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Summary

A novel that is simultaneously harrowing, dark, dangerous, funny and uplifting from the author of the Southern Reach trilogy.

'Am I a person?' Borne asks Rachel, in extremis.
'Yes, you are a person,' Rachel tells him. 'But like a person, you can be a weapon, too.'

A ruined city of the future lives in fear of a despotic, gigantic flying bear, driven mad by the tortures inflicted on him by the Company, a mysterious biotech firm. A scavenger, Rachel, finds a creature entangled in his fur. She names it Borne.

At first Borne looks like nothing at all - a green lump that might be a discard from the Company. But he reminds Rachel of her homeland, an island nation long lost to rising seas, and she prevents her lover, Wick, from rendering down Borne as raw genetic material for the special kind of drugs he sells.

But nothing is quite the way it seems: not the past, not the present, not the future. If Wick is hiding secrets, so is Rachel - and Borne most of all. What Rachel finds hidden deep within the Company will change everything and everyone. There, lost and forgotten things have lingered and grown. What they have grown into is mighty indeed.

©2017 VanderMeer Creative Inc. (P)2017 Blackstone Audio

Critic reviews

"Jeff VanderMeer's Southern Reach Trilogy was an ever-creeping map of the apocalypse; with

Borne he continues his investigation into the malevolent grace of the world, and it's a thorough marvel." (Colson Whitehead)

Praise for the Southern Reach Trilogy:
"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, The Guardian)

What listeners say about Borne

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amazing

i was so connected to the characters that i didn't want to say goodbye at the end. i had happy sad tears. i didn't want it to end but i was also very content which is hard to do... very clever and meaningful book... thank you Jeff VanderMeer x

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There May Be Hope...

I love Jeff VanderMeer's mind - his imagination is extraordinary. He writes beautifully, and empathically, and although Borne is set in a bleak and frightening a post apocalyptic landscape it ends on a note of profound optimism.

This lyrical, hopeful book asks: What is consciousness? What is a person? What is it to be human and non human? VanderMeer explores profound issues of identity in a novel which is superbly structured, with not a word out of place, with characters that matter to the reader, and with a message of redemption.

All this, and it's read perfectly, gorgeously, by Bahni Turpin.

Personally I couldn't ask for more.

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Loved it, it kinda feels like a film to be.

Really enjoyed it. Preferred it to annihilation, it sort of reads like a film that hasn't been made yet and I can't wait to see that too.
Love the idea of it being normal and absolutely crazy at the same time. Vandemeer makes the weirdness sort of believable too!

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It's ok

I think I would have enjoyed this book more if I weren't listening to it. The narrator's choices made the story less mysterious and strange for me, but just a tad silly.

The story itself is a little wooden. Not much plot and much of fairly dull musings about the nature of good and evil. I didn't struggle to finish it and enjoyed it nonetheless, but to me the story lacked something.

The world building is amusing, but really reminiscent of Adventure Time. Kind of if adventure time was made into a survival film for 16+.

Overall a good way to spend a few evenings.

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Another fabulous VanderMeer

I love this style of storytelling, I can picture everything that's going on. Characters are well developed and the premise leaves you questioning the attitudes and mortality in an interesting way

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Borne

Narrator annoyed me towards the end and I struggled to finish as a listen it could have done with editing but novel idea not a patch on Southern reach but I won't give up on Jeff

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Superb

A fascinating world full of strange and wonderful characters. There are parallels to some of Miéville's writing, but VanderMeer has his own unique and compelling voice. I've never liked a monster as much as I liked Borne.

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Wonderful narrator for a wonderful story

Brilliant New Weird story with a heartwarming cast and great narration from Bahni Turpin.

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Intriguing

Painted a believable portrait of a toxic world that shone in a rainbow of oily colours. Was unusual and emotionally engaging.

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Not Vandermeer's best

Good listen. interesting universe. feels like something missing. depth of characters is lacking. don't prioritise.

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Profile Image for Hanita
  • Hanita
  • 19-03-20

simple

The book is of simple manner and not very much provoking thought. I would expect more insights, ideas, thoughts as to human society in a world that came to distopian end. it is much more like a motherhood book - thoughts of raising children.

1 person found this helpful