Cold Skin Paperback – 29 Mar 2007
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"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)
This creepy, paranoid and thrilling novel has become an international bestseller and cult classic --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
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...
But it did not disappoint, it had a sinister theme about humans and how we perceive anything alien.
A good read!
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Originally published in Catalan in 2002, Pinol's first novel has been translated by Cheryl Leah Morgan and published in 2007. Read morePublished on 28 Mar. 2013 by Dr R
Set on a bleak desolate island near Antartica, the narrator has been assigned to be a weather observer on the island for a year. Read morePublished on 9 Nov. 2010 by Kiwifunlad
I bought this book as I've heard on the grapevine that it is soon to be adapted into a movie and wanted to have read it first! Im halfway through and cant put it down! Read morePublished on 15 Mar. 2010 by Elena
This is always and interesting and captivating read, their is suspense and intrigue a plenty. A genuine page turner. Read morePublished on 13 Aug. 2009 by S. Glover
I really enjoyed the book, read it in an afternoon. Having just battled my way through Atonement it was refreshing to read something which rattled along at a good pace. Read morePublished on 25 Feb. 2008 by Pavlov's Dog
This is a fairly trite short story idea dragged out to novella length. Starts intriguingly in a Jules Verne/Daniel Defoe vein but I soon guessed where it might be going and was... Read morePublished on 5 Feb. 2008 by H. Smith
THIS BOOK IS ON THE SURFACE VERY WIERD BUT COMPULSIVE. DRAW YOUR OWN CONCLUSIONS AS TO THE TRUE NATURE OF THE 'MONSTER'Published on 15 Nov. 2007 by phil mars