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text 2015-08-11 23:05
Acceptance by Jeff Vandermeer
Acceptance: The Southern Reach Trilogy, Book 3 - Jeff VanderMeer,Carolyn McCormick,Bronson Pinchot,Xe Sands

I'm throwing in the towel. I know that so many other people enjoyed this series, and perhaps I would have enjoyed it more had I not listened to the audio versions, I don't know.


Either way, I'm not rating this or counting it in my challenge. I just lost interest. 

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review 2015-08-08 08:27
Acceptance - Book 3 of The Southern Reach Trilogy
Acceptance (The Southern Reach Trilogy) - Jeff VanderMeer
The three novels of the Southern Reach Trilogy amount to the best recent science fiction series that I have read. Let's define recent as within the last decade.
Why so good? It comes down to a combination of literary skill coupled with a scorchingly original pathway of ideas. I'm choosing words carefully here: pathway of ideas rather than "plot." Plot connotes a concrete vehicle that moves the reader forward. With these books, the reading experience goes beyond the conventional thrust of storytelling. Like Area X itself, VanderMeer's writing frightens and disorients, so that by the end, we don't know quite what has occurred. These books are something a reader or listener experiences rather than merely following a chain of events. In its pages are some of the most quietly unsettling descriptions of human madness that I've encountered in fiction.
None of this works at all if the author fails to deliver interesting characters. I thought about this last point quite a lot as Acceptance unfolded. VanderMeer establishes his characters and their gnarly relationships in Annihilation and Authority, filling in their lives and back stories with the deft touch of a master short story writer. By the time we reach Acceptance, the table has been set and we can feast on the interplay of these characters. Having this advantage, VanderMeer takes on a more ambitious narrative structure, shifting between present tense viewpoints of all main characters, but also providing a lengthy section from the Biologist's Area X journal and illuminating the backstory of a character whose presence darkened the first two installments: the lighthouse keeper, Saul! As "Patient Zero," it's Saul's account that provides the most chills. This is because he is the most ignorant of any of the characters we've encountered with regard to the region's power. For this reason, his experiences, as he is slowly altered by whatever forces are at work in and around his lighthouse, take on a more panicked and visceral quality. 
It's books like these that make reading so much fun. I'm giddy just to share a planet for a few decades with the mastermind behind this literary world.
Jeff VanderMeer - you are the man!
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review 2015-07-14 22:05
Authority by Jeff Vandermeer, narrated by Bronson Pinchot
Authority: Southern Reach Trilogy, Book 2 - Jeff VanderMeer,Bronson Pinchot


I liked the narration but this story isn't working well for me. I'm playing with the idea of not reading the last one at all. I probably will though, because I feel the need to finish the series after investing all this time.

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text 2015-07-08 20:25
Reading progress update: I've listened to 5% of Authority
Authority: Southern Reach Trilogy, Book 2 - Jeff VanderMeer,Bronson Pinchot

Another audio book came in for me at the library. Authority is the second book in this series. 


May I just share with you how happy I am that this book is not narrated by Carolyn McCormick, who narrated the first one? I. Am. SO. Happy! I've listened to a lot of audiobooks over the last year or so, and I have to say, she is the worst narrator I've ever heard.


I wonder if the publisher thought so too, because this one is narrated by Bronson Pinchot. 



Let's recap! Bronson Pinchot-IN!   YAY!                                




Carolyn McCormick-OUT! Yay!



Carolyn, I loved you as Dr. Olivet on Law & Order, but I do not like your narration. Good day!

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review 2015-06-02 18:08
Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer, Narrated by Carolyn McCormick
Annihilation: Southern Reach Trilogy, Book 1 - Jeff VanderMeer,Carolyn McCormick

I thought this was a decent, intriguing story.


There wasn't much dialogue between characters and there wasn't much explanation of what was going on. All of which was fine with me. What was not fine was the narrator. 


At first I was excited to find out that the narrator was Carolyn McCormick. Some of you may recognize the name, as I did, from her role as Dr. Olivet on the original Law & Order. I loved her character on the show and I remembered her distinctive voice, so I thought this would be great. Unfortunately, I have to say that I did not enjoy her narration. At all. In fact, I loathed it. (And read loathed in a John Houseman type voice, I LOATHED it.)


I am interested in what happens next in this series, however, if Carolyn McCormick narrates them, I will be reading them for myself instead. I may not get to them as quickly as I would if they were audiobooks, but I'm pretty sure I will find them much more enjoyable that way.


For whatever it's worth, I recommend the story, but I do not recommend the audiobook.

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