We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access .
Annihilation Audiobook

Annihilation: Southern Reach Trilogy, Book 1

Regular Price:$9.05
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Publisher's Summary

The first volume of the extraordinary Southern Reach trilogy - now a major motion picture written and directed by Alex Garland (Ex Machina) and starring Natalie Portman and Oscar Isaac.

For thirty years, Area X has remained mysterious and remote behind its intangible border – an environmental disaster zone, though to all appearances an abundant wilderness. The Southern Reach, a secretive government agency, has sent eleven expeditions to investigate Area X. One has ended in mass suicide, another in a hail of gunfire, the eleventh in a fatal cancer epidemic. Now four women embark on the twelfth expedition into the unknown.

©2014 Jeff VanderMeer Creative, Inc. (P)2014 2014 by Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"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, award-winning author of Zoo City and The Shining Girls)
"Original and beautiful, maddening and magnificent." (Warren Ellis)
"One of those books where it all comes together - the story and the prose and the ideas, all braided into a triple helix that gives rise to something vibrant and alive. Something that grows, word-by-word, into powerful, tangled vines that creep into your mind and take hold of it. Annihilation is brilliant and atmospheric, a novel that has the force of myth." (Charles Yu, author of How to Live in a Science Fictional Universe)

"A contemporary masterpiece." (The Guardian)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (66 )
5 star
 (15)
4 star
 (37)
3 star
 (8)
2 star
 (3)
1 star
 (3)
Overall
4.0 (64 )
5 star
 (26)
4 star
 (18)
3 star
 (15)
2 star
 (1)
1 star
 (4)
Story
4.0 (64 )
5 star
 (19)
4 star
 (31)
3 star
 (9)
2 star
 (3)
1 star
 (2)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Amazon Customer 04-12-17
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Didn't like the narrator"

    The narrator has a very odd way of reading which made the story quite hard to follow. Her intonation was all over the place, yet her pace and volume stayed the same, even in dramatic or suspenseful moments. The overall effect was one of emotionlessness. I am not sure if this was a conscious decision on her part (given that the protagonist is a scientist writing an expedition journal this would make sense) but it didn't work for me at all.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    B. Daniel Australia 02-26-17
    B. Daniel Australia 02-26-17 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    46
    9
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Abstract, muddled waste of time"

    I really had to push myself to finish this book. I found the author's writing style to be abstract to the point of frustration. I don't know how someone could express so many words to convey absolutely no useful information. No feeling of closure by the end of the book, simply relief that its over. Will not be reading the rest of the series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    honestdom 10-19-16
    honestdom 10-19-16
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "good reading, preferred the chalet format."

    It felt quite easy to get through this because there were only 5 long chapters. I liked that and I liked the reading, I think it got better as the book progressed. I just found the story a bit meh. it started well but for a bit confusing in places and then just a bit boring maybe. I was listening at work so it was maybe a bit difficult imagining all the details and concentrating on work at the same time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 04-18-16
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    3
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Story not very interesting"

    Struggling to finish this. Read well. Boring no where to go story. I just didn't care where this was going to go.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eszter North Melbourne, Australia 06-17-14
    Eszter North Melbourne, Australia 06-17-14 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    30
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Short but full of curiosities"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Annihilation to be better than the print version?

    I havent read the print version but I thought the Audio was good. The narrator has a bit of a weird style of over emphasising everything which was kind of annoying - but the story was good enough to get past that. She also narrated the Hunger Games trilogy which brought to mind a sort of association between the books, even though there is none.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The Biologist in that she's relatable in her curiousity and wonder at Area X, as well as her introversion. The Psychologist is an interesting character but we dont ever know enough about her.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    Its a little over the top in the way the sentences are constructed but it isn't too bad.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Nothing is as it seems


    Any additional comments?

    I think this book could have been a LOT longer as it has you asking more questions than the answers it gives you. I really hope the sequels will flesh out the story more as currently its a place where weird things happen but we don't really get very much of an idea at all about whats going on. The first person telling also allows the author to hide a lot from us and there really isnt even any history into the region.
    Well worth listening to as its short and if you like the weird and the wonderful, then you will like this.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Adam 06-02-16
    Adam 06-02-16 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    23
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Why?!?!"

    Why would you make the first book in a trilogy available in Australia, and then NOT make the second two available?! You publisher muppets need to sort yourselves out.

    The book is excellent by the way. Shame the author won't get paid for the next two.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Andy
    Manchester, United Kingdom
    9/19/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "An interesting story let down by the production"

    A creepy, other-world story that reminded me of a cross between Ian Banks (not the scifi) with a dash of Into the mountains of madness. But, oh god, the narration!

    The dialogue was delivered well but , on the whole, this has either been badly edited or her read was done in a hurry. There are no gaps over 1 second between sentences. The text runs into itself. Sentences are left meaningless and there is no sense of pace. Tension is killed. With a little more breathing space the mistakes in the read could have been forgiven - McCormick can get the tone right. I just found myself shouting "PARAGRAPH" a lot.

    It's a shame the production spoils an otherwise interesting story

    14 of 15 people found this review helpful
  • Matthew
    7/4/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "By the third book i'd given up and was over it."
    What would have made Annihilation better?

    There's too much waffle, the whole trilogy should be edited down to a single book. I found myself bored completely with utter disinterest in most of it. Some good bits of thriller horror sci-fi, but then stopped caring. Didn't even bother finishing the third book, just gave up on it and moved on to much more fun/interesting audiobooks.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    area x


    What about Carolyn McCormick’s performance did you like?

    brilliant, really well performed.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Annihilation?

    I'd get rid of anything personal to the characters, the memories, flashbacks, inner thoughts, make it far more expositional and a thriller. the incredible amount of garbage and waffle in between suspenseful scenes bored me out of my skull. I also got the sense that many descriptive elements were contradictory of themselves, that there were things being expressed that "may or may not have been happening" whilst I appreciate wanting your audience to "experience" what the characters are going through, I actually ended up just hating the story. I find it really funny that the book is compared to a project that JJ abrahms would do. In his early years he directed "lost" which alienated much of his fan base by leading them down a confusing and utterly pointless story... same thing with this book. confusing and pointless. Had great potential though.


    Any additional comments?

    can I have my money back?

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • MarieSciFiAddict
    Norwich UK
    5/2/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Awful bizarre story "

    Awful and dull. You have no idea what is happening, but not in a good way. Not helped by Carolyn McCormack's dull and monotonous voice with little character difference. I loved her in The Hunger Games, but this is just too flat and dull for an already flat and dull story.

    Annoyed I wasted my time listening when I could have spent my time on something more enjoyable, a dentists appointment maybe.

    Don't waste your money.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • John
    Liverpool, United Kingdom
    7/3/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The Jury is out ...."

    Having reached the end of the first book in the series I'd agree with one coolest I read that suggested it was a bit like Margaret Atwood re-writing 'Roadside Picnic". There were some aspects of the prose that I wasn't entirely happy with & feel a bit of editorial work would help. So would I recommend it? Yes, but with reservations. It's a flawed work, & a bit short. Kind of sketchy in places ..... tho to be fair this is better than being over-written, & the sketchiness the authir would reasonably argue was largely deliberate. An omnibus edition will probably follow in a couple of years & be more satisfying as such. I am interested enough to see if the author has the ideas to lead this to a satisfactory resolution, which was obviously never going to be the point with a first volume.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Mr. A. J. Bond
    Warrington, UK
    10/15/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Dull, pretentious nonsense"

    This has to be one of the most irritating books I have ever read. Very little happens in it and the descriptions are bland and vague. There’s very little character interaction and the book is mainly the inner narrative of the self-absorbed main character.

    Most of the plot consists of plodding backwards and forwards between three locations. The plot, such as it is, hints at big questions but offers no answers. The final chapter is so pretentious it completely disappears up its own backside. Avoid!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Teorgian
    2/22/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Compellingly narrated"
    What made the experience of listening to Annihilation the most enjoyable?

    The book is brilliantly narrated, a nice range of modulation without ever going over the top or becoming distracting.


    What other book might you compare Annihilation to, and why?

    The opening third focuses on the interpersonal politics of a group of researchers, and in that way reminded me of Le Guin's 'Vaster Than Empires, and More Slow.

    'The middle third owes a great debt to Lovecraft's 'At the Mountains of Madness.'

    The impact of research on a personal relationship reminded me of the Chiang short-story 'Division by Zero.'


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    There's both humour and drama in the first act's scenes featuring the interactions of a group of scientists, each with different specialisms. I particularly enjoyed those.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The mad rush of the very ending, and the prospect of the future it looked out upon, I found affecting.

    This was particularly because the book had sagged in the middle, and the writing in those parts seemed stale, which highlighted the verve and panache with which the conclusion was accomplished.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Andy Sargeant
    10/18/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "What did I just read?"

    I'm still wondering if this is a fantastic book or something that doesn't make sense at all. Yes, like the other reviews you are left hanging with questions and nothing really is explained, but it's explained enough that you want to read the other two in the trilogy to find out!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Saila
    8/17/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Very Strange"

    It was one of the strangest stories I have ever heard or read. Very weird and absolutely hard work not to end listening before it was finished. I was constantly living in the hope the story would start to behave alas totally in vain.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • V Harrison
    7/13/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent!"

    A really great story, fantastically told. Strongly recommend. Will be checking out the next in the series as soon as my next credit comes in. Can't wait for the film!

    Also, and this is perhaps more a general point but it is so refreshing to read a book (particularly of this genre) that features a female protagonist (and mostly female supporting characters too) yet it's almost incidental and steers clear of the tired clichés about female characters. She is written as a person and I don't think you see enough writing like that in books, TV or films.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Amb
    UK
    2/9/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Tedious"

    An ultimately unedifying story, pointless and uninvolving, with little character development and read by an actor whose cold and uninterested performance left me wondering why I should care about the protaganist in the slightest . I listened to the end assuming the denouement would pay off with a spectacular twist. I waited in vain. As first book of a trilogy I can only assume the books are aimed at masochists.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.