH TRILOGY:



`I'm loving the Southern Reach Trilogy ... Creepy and fascinating' Stephen King


`Hauntingly weird and brilliantly new ... These are contemporary masterpieces and career-defining novels' Adam Robert, Books of the Year, Guardian


`This trilogy is a modern mycological masterpiece ... Remarkable ... Tense, eerie and unsettling ... VanderMeer writes much better prose than Poe ever did ... This is genuinely potent and dream-haunting writing. VanderMeer has arrived' Guardian


`A teeming science fiction that draws on Conrad and Lovecraft alike ... Annihilation shows signs of being the novel that will allow VanderMeer to break through to a new and larger audience' Sunday Telegraph


`A lasting monument to the uncanny ... You find yourself afraid to turn the page' Guardian


`VanderMeer's novel is a psycho-geographical tour de force, channelling Ballard and Lovecraft to instil the reader with a deep, delicious unease' Financial Times


`What a haunting book this is, lodging deep in the memory in similar fashion to otherworldly classics such as David Lindsay's A Voyage To Arcturus ... Annihilation is so disquietingly strange as to defy summarisation. Read it' Daily Mail


`Astonishing, frightening, spectacular ... I hope the trilogy will come to be seen not only as the instant sci-fi classic it is, but also as Literature' New Statesman


`Immersive, insightful and often deeply bloody creepy, this is a startlingly good novel ... A major work' ***** SFX Magazine


`A tense and chilling psychological thriller about an unravelling expedition and the strangeness within us. A little Kubrick, a lot of Lovecraft, the novel builds with an unbearable tension and claustrophobic dread that lingers long afterwards. I loved it' Lauren Beukes


`Original and beautiful, maddening and magnificent' Warren Ellis
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About Jeff Vandermeer

JEFF VANDERMEER is an award-winning novelist and editor. His fiction has been translated into twenty languages and has appeared in the Library of America's American Fantastic Tales and multiple year's-best anthologies. He grew up in the Fiji Islands and now lives in Tallahassee, Florida with his wife.
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Rating details

5,352 ratings
3.73 out of 5 stars
5 28% (1,509)
4 34% (1,843)
3 23% (1,237)
2 11% (586)
1 3% (177)
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