CoDex 1962

Author:   Sjon ,  Victoria Cribb
Publisher:   Hodder & Stoughton
ISBN:  

9781473663053


Pages:   528
Publication Date:   02 May 2019
Format:   Paperback
Availability:   In stock   Availability explained
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CoDex 1962


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Overview

'A masterpiece . . . I challenge any author to top it!' Sigridur Alberstsdottir, Icelandic National Broadcasting Service. Josef Loewe enters the world as a lump of clay - carried in a hatbox by his Jewish father Leo, a fugitive in WWII Germany. Taking refuge in a small-town guesthouse, Leo discovers a kindred spirit in the young woman who nurses him back to health and together they shape the clay into a baby. But en route to safety in Iceland, he is robbed of the ring needed to bring the child to life. It is not until 1962 that Josef can be 'born', only to grow up with a rare disease. Fifty-three years on, it leads him into the hands of a power-hungry Icelandic geneticist, just when science and politics are threatening to lead us all down a dark, dangerous road. At once playful and profoundly serious, this remarkable novel melds multiple genres into a unique whole: a mind-bending read and a biting, timely attack on nationalism.

Full Product Details

Author:   Sjon ,  Victoria Cribb
Publisher:   Hodder & Stoughton
Imprint:   Sceptre
Dimensions:   Width: 13.00cm , Height: 3.20cm , Length: 19.70cm
Weight:   0.352kg
ISBN:  

9781473663053


ISBN 10:   1473663059
Pages:   528
Publication Date:   02 May 2019
Audience:   General/trade ,  General
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active
Availability:   In stock   Availability explained
We have confirmation that this item is in stock with the supplier. It will be ordered in for you and dispatched immediately.

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Reviews

Sure to delight the reader . . . irresistibly sweeps the reader away . . . a masterpiece, meticulously executed from the first page to the last - National Broadcasting Service, Iceland Dazzlingly funny and entertaining in sections, dramatic and tragic, light and serious, woven with the artistry we recognise in Sjon's other work . . . he creates with his inexhaustible imagination a gorgeous and relevant ending - Frettabladid Sjon is one of our era's great writers. Like Ovid, Kafka, and Bulgakov, he is fascinated by metamorphosis and, from apparently limitless resources of the imagination, can convey what it must feel like. - Nation An extraordinary and original writer Iceland's literary spell-binder . . . A tantalising smoke of marvel and magic drifts through Sjon's work - Economist 1843 Beguiling, surpassingly eccentric . . . Though occasionally reminiscent of David Mitchell, Sjon's work is unlike anything else in contemporary fiction. Strange - but stunning - Kirkus


An extraordinary and original writer -- A.S. Byatt Sjon is one of our era's great writers. Like Ovid, Kafka, and Bulgakov, he is fascinated by metamorphosis and, from apparently limitless resources of the imagination, can convey what it must feel like -- Charles Baxter * Nation * Iceland's literary spell-binder ... A tantalising smoke of marvel and magic drifts through Sjon's work -- Boyd Tonkin * Economist 1843 * Dazzlingly funny and entertaining in sections, dramatic and tragic, light and serious, woven with the artistry we recognise in Sjon's other work ... he creates with his inexhaustible imagination a gorgeous and relevant ending -- Fridrika Benonysdottir * Frettabladid * Sjon's novels are brilliant collisions of history and fable, psychology and fantasy -- Chris Power * Guardian * Sure to delight the reader . . . irresistibly sweeps the reader away . . . a masterpiece, meticulously executed from the first page to the last -- Sigridur Albertsdottir * National Broadcasting Service Iceland * One blindingly beautiful section comprises a list of surrealist images, the nightly dreams of a group of townspeople . . . This book is a Norse Arabian Nights. Each section is a honeycomb. Stories are nested in stories and crack open to reveal rumour and anecdote, prose poems, tendrils of myth. This abundance isn't an empty show of virtuosity but rooted in Sjon's belief in the power and obligation of old-fashioned storytelling . . . [It] consumed me for the better part of a week. I can only echo Loewe, with gratitude, exasperation and awe. This book's a bloody thief of time. -- Parul Sehgal * New York Times * Bewitching . . . His stories compound the dreamscapes of Surrealism, the marvels of Icelandic folklore and a pop-culture sensibility into free-form fables. Call it magic realism under Nordic lights . . . Sjon's finale anchors his ingenuity to a moving plea for solidarity Hrolfur, the entrepreneurial geneticist, yearns to soar heavenwards into a world where imagination is the only law of nature that matters . CoDex 1962 applauds the aim, but distrusts his means and motive. The wild flight remains a mission not for scientists but for story-tellers. * The Economist * Sjon writes with a poet's ear and a musician's natural sense of rhythm. This extraordinary performance, consisting of three books in one, sets out to entertain, but also to prod the reader towards a stark realisation of human mortality and the games fate plays . . . The influence of Gunter Grass's The Tin Drum is evident. Sjon has mastered the earlier fabulist's technique of merging history with high-speed comedy and surreal profundity. With a man made of clay and a bewildered angel struggling to get rid of a symbolic trumpet, there are shades of the Bible as well as Milton. Sjon, an heir of Mikhail Bulgakov and Laurence Sterne, eases literary references into the text as mere suggestions. With the light, fluid touch of Victoria Cribb, a resourceful, often inspired translator who is alert to Sjon's quick-change vocal register and genre-hopping artistry, the effect is hypnotic. The reader becomes a gleeful collaborator in an extravaganza in which Bosch meets Chagall, with touches of Tarantino . . . His wild, subversive imagination is among his great strengths, not only in CoDex 1962 but throughout his work . . . This wayward, exciting odyssey confronts death throughout. Nothing is quite what it seems, and there are no easy answers. Here, instead, is an artist preoccupied with questions. -- Eileen Battersby * Guardian, Book of the Day * This is a work of great ambition ... above all it feels like a work of virtuoso narrative for its own sake; an Icelandic 1001 Nights. * The Sunday Times * Sjon is a raconteur of talent. He can flick from angelic frolics to seedy violence as if each tale were a smooth refraction of the last. He has a knack for high comedy, too. ... Victoria Cribb deserves equal praise for bringing all this zest into English so well. -- Cal Revely-Calder * The Daily Telegraph *


Author Information

Born in Reykjavik in 1962, Sjon is an Icelandic writer whose novels The Blue Fox, The Whispering Muse, From the Mouth of the Whale, Moonstone and CoDex 1962 have been translated into thirty-five languages. He has won several awards including the Nordic Council's Literature Prize for The Blue Fox and has also been shortlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize, while Moonstone won the Icelandic Literary Prize and the Icelandic Booksellers' prize for Novel of the Year. Sjon has also published nine poetry collections, written four opera librettos as well as lyrics for various artists, and was nominated for an Oscar for his lyrics in the film Dancer in the Dark. In 2017, Sjon became the third writer - following Margaret Atwood and David Mitchell - to contribute to Future Library, a public artwork based in Norway spanning 100 years. He lives in Reykjavik, Iceland. Victoria Cribb has translated more than twenty-five books by Icelandic authors. Her translations of Moonstone and CoDex 1962 were both longlisted for the Best Translated Book Award and the PEN America Translation Prize. In 2017 she received the Orostir honorary translation award for services to Icelandic literature.

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