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Cold Skin Paperback – 2 Mar 2006


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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Canongate Books; First UK Edition edition (2 Mar 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1841956880
  • ISBN-13: 978-1841956886
  • Product Dimensions: 13.9 x 1.8 x 21.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,652,221 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

"A troubling, hammering but glorious novel." -- David Mitchell

"This debut novel is a kind of Robinson Crusoe seen through dark glass.." -- Kirkus Review

From the Back Cover

"A great, creepy tender read."

Yann Martel, author of Life of Pi

At the edge of the Antarctic Circle a steamship approaches a desolate island. On board is a young man, poised to take up the post of weather observer. But on shore he finds no trace of the man he has been sent to replace, just a

deranged castaway who refuses to speak. For the next twelve months his entire world will consist of a deserted

cabin, trees, rocks, silence and the surrounding sea.

Then night begins to fall . . .

"A thrillingly vivid hallucination . . . it overtook my dreams . . . Sánchez Piñol creates a struggle for survival that is, at the same time, a meditation on humanity. An island story, following a long line through Robinson Crusoe right up to The Beach."

The Times

"Superbly controlled and creepy."

INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY

"Remarkable . . . an addictive and unsettling read."

ALAN WARNER

"A brilliantly suspenseful debut novel."

SPECTATOR

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Uncle Moley on 18 May 2007
Format: Paperback
After reading the wonderful 'Shadow of the Wind' by Carlos Ruiz Zafón, I was rather keen to read another book of Spanish origin. Although this book was first published in Catalan in 2002, it has recently been published in the UK.

Albert Sanchez Pinol reminds me of Carlos Ruiz Zafón. There is something attractive about the book and its delivery. Although the storyline of a researcher taking up a job on a remote island where not much happens isn't really the most inspiring concept for a book, the added dimension of roaming sea-creatures and the independence of a stubborn predecessor makes things a little more tense. Albert Sanchez Pinol places the reader into the shoes of the main character, sharing his fears, emotions and jubilations.

There is some great emotion between the three main characters. The island's climate and remoteness really adds atmosphere to this creative book.

Overall, this strange but imaginative book is well crafted and deserves recognition that it truly deserves.

With his second book soon due for publication, Albert Sanchez Pinol is a Spanish author to make note of during 2007-2008.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By S. Glover on 13 Aug 2009
Format: Paperback
This is always and interesting and captivating read, their is suspense and intrigue a plenty. A genuine page turner. It is not the plot that harnesses these emotions, rather the protaganists slow descent into his own 'perception' of madness. His irrational justification of his actions and ideas comapred to those of his comrade 'Gruner' slowly truning him into everything he initially despises.

What lets the book down is that their is no further commentary on mankinds slef-destructive nature, its contradictory love and hate relationship with other species nor its bewildering lack of ability to stop the same mistakes happening repeatedly. The book limps to an undramatic, some what predictable ending and it made me want to start singing the 'circle of life'. The book had set me up for more and so it left me feeling a little short changed.

The characters are generally wholly un appealling, with virtually no charm and less wit. I wonder how much hunour has been lost in the translation. So an emotional connection was lacking.

That aside it is intelligent and interesting writing and worth a read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Pavlov's Dog on 25 Feb 2008
Format: Paperback
I really enjoyed the book, read it in an afternoon. Having just battled my way through Atonement it was refreshing to read something which rattled along at a good pace. I am always wary when reading a book not in its original language as i tend to feel that something is `missing' and i had this nagging feeling throughout this although in this case the slightly unusual phrasing and use of language added to the `odd' atmosphere of the book.

However on reading reviews of the original version it seems that vital information has been inexplicably cut from English version, i.e the struggle the main protagonist had escaped from was Northern Ireland.

Apparently the Spanish publicist was dismayed by UK sales, perhaps if they had provided an honest translation the reviews and subsequently the sales would be better.

In any event, i enjoyed the book and would recommend it to those seeking something thought provoking and unusual.

I am interested to read more of Piñol's work.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By P. Farmer on 3 April 2007
Format: Paperback
Have never written a review here before, but am driven to do so by feeling that most reviews here/on the US site/in the press have partly at least missed the point. Partly, maybe, because in the English edition, I gather, a crucial part of the Spanish text has been cut. (I live on a Spanish island so read it in Spanish.)

So far so simple. Disillusioned Irishman takes job as meterologist on uninhabited antarctic island; finds himself living in a lighthouse besides a brutalised South African and his monster housekeeper/lover, beseiged by the latter's people, humanoid frogs, from the depths of the sea. So far so Poe, so Lovecraft (both addictions once of this reviewer.) But in all the brutality humanity, subtlety intrudes. Pinol, the writer, is Catalan; his characters, Irish, South African, and, briefly at the end, Jewish. All of them, it should be noted people from places where one nation/people is or has been in brutal conflict with another people whom in every case they have tended to demonise. The cut section of the text tells of the main character's struggles in the IRA, the establishment of free Eire, and his disillusionment on discovering that under de Valera the injustices go on. He is someone therefore who understands that the monsters, the humans, exist on both sides; inside us all. This is important.

He and the South African, Batis, fight for their lives against the monsters; using grenades, rifles, eventually dynamite, salvaged from a shipwreck, below the sea. It is during the salvage of this most brutal of all their weapons that humanity surfaces.
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Format: Paperback
This story is so visual, emotional, and exciting, that I believe it would make a wonderful movie.

It is high adventure from beginning to end, with some fantastic discoveries and set pieces, (the siege upon the Lighthouse was particularly immense). But more than just being a spectacle of staggering imagination, it is conveyed well through a character who is very real, and very sensitive.

Right from the first couple of paragraphs, you get the sense that the Author, Pinol, is an immensely intelligent man. He climbs inside the characters head, and through him philosophise's on points that will get you thinking. Pinol sets of wonderfully vivid scene - which is one of the strengths of this story.

I dont give many books top marks, but this is truely deserving of that. I simply cant understand those here that have only given it 1 star - maybe they should try turning the book the right way up!

There is much more to come from this Spanish genius, I'm sure. Treat yourself, and buy this book.
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