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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Digging up the Horror of the West's relationship with the Middle East
I read this book and began to Fall. It induces vertigo. From its opening pages you are pushed into a yawning void. An American artist travels to meet an online correspondent who has disappeared and left behind a profoundly disturbing manuscript, filled with cryptic notes and occult references.

"How long have I been in this room?" Such is scribbled in the...
Published on 24 Sep 2008 by Amazon Customer

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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Makes you wonder if it's the Sokal hoax of horror
Well, it was definitely an "interesting" read, having managed to get through it. Be warned: don't buy this book expecting anything as mundane as a plot. There's an extremely thin contextual layer and an (at least as far as I could tell on first reading) almost totally irrelevant introductory story, but the bulk of the book consists of quotes from various delusional,...
Published on 21 Nov 2009 by T. E. Gladwin


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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Digging up the Horror of the West's relationship with the Middle East, 24 Sep 2008
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This review is from: Cyclonopedia: Complicity with Anonymous Materials (Anomaly) (Paperback)
I read this book and began to Fall. It induces vertigo. From its opening pages you are pushed into a yawning void. An American artist travels to meet an online correspondent who has disappeared and left behind a profoundly disturbing manuscript, filled with cryptic notes and occult references.

"How long have I been in this room?" Such is scribbled in the margin, a desperate question that echoes something fundamental about being.

In Cylonopedia, we are treated to a Burroughsian fervour - the heated breath of the Middle East on the back of our neck. In a climate where fear is the desired method of calming the populace, Negarestani presents us with a text that is a living thing which defies literary and philosophical taxonomy.

Cylonopedia reveals the softness that lurks beneath the solidity of things, cracking the gridded pipelines of perception and sending you, wonderstruck, into the darkness in which you hear the buzzing of Pazuzu, the mutterings of Abdul Ahazered and the oozing burn of hot poisoned flesh.

If Danielewski's House of Leaves disturbed you with the Navinson Report, the Cylonopedia, with its heretical philosophy, does to politics, economics, mythology and religion, what Dreams in the Witchouse did to space.

Amazing work.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Makes you wonder if it's the Sokal hoax of horror, 21 Nov 2009
By 
T. E. Gladwin - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Cyclonopedia: Complicity with Anonymous Materials (Anomaly) (Paperback)
Well, it was definitely an "interesting" read, having managed to get through it. Be warned: don't buy this book expecting anything as mundane as a plot. There's an extremely thin contextual layer and an (at least as far as I could tell on first reading) almost totally irrelevant introductory story, but the bulk of the book consists of quotes from various delusional, conspiracy-theorist style ramblings: all neologisms, non-sequiturs and looming, jargon-encased Big Pictures. In that sense, it's a very impressive reflection of what religion would look like if it really were delusional. It's thought-provoking, but mostly about what the point of the book really is - is it a joke, is it a depiction of delusional thinking, a comment on the superficial connections of "internet think", are we supposed to take the ideas being presented in mangled form seriously, is the mangled form part of the message, or is the point related to us actually wondering about that kind of thing?

So it's arguably always going to be succeeding at *something*, but not at being some kind of relatively straight horror-philosophy. For that, the read-at-face-value ideas themselves (or, there being anything inherently horrifying about them) weren't convincing / compelling / readable enough to be disturbing. Since that's what it seems to be being primarily marketed as, two stars.
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6 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reviews for re.press (publisher) website, 3 Sep 2008
By 
Paul Ashton - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Cyclonopedia: Complicity with Anonymous Materials (Anomaly) (Paperback)
`Incomparable. Post-genre horror, apocalypse theology and the philosophy of oil, crossbred into a new and necessary codex.' (China Miéville, author of Perdido Street Station and The Scar)

`Reading Negarestani is like being converted to Islam by Salvador Dali.' (Graham Harman, author of Guerrilla Metaphysics: Phenomenology and the Carpentry of Things)

`It is rare when a mind has the courage to take our precious pre-conceptions of history, geography and language and turn them all upside down, into a living cauldron, where ideas and spaces become alive with fluidity and movement and breathe again with imagination and wonder. In this great novel by Reza Negarestani, we are taken on a journey that predates language and post dates history. It is all at once apocalyptic and a beautiful explosive birth of a wholly original perception and meditation on what exactly is this stuff we call "knowledge".' (E. Elias Merhige, director of Begotten and Shadow of the Vampire)

`This brilliant and exhilarating work is a forensic journey across the surface territories of the Middle East and into the depth of its sub-terrain. The earth is produced as a living artifact, gutted and hollowed out by nomadic war tactics, the practices of extreme archaeology and the logic of petroleum extraction. Inventing a radical new language and reconceptualizing the relationship between religion, geology, and ways of war, Reza Negarestani philosophically ungrounds thus the very grounds of contemporary middle-east politics.' (Eyal Weizman, author of Hollow Land)

`Cyclonopedia is an extraordinary tract, an uncategorizable hybrid of philosophical fiction, heretical theology, aberrant demonology and renegade archaeology. It aligns conceptual stringency with exacting esotericism, and through its sacrilegious formulae, geopolitical epilepsy is scried as in an obsidian mirror.' (Ray Brassier, author of Nihil Unbound: Enlightenment and Extinction)

`Reza Negarestani's Cyclonopedia is rich and strange, and utterly compelling. Ranging from the chthonic mysteries of petroleum to the macabre fictions of H. P. Lovecraft, and from ancient Islamic (and pre-Islamic) wisdom to the terrifying realities of postmodern asymmetrical warfare, Negarestani excavates the hidden prehistory of global culture in the 21st century.' (Steven Shaviro, author of Doom Patrols)

`The Cyclonopedia manuscript remains one of the few books to rigorously and honestly ask what it means to open oneself to a radically non-human life - this is a text that screams, from a living assemblage known as the Middle East, "I am legion." Cyclonopedia also constitutes part of a new generation of writing that refuses to be called either theory or fiction; a heady mixture of philosophy, the occult, and the tentacular fringes of Iranian culture - call it "occultural studies." To find a comparable work, one would have to look back to Von Junzt's Unaussprechlichen Kulten, the prose poems of Olanus Wormius, or to the recent "Neophagist" commentaries on the Book of Eribon.' (Eugene Thacker, author of Biomedia and The Global Genome)

`From the city of Poetry and Roses in Iran comes this bloody bypass surgery on the heart of darkness.' (David Porush, author of Soft Machine: The Cybernetic Fiction)

`Negarestani's Cyclonopedia meticulously plots the occult matrices of an archaic petrochemical conspiracy that has set the earth on its carbon-cycle feedback loop to Hell.' (John Cussans, Chelsea College of Art and Design)

`Western readers can expect their peculiarly schizoid condition to be `butchered open' by this work. Read Negarestani, and pray.' (Nick Land, author of The Thirst for Annihilation: Georges Bataille and Virulent Nihilism)
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Cyclonopedia: Complicity with Anonymous Materials (Anomaly)
Cyclonopedia: Complicity with Anonymous Materials (Anomaly) by Reza Negarestani (Paperback - 30 Aug 2008)
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