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The Cipher (1991)

de Kathe Koja

Altres autors: Mira la secció altres autors.

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaMencions
4182345,542 (3.73)23
Winner of the Bram Stoker Award and Locus Awards, finalist for the Philip K. Dick Award, and named one of io9.com's "Top 10 Debut Science Fiction Novels That Took the World By Storm." With a new afterword by Maryse Meijer, author of Heartbreaker and Rag. "Black. Pure black and the sense of pulsation, especially when you look at it too closely, the sense of something not living but alive." When a strange hole materializes in a storage room, would-be poet Nicholas and his feral lover Nakota allow their curiosity to lead them into the depths of terror. "Wouldn't it be wild to go down there?" says Nakota. Nicholas says, "We're not." But no one is in control, and their experiments lead to obsession, violence, and a very final transformation for everyone who gets too close to the Funhole.… (més)
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This is a tough book to review, for a myriad of reasons, but I promise to do my best. See, The Cipher is something completely different from most of the horror novels that I have read in the past few years. There’s something raw, dangerous and downright uncomfortable about this story. Kathe Koja doesn’t write about Nicholas and Nakota’s experience with the Funhole, she drags the reader into that terrifying space with them. I still have goosebumps, and my thoughts are all over the place.

Let’s start with what I liked about this story. First off, I actually appreciated the fact that Nicholas and Nakota feel so realistic. I had a few friends tell me before I started this story that they didn’t like how unlikable these two are. For me, it was kind of a breath of fresh air. Koja doesn’t care whether you like Nicholas and Nakota. What matters is that they are people. Real, gritty, possibly unlovable, people. As the story twisted and turned, I found myself caring less about how much I liked them and more about the fact that their decisions were leading them closer and closer to certain doom. The feeling of their descent is visceral. It claws at you and, whether you like them or not, you’ll end up following them down.

Another aspect of this book that I appreciated was the way that Koja never really gives away the ending. I won’t spoil it for any other readers either. Still, I can guarantee that you might think you know what you’re headed into but you’re probably wrong. The story takes moments that seem cut from any other horror novel, and manipulates them into something even darker. There were portions of this that I had to read twice over, just to even understand what was unfolding. Poor Nicholas.

So what made me ultimately give this book a three star rating? Quite honestly, it was was the writing style from the middle onwards. As Nicholas becomes consumed with the Funhole, the book becomes almost a rambling stream of consciousness. While I understood the intent, he repeats himself constantly and it grated on my nerves after a while. This book already had an odd punctuation style, which I took at face value since it benefitted the feel of the story inside. However at Nicholas’ worst points it became something that was almost unreadable. I was a little frustrated at how slowly I had to read, to fully understand what was happening.

Do I think that The Cipher is a story that others should read? Absolutely. Provided that you are okay with some gore, a lot of darkness, and the kind of uncomfortable dread that follows you for days after you flip the last page. This is a horror story on a whole new level. I’m still not sure if I’ll ever forget it. ( )
  roses7184 | Apr 24, 2021 |
Ressenya escrita per a Crítics Matiners de LibraryThing .
Plot:
In a small storage room in Nicholas’ building, there is a hole in the floor. But it’s not just a hole, it’s apparently endless and might be alive. Nicholas’ on-again-off-again girlfriend Nakota is obsessed with what they call the funhole, dragging Nicholas to the storage room any chance she gets to just look at the hole. Nicholas doesn’t understand her fascination, he would rather forget the hole’s existence. But he can’t say no to her, not even when she hatches a plan to dangle a video camera into the hole and film what’s there. The longer they spend time with the hole, the more they change.

The Cipher was difficult for me. I loved the concept and the body horror elements were utterly visceral, but I often struggled with the prose and the story. I wish I could have loved it more.

Read more on my blog: https://kalafudra.com/2021/01/27/the-cipher-kathe-koja/ ( )
  kalafudra | Jan 27, 2021 |
Ressenya escrita per a Crítics Matiners de LibraryThing .
I received this book through the Early Reviewers program. I'll say right up front that I don't normally read horror, so the fact that I didn't like this book very much probably says more about my personal taste than the quality of the book. Honestly, I got about halfway through and then skimmed through to the end.

I enjoyed the beginning, the way the author slowly brings the supernatural/horror elements into the very boring and ordinary life of the protagonist. The author does a really good job of establishing the characters as the kind of 20somethings who drift through life without much ambition, working crappy jobs, living in crappy apartments, having crappy sex, basically being jerks to each other. But then suddenly there's this weird black hole thing and the protagonist and his sort-of-girlfriend become obsessed with it in different ways as befitting their different personalities.

But I lost interest as it dragged on and brought in a bunch of new, unlikeable characters who all have their own agendas and obsessions. Like I said, I skipped ahead to the end, and found the ending actually reasonably interesting (also a little gory but not more than I could handle). I like how the author ended things on an ambiguous note, so you have to imagine the rest for yourself. I felt that was appropriately creepy. And the story overall does raise some interesting questions about human nature, fear, obsession, etc. -- but overall it is just not really my cup of tea. ( )
  mamajoan | Nov 2, 2020 |
One of the few books during the pandemic, that I couldn’t put down. Such a different and crazy mindfuck! ( )
  CaseyMorris | Oct 12, 2020 |
Ressenya escrita per a Crítics Matiners de LibraryThing .
This acclaimed 1991 horror novel is now being digitally republished. It's about an impoverished, nihilistic boyfriend and girlfriend and their obsession with a black, slimy, pulsating hole in the floor that leads ... somewhere? Their lives and mental states, already shabby to begin with, deteriorate while they experiment with the "Funhole" and attract a group of pretentious artists and sycophants.

I enjoyed the bleak prose, fierce characters, and sparing but razor-edged dialogue. The book is great at using the Funhole as an analogy of nihilism, but it does so too much. I would have preferred a shorter, more concise story with about half the navel-gazing. (Yes, I know that "navel-gazing" is the whole point of a book about people obsessed with a hole. Just shut up.) And I felt cheated by the ending, though I guess it was a good example of nihilism too, whee. ( )
  KGLT | Oct 11, 2020 |
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» Afegeix-hi altres autors (2 possibles)

Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Kathe Kojaautor primaritotes les edicionscalculat
Rosson, KeithAutor de la cobertaautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Has d'iniciar sessió per poder modificar les dades del coneixement compartit.
Si et cal més ajuda, mira la pàgina d'ajuda del coneixement compartit.
Títol normalitzat
Títol original
Títols alternatius
Data original de publicació
Gent/Personatges
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Llocs importants
Esdeveniments importants
Pel·lícules relacionades
Premis i honors
Informació del coneixement compartit en anglès. Modifica-la per localitzar-la a la teva llengua.
Epígraf
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Could my wish be fulfilled,
I would want to be the balm
For a sore,
Dissolved
By your saliva.
---Shikatsube No Magao

Conscious or unconscious, it doesn't matter in the real world.
Rick Lieder
Dedicatòria
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For Rick
Impossible without you
With all my love
Primeres paraules
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Nakota, who saw it first: long spider legs drawn up beneath her ugly skirt, wise mouth pursed into nothing like a smile.
Citacions
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Because that's what the Funhole was, wasn't it, that was the key and clue: a negativity, an absence, a lack.
Darreres paraules
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(Clica-hi per mostrar-ho. Compte: pot anticipar-te quin és el desenllaç de l'obra.)
Nota de desambiguació
Editor de l'editorial
Creadors de notes promocionals a la coberta
Llengua original
CDD/SMD canònics

Referències a aquesta obra en fonts externes.

Wikipedia en anglès

No n'hi ha cap

Winner of the Bram Stoker Award and Locus Awards, finalist for the Philip K. Dick Award, and named one of io9.com's "Top 10 Debut Science Fiction Novels That Took the World By Storm." With a new afterword by Maryse Meijer, author of Heartbreaker and Rag. "Black. Pure black and the sense of pulsation, especially when you look at it too closely, the sense of something not living but alive." When a strange hole materializes in a storage room, would-be poet Nicholas and his feral lover Nakota allow their curiosity to lead them into the depths of terror. "Wouldn't it be wild to go down there?" says Nakota. Nicholas says, "We're not." But no one is in control, and their experiments lead to obsession, violence, and a very final transformation for everyone who gets too close to the Funhole.

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