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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars many ways of reading one book
When I ordered this book all I new was that it was a die-cut of Foer's favourite book, The Street of Crocodiles by Bruno Schulz. What I couldn't imagine was what that actually meant.
So when I finally held the book in my hands I was overwhelmed. This is probably the coolest I've ever seen. The book's pages have holes. Every page contains text and lots of empty space...
Published on 16 Jun 2011 by 1book1review

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19 of 25 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Don't believe the hype
Tree of Codes is described as "a sculptural object" exploring "previously uncharted literary territory". It isn't and it doesn't. The idea of erasure has been used by other writers, most notably by the artist Tom Phillips in his 1970 'Humument', a glorious jewel of a book where the pages of a Victorian novel, 'The Human Document', are drawn upon and overpainted leaving...
Published on 6 May 2011 by Gnarlybole


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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars many ways of reading one book, 16 Jun 2011
This review is from: Tree of Codes (Paperback)
When I ordered this book all I new was that it was a die-cut of Foer's favourite book, The Street of Crocodiles by Bruno Schulz. What I couldn't imagine was what that actually meant.
So when I finally held the book in my hands I was overwhelmed. This is probably the coolest I've ever seen. The book's pages have holes. Every page contains text and lots of empty space. The cut out pieces allow you to see the writing on the next pages. So you can read many layers at once.
For this alone it was worth buying the book, but it didn't tell me how to read the story. I kept opening it and looking at it a little clueless for some time and one day I just started reading. I've read it from page to page the first time. Reading everything. This way I read a lot of similar pages, with just minor changes to the sentences and the content. I cannot say I discovered a real story. However, sometimes among reading the same string of senseless words and letters a wonderful and powerful sentence would appear. That was just so beautiful that it stood out from all the rest.
For this first reading I decided that was it's purpose. As a reader I could see the wonderful language so much better than when it was hidden in a compelling story that was also well written all the way through.
The second time I read the book I decided to cover all the information from the pages under the ones I was reading. This way I found a story. It was a nice but colorless story. I just had the feeling it was missing something, the language was blunt and direct, less beautiful, but a content was visible.
In the third reading I read two pages as one and that way I couldn't see anything. Neither language nor story were charming. And from there on the book starts to become alive. There are many ways of reading this book and many stories to discover.
In the beginning I was obsessed with the question: how to find the real story in the book, but the more I read in the book the less I think there is just one real story to it, but an endless number of experiences to be made.
It is a crazy book. An interesting piece of art and I am glad I purchased it and I hope I'll have some more great moments with it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tree of codes - a beautiful piece of art, 20 Aug 2012
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This review is from: Tree of Codes (Paperback)
There's not much to say, all in all it's a must read, and just a fantastic idea that has turned into a true piece of art. If you like reading but also enjoy visual stimuli, this would be the perfect book. Although the story in itself is a bit short, it fits right into Foer's other writings, and is very beautiful. I am very pleased to have this in my collection.
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21 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quite possibly Safran Foer's finest yet, 24 Nov 2010
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N. Johnstone "nembutal" (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Tree of Codes (Paperback)
I've loved everything Jonathan Safran Foer has written to date, but this just might be his most amazing work yet. What he has done by cutting his own haunting story out of Bruno Schulz' equally haunting Street of Crocodiles, is both astonishing and incredibly poignant. The book, with its ghostly die cuts and dangling phantom punctuation, is a different kind of reading experience, for sure, but as with his other books, I devoured it in one breathless sitting.
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19 of 25 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Don't believe the hype, 6 May 2011
This review is from: Tree of Codes (Paperback)
Tree of Codes is described as "a sculptural object" exploring "previously uncharted literary territory". It isn't and it doesn't. The idea of erasure has been used by other writers, most notably by the artist Tom Phillips in his 1970 'Humument', a glorious jewel of a book where the pages of a Victorian novel, 'The Human Document', are drawn upon and overpainted leaving only certain words visible, so creating an entirely new text. Foer achieves a similar result by die-cutting the pages and physically removing words from Bruno Schulz's wonderful 'Street of Crocodiles'. The effect of this may be novel (no pun intended), but it is far from satisfying. The pages are rendered so flimsy by the cutting process that the physical act of reading the book is made onerous. But the issue of usability is not its major flaw. There are several contemporary artists currently creating what is termed book sculpture. By cutting through pages they disclose what lies beneath, creating strange dioramas and oddly juxtaposed typography. This layering of text is what I had expected from Tree of Codes, but instead the cut-through pages merely serve to reveal half words and gibberish. The die-cutting is nothing more than a gimmick. The same result could have been achieved far more easily (and inexpensively) by using the method of redaction favoured by governments and Intelligence Agencies around the world - a black marker. The book is an interesting exercise, but it is by no means the first, or best, of its kind. It is, ultimately, a demonstration of quirkiness and a showcase for the printer's prowess.
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5.0 out of 5 stars On behalf of my daughter...., 8 April 2014
By 
DR (Yorkshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Tree of Codes (Paperback)
I bought this for my daughter and she loves it.

Personally, I think it's bizarre and it would drive me nuts....

I expect that's why she loves it....
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5.0 out of 5 stars A book for life, 30 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Tree of Codes (Paperback)
This is so powerful, yet so delicate. This is the work of a young archaeologist that finds an important vase, cleanses it, and gives it to us. This is a piece of history and the mirror, not the reality, the mirror of what could have been. You have to buy this book. You have to enjoy the chance of feeling alive and cultivate your freedom.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great, 26 May 2013
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This review is from: Tree of Codes (Paperback)
A great collaboration of design and poetry. Story isn't easy to read. Good for Oulipo enthusiasts and those seeking inspiration.
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5.0 out of 5 stars a masterpiece in literature, 12 April 2013
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This review is from: Tree of Codes (Paperback)
very original!
It could be interesting to have a similar work in italian. After cent mille milliards de poemes by Raymond Queneau a new version of combinatory literature.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Like a Poem, 27 Sep 2013
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This review is from: Tree of Codes (Paperback)
Tree of Codes has no plot, it's more like a poem. Not an exceptional long one. I think of it as something written for the pupose of just being written, or maybe like an extra chapter of The Street of Crocodiles, made from the over chapter's.
I enjoyed it alot, it was differnt from everything else I have ever read, I will alway's remember it and will read it many more time's.
I disagree that a book should also be visual art, though. The word's, the story, are all that matter. Frankly, when it comes right down to it, it dosen't matter if the story is written on a bathroom wall, it just matter's that it is written.
But saying that, I did admire the skill and creativity of the way the book was written.
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0 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great object, 7 July 2011
This review is from: Tree of Codes (Paperback)
This is a review of the book as a fantastic object as I've not had a chance to read it yet. It looks lovely, and to be honest, although I've read and enjoyed a lot of JSF's work, I bought this book for the look and novelty of it.
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Tree of Codes
Tree of Codes by Jonathan Safran Foer (Paperback - 13 Nov 2010)
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