The Cipher

The Cipher

3.5 27
by Kathe Koja
     
 

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Nicholas, a would-be poet, and Nakota, his feral lover, discover a strange hole in the storage room floor down the hall. "Black. Not darkness, not the absence of light but living black. Pure black and the sense of pulsation, especially when you look at it too closely, the sense of something not living but alive." It begins with curiosity, a joke - the Funhole down…  See more details below

Overview

Nicholas, a would-be poet, and Nakota, his feral lover, discover a strange hole in the storage room floor down the hall. "Black. Not darkness, not the absence of light but living black. Pure black and the sense of pulsation, especially when you look at it too closely, the sense of something not living but alive." It begins with curiosity, a joke - the Funhole down the hall. But then the experiments begin. "Something we haven't tried before," Nakota says. But she and Nicholas aren't in control, not from the first moment, so they free fall as the Funhole leads to obsession, darkness, and transformation.

Kathe Koja's classic horror novel was the winner of the 1991 Bram Stoker Award, and was recently named one of io9.com's Top 10 Debut Science Fiction Novels That Took the World By Storm. Long out-of-print and much sought-after, THE CIPHER is finally available as an ebook, with a new foreword by the author.


"An ethereal rollercoaster ride from start to finish." - The Detroit Free Press

"Combines intensely poetic language and lavish grotesqueries." - BoingBoing

"Unforgettable ... [THE CIPHER] takes you into the lives of the dark dreamers that crawl on the underbelly of art and culture. Seldom has language been so visceral and so right." - Locus

"Kathe Koja is a poet ... [T]he kind that prefers to read in seedy bars instead of universities, but a poet." - The New York Review of Science Fiction

"This powerful first novel is as thought-provoking as it is horrifying." - Publishers Weekly

"Not so much about the vast and wonderful strangeness of the universe as it is about the horrific and glorious potential of the human spirit." - Short Form

"A tour de force of style, horror, strong emotions, fear and obsession" - Writer's Digest

"Tough, savage, uncompromising ... It's a hell of read." - The Geis Letter

"[THE CIPHER] is a book that makes you sit up, pay attention, and jettison your moldy preconceptions about the genre ... Utterly original ... [An} imaginative debut." - Fangoria

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
2940014620994
Publisher:
Roadswell Editions
Publication date:
07/13/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
215,340
File size:
781 KB

Meet the Author

Kathe Koja Is the author of six books, including UNDER THE POPPY, THE CIPHER, and SKIN, and seven novels for young adults, including BUDDHA BOY, TALK, and HEADLONG. Her works have been honored by the ALA, the ASPCA, and with the Bram Stoker Award. She's a Detroit native and lives in the area with her husband, artist Rick Lieder, and their cats.

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The Cipher 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 27 reviews.
WearCleanDraws More than 1 year ago
Koja's first book, and her best. The writing style is jarring at first, not what you're used to. Sentences don't flow as they do in a typical novel; it's more sream of conciousness. You'll find yourself re-reading sentences because it forces you to be an active participant in the reading process. However, this enables her to be much more descriptive, and once you make the adjustment, it works very well. The book is very unique and dark. I read it when it first came out on the Dell Abyss line, and I've never forgetten it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Intensely nightmarish, visceral, and utterly consuming in its penetrating gaze into humanity and the creative process. Written with the deft hand of poet and in a style as spell-bindingly gripping as the story itself. The multiple typographical errors from the conversion process are somewhat distracting but pale in comparison to the burning darkness found within.
WriteReason More than 1 year ago
I couldn't wait to finish this book. The only reason I stuck with it was to see just why it won an award. Still haven't figured it out (why the award that is). It goes on and on, from the room with the mysterious hole, to the room where Nick lives. In his room a new character is introduced; there is nothing more than bad mouthing each other until they are back into the storage room with the hole again. There, some action happens, then back to his room, with a new character, more bad mouthing of each other and previous introduced characters. It's back to the room with the hole, some action....and on and on it goes into circles that become nothing more than boring. The end of each circle, never reaches a satisfying point. What is haunting, is just gross-out nonsense I could do without., Did not like this book. Do not recommend it. Two stars for a unique style of writing, but your story gave nothing but a yawn, and a desire to reach the end "pdq".
simple344 More than 1 year ago
Great. Enjoyed it just wished it was longer.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I borrowed this. Spooky, grotesque, disgusting, sad in the way mental illness is very sad. Yet I read every word because I had to know how it ended.
Kiwicat More than 1 year ago
There is a mysterious black hole in the closet of a slum apartment house that appears to want to eat people. Before this book is finished you will want to personally insert every single character in the book into said hole. No psychological thriller, this book represents the gross out genre. Body fluids are described over, and over and over again until you just tire of the whole thing. The characters are allegedly on the edge of the performance art world, giving their perverse behavior some sort of grounding in reality, I suppose. It seems to me that the monster in the hole should have had better taste. This is one of the few books that I just couldn't finish.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was filled with sad and depressing people. It was hard to like any of the characters. You will come away thinking you are very glad you don't have people like the characters in this book in your life....
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Went on and on with just enough curiosity to make me struggle along to see how it ended and it didnt, it just quit! not worth the slog, basically enough story for a short story, sssstretched out to make a book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The language is poetic in the darkest ways imaginable. I have never highlighted as many lines as I have for this book. P.S. Be prepared to feel disgusted.
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mrsbrimtown More than 1 year ago
It started out great. But as the book got toward the last third or so it became a chore to finish reading. It dragged on and on. I was relieved when it finally ended.
Dickydoodle More than 1 year ago
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Vanilla-Chip More than 1 year ago
alarming and ferociously unique
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Should i try it out
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The sample of the book should be a sample of the story, not just the forwards etc. Or the message from the author. Should be an actual sample of the story so I can decide if I am interested in the writing and want to buy it. Disappointed in that...