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Acceptance (The Southern Reach Trilogy) Hardcover – 2 Sep 2014

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Fourth Estate (2 Sept. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007553536
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007553532
  • Product Dimensions: 14.8 x 3.1 x 22.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 23,823 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description



‘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 … The imaginative daring and reach with which VanderMeer has invented and executed a concept such as Area X is breathtaking … Powerful and echoing … 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

About the Author

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 in multiple year’s-best anthologies. He writes non-fiction for the Washington Post, the New York Times Book Review, the Los Angeles Times, and the Guardian, among others. He grew up in the Fiji Islands and now lives in Tallahassee, Florida, with his wife.

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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Kate TOP 500 REVIEWER on 14 Jan. 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
And so Southern Reach concludes. This is the review of the third novel and of the series as a whole so please do not tread further unless you've read Annihilation and Authority.

After the mysterious and horrifyingly beautiful Annihilation, which took us deep into the inverted and animated environment of Area X, Authority took a step back, hiding us for a while in the Southern Reach headquarters outside Area X, listening to Control's attempts to decipher the enigmatic answers of expedition survivor Ghost Bird as well as cope with the general madness around him. I was pleased to discover that Acceptance, the final novel in the trilogy, takes us back into Area X, now a greatly expanded and unknowable environment. If you're seeking answers then they must be sought back in Area X in this distorted and alive stretch of Florida coast.

Acceptance is divided among the experiences of several who have come to mean something to us through the course of this trilogy. The Director/Psychologist, so important from the mission we followed in Annihilation, is finally made real to us. The lighthouse keeper, Saul Evans, also becomes real at last. The lighthouse has been central to the mystery throughout all three books, whether in its natural state or unnaturally inverted and buried, and now we are allowed to follow Saul's experiences from the time when he was normal, a human being with friends and lovers to the moment when everything began to change until he was lost entirely to Area X. Finally we have Ghost Bird and Control, now back in Area X as another expedition, possibly the final expedition.

The Southern Reach trilogy is beautifully written. The environment is haunting, rich, tangible. The creatures that live in it are both frightening and attractive.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Guy on 17 Oct. 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Not really what I expected, and I think my long-term opinion of the Southern Reach Trilogy will depend on whether this is "it", or whether Vandermeer plans to re-visit Area X or any of it's characters in a future novel, as an awful lot seems to have been left hanging or at least not satisfactorily explained.

The book alternates it's chapters between 3 viewpoints. We have Saul the lighthouse keeper, whose ultimate fate we already know from Book 2, Gloria the ex-Director, whose passages are written in the second person (a narrative device I presume was intended to act as a clue to her eventual fate), and then the sections inside Area X where the main characters from each of the first 2 books, Control & the Biologist, have now joined together.

I found the Control/Biologist/Ghost Bird sections the most unsatisfactory. Making Control the central character in Book 2 worked very well to give us an insight into what the Southern Reach was all about, but after that build-up he is barely recognisable as the same character here and I think far too many pages are given over to florid landscape descriptions which made the first third of the book a bit of drag to get through.

The Saul Evans chapters were much more engaging, culminating in the best examples of Vandermeer's typically atmospheric weirdness.

In the end I think it was a problem of structure, and the marketing gimmick of releasing these books as a (quite expensive) trilogy that left me vaguely unsatisfied at the end, despite having enjoyed the ride along the way for the most part.. The conclusion is not completely open-ended and did throw up some fascinating questions and ideas, but a few more answers would have been quite nice.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Keen Reader TOP 50 REVIEWER on 16 Oct. 2014
Format: Hardcover
This book is the third in the Southern Reach Trilogy. I enjoyed the first book, Annihilation. It was unlike anything I’d ever really read before; weird, odd, unexplained and inexplicable, yet enticing and luring you in to the story. The second book, Authority, I loved. The story of Control was wonderfully told; what he knew, what he didn’t know, what we could ever hope to find out. The climax of that book was utterly enthralling; how could it ever all be resolved?

This third and final book, Acceptance, should by rights (I feel) bring all the threads together that have been teased out in Annihilation and Authority. But I’m not convinced that it did. I felt it took a while to get going; it wasn’t until I was about 100 pages in that I felt it was really gripping me. Then, the narrative raced off; we find ourselves following stories from before, and from now – the tales of the Director, Control, Ghost Bird, the Lighthouse Keeper. Here were resolutions, but here also were more questions, and it’s those questions that I felt a bit frustrated about.

We learned more than we could ever have imagined was uncoverable about the island, about Saul, about the S&S Brigade, Control’s history – things that even he didn’t know. And I loved finding out more about the Director; how she became the person she was, and what happened to her. We also learn more about Grace, and about the biologist and the other expeditions.

But I felt the language of this book was so opaque as to potentially cause confusion for the reader (where the language was not like that in Authority, or even so much in Annihilation).
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