Ex Libris Kirkland

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Subtitle Southern Reach Trilogy (Book 3)
First Written 2014
Genre Scifi
Origin US
Publisher FSG Originals
ISBN-10 0374104115
ISBN-13 978-0374104115
My Copy library paperback
First Read October 11, 2014


This is the ending of the amazing 'Southern Reach' trilogy, and it's great. It's satisfying in that it answers some mysteries, but it doesn't answer enough to take the magic out of the utter weirdness that Vandermeer has created.

There was a great review by Jason Sheehan on NPR that really summed it up well: "VanderMeer is trying to pull off a delicate trick here, trying to tell a story that's not about knowing and understanding (which is what all books by rational, non-insane people are basically about), but about the impossibility of knowing and the failure of human language and intelligence to encompass something that is completely and totally alien to us."

Noted on October 28, 2014

Right now, if the outside world existed, it would still be sending radio-wave messages into space and monitoring radio-wave frequencies to seek out other intelligent life in the universe. But Ghost Bird didn't think those messages were being received. Another way people were bound by their own view of consciousness. What if an infection was a message, a brightness a kind of symphony? As a defense? An odd form of communication? If so, the message had not been received, would probably never be received, the message buried in the transformation itself. Having to reach for such banal answers because of a lack of imagination, because human beings couldn't even put themselves in the mind of a cormorant or an owl or a whale or a bumblebee.

Did she want to ally herself to such a lack, and did she have a choice?

Quoted on October 28, 2014

Ex Libris Kirkland is a super-self-absorbed reading journal made by Matt Kirkland. Copyright © 2001 - .
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