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Cobralingus Paperback – Illustrated, 10 Nov 2000

4.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Codex (10 Nov. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1899598162
  • ISBN-13: 978-1899598168
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 15.3 x 1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,262,815 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Jeff Noon takes dubfiction to the bleeding edge via the wonderful logic/un-logic of the Cobralingus engine. Anyone interested in language and its structure must read this book. Noon surpasses his previous trump card, 'Needle In The Groove', with flying colours.
I have felt that for some time now, Jeff Noon has been wrestling against the success of his first novel, the cybersurreal cult classic, 'Vurt'. For me, he finally reached escape velocity with the excellent 'Needle In The Groove', a book that received a lukewarm reception from many of the 'Vurties' out there, representing as it did, a departure from his trip-fi roots. Needle is however (in my opinion at least) is twice the book 'Vurt' ever was, sealing Noon's place as one of the most talented and adventurous British writers of the past ten years.
'Cobralingus' takes Needle's experimental text/rhythm structure and pushes it to its limits. Noon plucks samples from classic literature, cuts in filters or 'gates' such as 'overload', 'ghost' and 'add virus', processes which strip the text to it's bare bones, or pump it up to (and often beyond) breaking point. Noon mixes in more samples, the periodic table, the shipping forecast, keeping the words and meaning liquid, always extracting, reducing, focusing, distorting, finding new rhythms in the emerging forms, pushing and cutting the text forward, into the next remix. Cobralingus. A brave and intelligent book.
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Format: Paperback
Okay, a book of what is basically poetry from a guy who, though a genius science fiction writer, has a tendency of late to get mired in literary pretentiousness might not sound great. However each and every deconstructed and reconstructed piece of text turns out to be a literary gem. Its amazing, the best thing Noon has done since Vurt.
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Format: Paperback
This is supposed to be a book on how Noon writes. However, anyone who has read some of his books will recognise that everything here is taken to the extreme limits of wordsmithing, and doesn't always work out. Most of Noon's work is readable as normal, but highly inventive prose. This book provides instructions for creating only parts of that prose, and is interesting, but practically unworkable for a long piece.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars 9 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars incredible experimental writing 27 Jan. 2013
By Dan McCarthy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Here Noon continues to experiment with style, "remixing" source texts (provided for reference) in various ways and explaining his process with each iteration. It is a fascinating glimpse into a very unique process, which yields results that stand up to the best modern poetry. Highly recommended for fans of experimental writing - the style here _is_ the substance.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Food for the brain: Creative systems poetry 30 Oct. 2006
By perseus69 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
First of all, I hope this gets back into print soon. Also, there are at least two different covers, the one not shown above being a nice illustration.

This is a book that has grown on me over time, and today I'm very glad I kept it around. It's the kind I often return to to read a short section, a single "poem", which leaves me sitting lost in thought for a while.

These are unusual poems that can be seen in their various stages of life, each equally presented as a final piece. Like a computer program or a DJ processing a sample of sound, a text snippet is passed through various filters and processes that re-arrange, sometimes wildly, the content to create various stages of the poems evolution. These are not just the output of some computer randomizer however, the processes are to my mind much more creative and human than could be achieved by software. Some do things like mix up all the words which is fairly easy, but others do things like "Find A Story" from a jumble of words, which obviously involves a lot more decision making and creativity from the author.

Just as in modern music samples, the source material covers a huge range, from serious literature such as Shakespeare, to pedestrain things like "things that happened to Jeff Noon today". The results are always amazing and inspiring, both for the actual content, creativity and beauty in the text, as well as the concepts used for types of manipulation.

This is one of the most creatively inspiring books i own, from someone very interested in poetry, systems processing, modern art, modern music, deconstruction, etc.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The process behind the products 10 Jun. 2005
By Heath Row - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Jeff Noon is a wonderful writer. Shades of Haruki Murakami by way of early Jonathan Lethem (and others), his sharply pointed science fiction-like stories and novels are deliciously active idea demons and concept farmers. In Cobralingus, Noon introduces those familiar with his work -- it is not the best introduction to Noon by any means -- to a game that writers can use to recombine disparate texts, apply a set of rules, and develop outlet texts that read like some of the most imaginative skiffy out there -- even if they're mutations of pre-existing texts.

After explaining the game's process and offering a key to the rules, what Noon terms "filter gates," the writer serves up 10 example stories, starting with the original, or inlet, text -- and stepping through the process until the resulting outlet text arrives. It's a fascinating, albeit occasionally confusing and mind-bending process, but the end results are wonderful. At the end, Noon divulges his source texts, which range from a 1591 madrigal to a BBC shipping forecast transmitted in 1999.

This is a book for readers, but it is also a book for writers. The text -- and the game -- made me want to write. And should I develop writers block, I now have a new game-like process I can use to get back on the horse and ride.
12 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Brilliant Side Step 18 Jan. 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I belive that the above review misses the point that Mr Noon was making in publishing this piece. There is no such actual thing as the "Cobralingus Engine", it is a device dreamed up in the head of the author Jeff Noon as an experimental way of working out new ways of writing. Being a person greatly interested in DJing and the forms of Audio mixing, it was so refreshing and interesting to see these concepts applied to the humble word.His last book, Needle in the Groove, was his first experiment with this stylistic approach, and I believe that this book is unto itself a marvellous side-step from his normal works.
I have no doubt that he will have a new "Story" book out very soon, but I believe his point with this offering was to show us readers the style behind his extremely picturesque word usage, that has developed throughout his career.
It is clever, witty, and an extremely interesting peice of literature - and in using the word literature, I mean exactly that - this is no pulp sci-fi, this is a work of pure art, and should be viewed as such with open eyes - do so, and you will be amazed. Well done Mr Noon, very well done.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Words like music 31 May 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Best for fans on Noon's who like him not only for Vurt, but for the way he likes to play with language and music. A bit pretentious at first, it may take a while to appreciate it's beauty. He challenges conventional notions of literture, but who hasn't? Luckily, he starts with an idea that is still original which seems to be based on his own desire to explore the bounds of language.
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