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Cold Skin

3.68  ·  Rating Details ·  2,475 Ratings  ·  234 Reviews
On the edge of the Antarctic Circle, in the years after WWI, a steamship approaches a desolate island, far from all shipping lanes. On board is a young man on his way to assume the post of weather observer, to live in solitude for a year at the end of the earth.
Paperback, 233 pages
Published January 1st 2009 by Canongate Books (first published 2002)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Beatriz
Ya en el primer párrafo se advierte una prosa exquisita. Con un título y una portada que en ningún momento dejan entrever el hilo de la historia, se descubre un libro con un argumento muy original y con un misterio que atrapa al lector desde el comienzo (advierto que el libro se disfruta más sabiendo lo menos posible de su trama).

Pero también debo reconocer que finalmente se transforma en una de esas novelas que entretuvieron mucho mientras se leían, pero que no trascienden más allá. Quizá incl
...more
Kellie
Nov 19, 2009 Kellie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy-horror
I loved this book. It was creepy and unflinchingly bizarre. It is a fun, compulsive, and at times genuinely scary read but also a great exploration of xenophobia, the fear of the unknown, as well as what makes us "human". I think the author very much deserves his comparisons to Lovecraft, although I think it is one of those stories that you will enjoy most if you know very little about it, so I will leave it at that and warn you not to read too many reviews.

This is the best horror book I have r
...more
Erika
Nov 03, 2013 Erika rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
Got this book for a crazy low price. It was pointed out to me by someone else that read the back cover and told me it sounded similar to Silent Hill. It was enough to get me to buy it.

I was actually reminded of Lovecraft's work (which I've been reading recently). An individual facing extraordinary, almost supernatural experiences, having to deal with strange creatures whose intentions are unknown. But that's where the Lovecraft comparison ends.

This was my first time reading something by a Catal
...more
Nancy Oakes
Apr 27, 2011 Nancy Oakes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"We are never very far from those we hate. For this very reason, we shall never be truly close to those we love." With those words, Catalan author Albert Sanchez Piñol begins his tale of a young man who takes a position as a weather official on a remote island, out of the normal shipping lanes, along the coast of Antarctica. He is the unnamed narrator of this tale, and has opted for this position to exile himself from the rest of the world, needing some time and space to "negotiate between the d ...more
Jana
Sep 21, 2015 Jana rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: south, fiction
I'm reading all these reviews and not a single idea pops on my mind on why I shouldn't give this book more than one star. Yes, it had moments: it was bizarre and scared the shit out of me. No, I’ll be completely straight - it’s the second creepiest and the most disturbing book I have ever read. It’s in the same box with In the Miso soup, just I’ve experienced my first full blown anxiety attack with that Japanese one, so now I was somehow prepared for this Cold Skin, although not totally.

During t
...more
David
Al iniciar una nueva lectura no puedo evitar establecer paralelismos con otras historias deglutidas anteriormente. En este caso me asaltaban las similitudes con ''...y pese a todo''. Pensé que la trama sería similar, cambiando zombies por Carasapos y niña y perro por otro de ellos... pero me equivocaba.
Esta novela, mejor escrita que la de Garduño (con perdón), va de menos a más. Aparentemente simple al principio, no promete nada más que simple entretenimiento, pero poco a poco el autor consigue
...more
Adela Cacovean
Când am început să citesc "Pielea rece" de Albert Sánchez Piñol, nu ştiam la ce să mă aştept. Am primit-o cadou de ziua mea de la colega de bancă, apucasem să citesc descrierea de pe spate şi câteva altele de pe internet şi, acum aveam nevoie de o carte subţire, uşor de cărat, de care să mă "ocup" în orele în care nu facem mare brânză la şcoală. Aşa se face că am pus mâna pe ea şi am început-o.

Începutul suna foarte bine. "Niciodată nu ne aflăm destul de departe de cei pe care-i urâm. Prin urmare
...more
Lida
Dec 26, 2014 Lida rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The fact that I have read this book some years ago and remembering it I still get the creeps says a lot. I also remember being on winter vacation in a remote house and heedlesly starting reading it at night. And then not sleeping until the sun came up.

Half of it was a bit slow, introverted and philosophical but the other half was bloodcurdling, bizarre and deeply disturbing.

And I also read that there is gonna be a movie!
Mathew
Sep 29, 2012 Mathew rated it it was amazing
I'd never heard of this author and I have to say this book blew me away! It starts in a very standard fashion. The new lighthouse keeper? arrives on the small island, on the very edge of the world in order to escape his past. Little does he know what his future holds for him! On very few occasions can a book create the same scares as you will see in a horror movie, but this book manages it in one fell swoop. There I was, much like the character in the story, settling down for the night ahead, wh ...more
Helen
Jan 09, 2013 Helen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow. Now for something completely different. This is a story of a young man who takes a year long post on a tiny deserted island in the antarctic. The previous tenant is still in residence and behaving very strangely indeed. If that wasn't bad enough, every night hundreds of malevolent creatures come out of the sea and try to storm the lighthouse and cottage. Seriously weird and scary!
Tiffany
Good, but I think it would have played better as a short story, after cutting about 40 pages or so of the characters preparing for and battling the monsters, which got a little tedious. The book doesn't really have the heft normally expected of a novel, and so was a little unsatisfying. It has more of the tight thematic, allegorical focus and embrace of ambiguity in the details of a short story.

Some favorite quotes:

"There are times when we must bargain for our future with the past. You sit on a
...more
Matt
Nov 12, 2009 Matt rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cold Skin --let me start by assuring you that the bad title is not indicative of the quality of the book. This is a tale, with all the bad that that implies: a lack of sensory detail, a certain forgetfulness in the narrative, etc.

But from another direction it is quite good: it is an allegory for almost anything. Its themes and imagery embark on a Jungian expansion into primal sources.

The most frustrating thing is how the narrative overlooks the logic and possibilities of what it has set up, a
...more
Inti Ruiz cruz
Feb 25, 2016 Inti Ruiz cruz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
«Pero hay verdades que merecen nuestra atención, y hay otras con las que no conviene mantener diálogos.»

Un survival dentro de otro ¿qué haríamos nosotros en estas circunstancias? ¿defenderíamos nuestro derecho a la vida? ¿nuestra idea de vida se mantendría indemne? un relato estremecedor no por las condiciones de esta original historia, sino por la transformación de la mente humana en tal estado.

«¿Qué son nuestros sentimientos? Noticias que nos hablan de nosotros mismos»

Recomendable 100%, si s
...more
Danielle
Jun 30, 2009 Danielle rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ryan Swaim
Aug 24, 2013 Ryan Swaim rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This was a really interesting, creepy book...right up to the point where it didn't end. [Mild Spoiler Alert] When the ship was late, I started to realize this was probably going to have a disappointing ending. But I still held out hope that maybe it was a dream, or in his sub conscience, or even that he would turn in to one of them. Nope. It's one of those non-endings that's really supposed to make you think. I hate books like that.
Michael Jensen
Oct 16, 2014 Michael Jensen rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
When I was a teenager there was an especially cruel prank kids would play on each other. It involved telling a long-winded joke with a punchline that made no sense. But all of the kids in on the joke would laugh hysterically at the nonsensical punchline telling the kid not in on the joke he/she was really dumb for not getting it. Then they'd tell the joke over and over until the kid not in on the joke suddenly started laughing and saying they finally got the joke. Only then the other kids would ...more
Martina
Oct 24, 2013 Martina rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone who likes weird $h!t
Shelves: horror
Cold skin is... ummm. Yeah. This is one of those books where I don't know what to say, but not because the book is bad. The book is actually good. The basic idea is interesting, and the terror our narrator feels in the first encounter with the reptilian creatures is palpable, and is the prime motivator for his actions. The author succeeded in portraying life/struggle on the island for our unnamed narrator (even though the narration was a bit lacking at some points, but I guess that's me being ni ...more
Eloi Puig
Dec 29, 2014 Eloi Puig rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: terror
Lens Doublem
Jun 23, 2016 Lens Doublem rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Susana
Jan 27, 2016 Susana rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked the beginning of the story, but the second half of the book wasn't what I had expected.
Fabulantes
Oct 13, 2014 Fabulantes rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: terror
Reseña: http://www.fabulantes.com/2014/10/la-...
"La lectura de La piel fría produce el hormigueo inevitable, irreductible, de los clásicos monumentales. De esas obras que van más allá de su tiempo y de su espacio y que de pronto te hablan de lo que siempre nos ha preocupado, de lo que fuimos, somos y seremos. (Albert) Sánchez Piñol se presenta en su debut en la forma larga –ya había inaugurado su carrera literaria con una antología de cuentos, Pallasos i monstres (2000), escrita también catalán-
...more
Cel Kila
Apr 01, 2016 Cel Kila rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bibliothèque
Un climatologue est envoyé sur une île pour une durée d'un an, afin d'y faire des relevés et d'étudier tout ce qui peut se trouver sur ce petit bout de terre. A son arrivée là bas, l'homme dont il est sensé prendre la relève est introuvable, par contre il y en a un autre, qu'on prendra pour le gardien du phare et qui reste complétement silencieux lors de l'apparition de ce nouvel arrivant.
Pas plus tard que la première nuit passée sur l'île, le climatologue se rend compte qu'elle est peuplée de
...more
Faedyl
Feb 01, 2014 Faedyl rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Entrada al diario 43 de Faedyl en City Bell, Buenos Aires Province Argentina el martes, 28 de febrero de 2012
Este libro no ha sido valorado.

Recibido de manos de Coyote, Quimera dijo que ya habia dado la vuelta el anillo pero la lista organizada esta un poco rara. Yo lo tengo en mi casa hasta que pueda hincarle diente ya que estoy terminando unos finales y por ahora me esta costando leer novelas completas. Pido que si alguien quiere leerlo antes, me avise así se lo hago llegar pero mientras, espe
...more
Marca
Mar 08, 2016 Marca rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Minu hinnangut sellele raamatule mõjutas kindlasti see, et lugesin esimesena sama autori teost "Pandora Kongos", mis on tegelikult teine osa nö antropoloogilistest thrilleritest, mille esimene osa on "Külm nahk" ja kolmandat Eesti keeles veel pole. "Pandora Kongos" mõjus mulle erilisena aga suures osas just seetõttu, et ma ei teadnud, mis sorti looga tegemist on. "Külma naha" puhul ma seda teadsin. Samas ei olnud "Külm nahk" kindlasti ka mitte niivõrd mitmetahuline ja ootamatu kui "Pandora". Tei ...more
El Biblionauta
Jun 20, 2016 El Biblionauta rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015, cificat
Albert Sánchez Piñol, l’aclamat autor de La pell freda, representa molt probablement la millor mostra d’aquesta nova generació d’escriptors de casa nostra més interessats en fer literatura –bona literatura, afegim- que no pas en fer país. És a dir, més preocupats en la tasca creadora d’un bon llibre que no pas d’esdevenir una peça més en l’engranatge salvífic de la llengua i les essències pàtries. En una entrevista realitzada poc després de l’èxit aclaparador de la seva primera novel•la, Piñol a ...more
José Manuel Frías
Defraudado por el devenir de los acontecimientos tras la independencia de Irlanda, un guerrillero irlandés decide alejarse de la sociedad, y acepta un trabajo como oficial atmosférico, durante un año, en un pequeño islote perdido, cuyos únicos elementos artificiales son la casa del oficial, el faro, y un extraño y esquivo personaje, presunto farero, llamado Batís Caffó.
Pronto comienzan los problemas, cuando el protagonista descubre que, por las noches, la isla es asediada por unos violentos sere
...more
Mark
Dec 28, 2010 Mark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bizarro-world
The central character is given a year's assignment as a weather official on a seemingly deserted island. The only other human on the island is a crazed Austrian, who mans the lighthouse. Quickly we learn that the small island is nightly overrun by amphibious creatures. This novel is compelling, disturbing, and guaranteed to stick with you after you close the cover on the last page.
Lepisma
Oct 29, 2015 Lepisma rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Originalmente escrito en catalán. La narración te atrapa desde el comienzo. Después de leer el primer capítulo el lector necesita seguir leyendo para saber más sobre ese narrador que cuenta una historia misteriosa en un lugar tan inhóspito y rodeado de tan extrañas circunstancias. La narración es amena y está muy bien dirigida: Sánchez Piñol me parece un buen escritor, aunque sus motivos argumentales y temáticos se repiten un poco (lo sabe bien quien también haya leído Pandora en el Congo, novel ...more
Kristjan Kaitsa
For me it was a psychological novel. Solitude, horror, sexuality. Fear of unknown. Human nature. Losing yourself or finding yourself?

It's somewhat depressing, but I tend to re-read it, when I feel very depressed myself. Perhaps, I feel it as a companion in my loneliness of depression.

(Going write more, when have mood for it.)
Paul Allor
Nov 30, 2007 Paul Allor rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People with a propensity for goosebumps
I gave this three stars only because it starts to drag quite a bit around the two-thirds mark. But most of this book is four- or five-star material.

This novel is deeply disturbing and, in places, astoundingly well-written. Forget slasher movies and vampire novels. THIS is what horror should be like.
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  • Mecanoscrit del segon origen
  • El porqué de las cosas
  • Pa negre
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  • Jo confesso
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971914
Albert Sánchez Piñol was born in Barcelona in 1965 and is an anthropologist and writer. His writing has appeared in several journals, and Cold Skin is his first novel. Already translated into fifteen languages, it won the Ojo Critico Narrativa prize on its original publication in Catalan in 2003.
More about Albert Sánchez Piñol...

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“ºNunca estamos infinitamente lejos de aquellos a quienes odiamos. Por la misma razón, pues, podríamos creer que nunca estaremos absolutamente cerca de aquellos a quienes amamosº” 3 likes
“¨El paisaje que un hombre ve, ojos fuera, acostumbra a ser el reflejo de lo que esconde, ojos adentro.¨” 3 likes
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