I went from juggling LOTS of books to just focusing on one. But I think that is how it has to be with a Jeff VanderMeer novel – it requires all my attention to comprehend what is happening because his writing style is so unique and it takes me a moment to settle in to the flow and I don’t think I could read anything else right now.
BORNE was recommended to me by one of my Insta friends during one of those “what have you read that’s good?” conversations. I read Vandermeer’s Southern Reach trilogy after I saw the movie Annihilation (both of which I thought were REALLY good but were also VERY different so you don’t really spoil one by reading/viewing the other) and I found it to be unlike anything else I had ever read before. The style, the approach to storytelling, was so unique to me. I’ve been meaning to read another book by him so when this was suggested, I decided to give it a try.
I’m about halfway through and it is not disappointing me when it comes to that same level of weirdness, other-worldlyness but, at the same time, grounded in our reality…but also not? There’s a giant bear menacing the landscape, an evil Company that did many bad things in the past and a mysterious Magician that lurks in the darkness. But all of that is just window dressing for the story, which centers around Rachel, a survivor, who adopts a strange biotech creature she finds while exploring one day. She calls it Borne and each day it grows, changes, morphs, evolves. She loves it like a child, but with each chapter, it is hard to know whether Borne can be trusted, if Borne is capable of loving her back, or what his morality is.
Yeah, loving this so far! It is good enough that I’m making myself go to bed on time again just so I can read a few pages. And I just discovered there is a “sequel” of sorts already out – though if it is like the Southern Reach books, it will be a different level of strange, but might not be directly related to the strange of this story. Who knows! I don’t want to look too closely at the description for fear of spoilers.
What is the most mind-bending book you’ve read? Who is the weirdest author that you love? Let me know in the comments!