The NOOK Book (eBook) of the The Cipher by Kathe Koja at Barnes & Noble. FREE Shipping on $ or more!. The Cipher book. Read reviews from the world's largest community for readers. Nicholas is a would-be poet and video-store clerk with a weeping hole i.. . The Cipher. Home · The Cipher Author: Kathe Koja. downloads Views KB Size Report. This content was uploaded by our users and we assume.
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Read "The Cipher" by Kathe Koja available from Rakuten Kobo. Sign up today and get $5 off your first purchase. Kathe Koja's classic. Editorial Reviews. From Publishers Weekly. Down-and-out Nicholas and his friend Nakota one Kathe Koja's classic, award-winning horror novel is finally available as an ebook. Nicholas, a would-be poet, and Nakota, his feral lover, discover. Editorial Reviews. From Publishers Weekly. This humorless novel about art punks in an Koja (The Cipher) has a considerable talent for evoking atmosphere, but her style, an obscurantist mix of stark minimalism and florid gush , further.
Friday, January 2, Horror List Book Review: The Cipher Technically, this should have been done last Friday, but I chose to take the full week off, so from here on out, the every other week review post will be every two weeks from this post. I'm reading through three lists of best horror with two friends, posting reviews as we go. So far, I've reviewed Poppy Z. I'm a little mixed in my opinion of this book, which is funny, because there's a foreword that says people either love it or hate it. I don't feel passionately enough about it to love or hate it.
The peculiar ways in which architecture can elicit negative responses is apparent in the case of agoraphobia and claustrophobia, two mental disorders typically associated with urban landscape, and which were first identified in the nineteenth-century Europe following the unrestrained urbanization of the major cities.
For that very reason rational human beings will always avoid vast empty spaces. Yet the baroque fascination with infinity seems to defy horror vacui, indeed, it proves that depth and obscurity can be linked to transcendence, whereas void and labyrinthine space may reflect the inner workings of the mind, both sane and insane one.
A certain paradox emerges which contends there are no places that can be justly deemed evil, but there are places that can nonetheless lead its dwellers to a psychosomatic discomfort, or even psychosis. However, all these haunted houses with doors slamming behind terrorized maidens, gothic castles plagued by draughts and squeaking gates, old mansions, towers, dungeons, graveyards, ships, woods, hills, mental asylums, abandoned hospitals, orphanages, and other spine-chilling locales are revealed at some point to be nothing more than elaborate vessels for monster s.
Ghosts of murder victims or ghosts of their murderers control haunted houses, vampires rule their castles, woods are under the spell of burnt witches, hills are controlled by mutants, whilst other ghastly places are populated or might have been occupied at some point in the past by supernatural creatures, serial killers, prehistoric beings or extraterrestrials.
One thing remains certain, haunted grounds do not haunt people for no apparent reason. Past violations of taboos, sacrileges, blasphemies or extreme violence fill the space with its present spite and rage.
Thus, quite rational justification resides in the history of the location in question and its former or current dwellers. Apart from the latter motif, I would like to concentrate on three issues—transformative powers of unique spaces, horror vacui and emptiness, and the question of resistance and surrender, as they are all closely related to the subject of evil spaces.
What is more, I find the impact of the ontological instability of the house on the narrative, on the characters and their motivation, finally on the readers and their responses irrelevant for the present discussion. The house which Karen Green and Will Navidson buy in order to resuscitate their failing relationship quickly reveals itself to be a living architectural puzzle which eludes rational explanations and mathematical equations.
Not even the actual monster, whose growl reverberates through the empty corridors and whose presence can only be suspected, is confronted in the end.
Obviously, House of Leaves investigates this interpretative path but in such a way as to discredit it as an oversimplification. Thus, a clear-cut way out of the impossible is never provided. The continually transforming record reveals the ecstatic prance of self-evisceration, a figure carving itself, re-created in a harsh new form from what seemed to be its own hot guts, becoming no figure at all but the absence of one, a cookie-cutter shape and in but not contained by its outline a blackness, a vortex of nothing.
The characters in House of Leaves are changed both mentally and physically by the house, with one of the characters driven to madness, murder and suicide, and all being hurt in one way or another. But it is Nicholas that undergoes the most dramatic transformation in terms of his mentality and his body. When in the close proximity of the Funhole he goes into a trance and levitates, later he melts metal objects and burns people who try to get near the Funhole, including Nakota, whom he unintentionally kills.
The physical transformation is accompanied by increasing violence on the part of Nicholas which he exhibits mostly towards Nakota, who is incidentally quite content with this novel aspect of her former lover. Another distinct theme—that of emptiness and horror vacui—is intimately linked with the issue of resisting and finally accepting the void.
It requires very little thought or afterthought. And maybe it is nothing. Not darkness, not the absence of light but living black.
Maybe a foot in diameter, maybe a little more. Pure black and the sense of pulsation, especially when you looked at it too closely, the sense of something not living but alive, not even something but some - process.
Rabbithole, some strange motherfucking wonderland, you bet They dub it "the Funhole" Koja's original title for the novel but it is anything but fun; it is a locus of obsession and transformation. Nakota, conniving, manipulative, angular, and demanding, constantly pressures Nicholas to fuck with the Funhole, to test their limits.
First, a jar of insects goes down into it; then a mouse. All come back monstrously deformed and mostly dead. Finally they lower down a camcorder a funny dated bit is how difficult it is for them to actually get a camcorder and when they watch the recording they see something like bloody stalks, caressing the screen like hands behind the glass, a figure carving itself And this home movie that Nakota can't stop watching, and Nicholas accidentally gets his hand in there, and now there's a weeping seeping cipher in his hand, and his empty, aimless life is going down, down, down And this home movie that Nakota can't stop watching, and Nicholas accidentally gets his hand in there, and now there's a weeping seeping cipher in his hand, and his empty, aimless life is going down, down, down Until the local art-world poseurs get wind of something strange going on through Nakota, and start haranguing Nicholas to show them what he's doing, what's he got in there, can we see too?
They all find out, because the Funhole is calling him from its deeps, not music but the elegant drone of bodily organs If anything the only real flaw in Koja's book is that it is too relentlessly bleak, too scummy, too hopeless; characters bicker and bite, sex is a joyless spasm, Nicholas an alienated, near-unsympathetic loser and Nakota a bitch without the goddess. But the cipher hungers for lives, no matter how derelict, and in a way the ending is foretold.
What if somehow I'm crawling blind and headfirst into my own sick heart, the void made manifest? Dell reprint I loved this kind of existentialism when I was 20 but now, with a larger literary emotional palette, rereading it a third time!
I found it somewhat one-note. Maybe that's the point; it's oddly like a movie that was adapted from a one-set play in its insularity. No matter. There is a powerful originality in The Cipher that one usually doesn't find in paperback horror fiction; a fearlessness too as the novel operates, single-mindedly, in that metaphoric realm in which the monster always and only represents ourselves.