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Maze: Solve the World's Most Challenging Puzzle by Manson, Christopher (11/15/1985) Paperback – 1600

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3 reviews
A Masterpiece of Puzzlecraft 23 Nov 2013
By Mr Oak - Published on
Despite the efforts of thousands of people since its publication, this book has yet to be fully solved. If you search online you will find the solution to the 16 room path and the hidden message in the center room but that leaves 29 rooms unsolved and many rooms on the 16 room path have puzzles that have yet to be solved. The $10,000 prize originally attached to this book in 1985 went unclaimed for many months. Eventually they distributed the amount to the individuals who were the closest to a solution. Solving a room, or part of a room, can take weeks, but the satisfaction of solving a part of this masterpiece is worth it.

The solution to the main puzzle and attempts at solutions for the other rooms can be found at the forum The multitude of posts shows just how popular and difficult the book is.

I am a fan of puzzles and am very familiar with the scope of available puzzles, in my opinion this is by far the greatest puzzle ever created. It is a masterpiece. The sheer brilliance of its construction is staggering. A few years ago a mathematician attempted to show the relationship between the rooms visually, the result looks like a diagram of the internet. One of the unsolved puzzles is the identity of the unseen "guide." People have theorized that the guide is the Minotaur, King Minos, Icarus, Hades, Christopher Manson (the author), God, Satan, a demon, even an umbrella. Somewhere in the book is the answer.

An example of a solution:
In room room 32 is banner which says "Sea bag O.K." If you take "Sea" instead as "C" then it becomes an anagram for "Go Back." This solution is confirmed by the fact that unless the reader returns the way they came they will wind up in one of the inescapable trap rooms or stuck in a loop that goes back to the entrance. However the room also contains a bird and a missing statue, how do these relate to the message? I figured it out, the answer is not online and I'm not telling.

The ink cross-hashed images are exceedingly detailed. Manson's ability to convey shadow and light using this method is amazing. There is nothing scary in the book, but much of it is oddly disturbing. A quote from room 31, "... a melancholy little courtyard surrounded by a brick wall too high to see over. A dead tree lifts its bone white branches to a sky filling with gray clouds." The picture fits the description, it's just a tree in a courtyard. But as I study the page for clues I notice that the branches look like bones, the faces on the doors look strange, and suddenly I feel a chill. This kind of experience is almost universal for people who really get into the book.

This is not a children's book, they will get nowhere in solving it. This book is for fans of eerie, practically unsolvable puzzles who are MENSA candidates or artistic free thinkers. It is for people who like the Twilight Zone, LOST, and House of Leaves. It is one of the most curious and unique books ever made. Christopher Manson once said that with every book he made he was seeking to create a perfect book... he may have succeeded.
Puzzled 21 Dec 2014
By Brent - Published on
Great gift for my puzzle-loving sister. Can't wait to see if she can solve the world's most challenging maze!
Five Stars 8 Dec 2014
By KY High-5 - Published on
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