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Cold Skin Paperback – 29 Mar 2007

3.6 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Canongate Books; Main edition (29 Mar. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1841959006
  • ISBN-13: 978-1841959009
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.5 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 362,865 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"A creepily compelling debut from this Barcelona-based author that reads like a sinister version of a Boy's Own survival adventure." (Financial Times)

"...a beguiling novel that explores the darker reaches of the survival instinct. The nightmarish quality is never overdone and the growing bond between the weather official and his attackers lends the book a rewarding complexity. At times touching, at times vicious, Pinol's dark tale lingers long after the shivers running down the spine have ceased." (The Scotsman)

"Cold Skin is a superbly controlled and creepy little allegorical novel...With a plot pared down to extreme basics, and no small amount of gore, Cold Skin seems to resemble a literary equivalent of the low-budget early horror movies of George Romero and Sam Raimi...But its narrator has a lofty, turn-of-the-century turn of phrase...and predictably cruel and cunning conclusion...it shows itself to be akin to Lord of the Flies or Heart of Darkness rewritten as pulp-horror schlock." (The Independent on Sunday)

Book Description

This creepy, paranoid and thrilling novel has become an international bestseller and cult classic --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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
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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I got a free sample of this book on my Kindle app out of curiosity, as my favourite actor (David Oakes) was filming it. What a pleasant surprise! Having read the sample, I couldn't wait to continue.

Considering that there are only three main characters, one of which isn't human, it was difficult to imagine how the author would keep it sufficiently interesting to make one want to continue reading... But he did. I understand the original language was Spanish. Well done to the translator. The beautiful language used to convey the story added to the experience. I really didn't want the story to end.

I don't want to give too much away, or "spoil" it for anyone, but the story is about isolation, fear of the unknown, & how it can change someone into someone so completely different, they are almost unrecognizable.

I would recommend this book without hesitation. If you prefer, download the sample on the Kindle app first, to see if it interests you. I think it will...
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This novel is truly rich, most strange and worth acquiring, though it seems some of it has been excised, and perhaps also there may have been a certain loss in translation from Catalan. Otherwise highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback
Well I was really looking forward to this book after reading the synopsis and the first page. I read it all in one sitting so that's got to be a good sign. I loved the character's isolation. The story focused more on his relationship with the other human than it did on the monstrous presence, which I was kind of hoping it was going to and kept waiting for.
But it did not disappoint, it had a sinister theme about humans and how we perceive anything alien.
A good read!
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Format: Kindle Edition
A fantastically surreal gothic horror story.

Picked this up from a charity shop as it had a “glorious novel” recommendation on its cover from David Mitchell who I like.

The synopsis is simple - set on a desolate island a researcher arrives by steamship to replace the existing weather observer for a year’s tenure. However, the man he finds, is unwelcoming incoherent and reclusive and will not leave the island, so both men stay and the ship sails off leaving them with food water and guns.

What follows is a gripping tale of survival as the men fend of the “monsters from the sea”- the novel is very imaginative and surreal and I think there are probably lots of allegories in the battles that take place. In turns, dark, savage, humane, scary and thrilling. A great page-turner.
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