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Finished reading: Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer 📚

I read this book years ago, but as with many novels, I could recall only the barest outline of the plot. A friend of mine was reading it, though, so I decided to pick it up again.

Having tried to read a few of Vandermeer’s novels in the meantime and finding them too inscrutable to be worth my time, I did not have high hopes. Thus, I was pleasantly surprised to find that I really enjoyed Annihilation this time through. I think it is just the right balance of vague weirdness—his other stuff I’ve tried veers too far toward this end of the spectrum—and solid storytelling.

My pet theory with this book is that it is a metaphor for writing and storytelling. Area X is the world of the storytelling and the Crawler is the author. Characters in the story get too close to the godlike powers of the author and are driven insane, killed, or are otherwise irrevocably altered, and Area X as the realm of storytelling impinges upon the real world with its unclear, shimmery boundaries, both consuming and altering the real world.

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