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The Codex (Kindle Single) [Kindle Edition]

Oliver Broudy
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $1.99
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  • Length: 42 pages (estimated)
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Book Description

Call it The Flattening Effect. The process by which mystery is leached from life, and replaced by weary literalism. Age is the primary culprit, abetted by desensitizing technology, and the reductive shove of science. At a certain point, thought becomes synapse, talk becomes tweet, and all Netflix movies seem to merit three stars. Gradually the world recedes from your touch, until the only things that still feel real are sex and video games.

Such, at any rate, is the case for Oliver Broudy, when he stumbles upon the most grotesque instance of flattening imaginable. An object so dense, and so uniquely revealing of our times, that it is itself a kind of mystery. Forthwith, Broudy sets out for the Czech Republic to confront the object—along with its aging creator. To him is put the final question: Once life’s mystery has faded, can you ever get it back again?

"Lyrical, provocative, the mysterious Codex stays with you long after you've turned the last page." —Jennifer 8. Lee, author of The Fortune Cookie Chronicles

Editorial Reviews Review

On its surface, The Codex is a coyly unfolding narrative of Oliver Broudy's trip to Prague in pursuit of the meaning of a strange book: "a book of profound moral ambiguity, both beautiful and bizarre, alluring and repellent. A book so explicit that it would be banned by any public library, a book whose pages chronicled the extinction of mystery, and at the same time spawned new mysteries just by existing." Along the way, he meets an outspoken cosmetic surgeon, a mysterious artist of the female form, and--perhaps--the key to his own ambivalence about adulthood. As with his first Kindle Single, The Saint, Broudy's multi-dimensional narrative rests on a keen succession of nested structures, in this case a profile wrapped in another profile couched in a memoir, of sorts. At the level of craft, this alone identifies Broudy as a rising talent. Add the lushness of his language and a succession of scalping insights into modern life, and The Codex makes a compelling case for Oliver Broudy's emergence among the master essayists at work today. --Jason Kirk

Product Details

  • File Size: 91 KB
  • Print Length: 42 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005T4PSJ0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #422,887 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars True Happiness October 14, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
If you're looking for a story with a plot this book is not for you. Broudy takes a philosophic look at the dissolution of true happiness as we age. Sexuality and its transformation from innocence and beauty to hard cold commercialization is used as a metaphor. Broudy shows how people lose sight of the beauty that surrounds them and in search for beauty and happiness become self obsessed. "The veneer of beauty vanishes, and we become alien to each other, and to ourselves." To regain true happiness and our childlike optimism we need to go beyond seeing with our eyes and learn to feel what we see, not unlike an artist.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read October 11, 2011
By Iva S
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I read Broudy's last book, The Saint, and loved it. The Codex is just as introspective, inisghtful and beautifully written. Part memoir, part profile, part travel's a piece you'll be thinking about long after you finish reading it.
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16 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Strange. Me Like. October 7, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
I'm still trying to figure out how to make sense of this strange piece of excellent writing. It comes at you from about 12 different directions, makes almost no sense, and yet makes all the sense in the world. I think Broudy may be in the process of discovering a new mode of literature. Highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I purchased this Single because I really enjoyed "The Saint", another Single that the author wrote. And the cover art was striking also.

The long introduction I just found wonderful. I would read a paragraph and put my Kindle down and drift off on the evocative prose and imagery. I did not want it to end. (One of the problems with the Single format is when you find a great read, it ends all too soon.)
And then he gets off the plane and it turned into an ordinary story for me. Yes, it was interesting, still pulled me along, but I felt abruptly disengaged from the sense of mystery and depth he had created. Maybe if I were a guy, it would have been less of a disconnect.

Still worthwhile, but more like two articles than one: a poetic essay followed by a more mundane story.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Reads like a bad emo blog November 3, 2011
By Donna
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I'm not seeing what everyone else is seeing in this book. Far from "coy" and "lyrical," I found it overstyled and self-indulgent. It reads like a sample from community college creative writing class. I wish I had read the sample excerpt before buying; the money I had spent is the only reason I forced myself to read even halfway.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Smart, droll, and thoroughly engaging December 28, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
If you've got an hour or so to spend on something pleasurable, I suggest you spend it on this. Broudy's observations are always shrewd and often unexpected, which means you pretty much want to go wherever he takes you.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sorceror Seeking Source December 6, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
It's subtle and vulgar. It's brazen in its gentleness. It's an honorable story about an innovation in debasement. Like "The Saint," its narrative is inherently compelling, but there's something greater: the pleasure of having so full a look inside an extraordinary mind. The subject offers abundant opportunities for coarseness, which are deftly evaded, and what remains is both light and masterly. He's like a dance partner who waltzes you across a minefield. Now I've exhausted my vocabulary. Book good. Buy. Read. Smile.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting read on a surprising subject December 1, 2011
By Pleased
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I read this book about a month ago and am finally writing a review. I laugh thinking about it now -- the subject matter and the fact the author has made this an interesting nonfiction story. It's a memorable subject -- never expected to read about something like this.

Maybe Broudy would disagree with, but this story seems part adventure -- like a Dan Brown story about a guy on some quest for an answer to an age old mystery and partially like a Michael Lewis study on a subject you may have heard but never really thought to explore in depth.

If you are looking for a quick read -- I'd say about an hour, maybe two (been a while) -- it's a good addition to your Kindle. What is this author going to explore next? I laugh with anticipation.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The Codex
Good read. Gives insight into an artists mind and how they perceive the world compared to how you or I may see it
Published 22 months ago by teresa m farmer
1.0 out of 5 stars It is rare to find a more pointless exercise in reading
This book drags and drags thru a series of incidents in the life of the main character never really providing any good reason why the author wasted his precious time writing this... Read more
Published on January 22, 2013 by jjp
5.0 out of 5 stars Love everything Oliver
I bought this book because of the cover, it was an intriguing blue mannequins eye. I didn't even read the blurb and I didn't read the book until I was forced to go to the gym and... Read more
Published on December 19, 2012 by A. Smith
3.0 out of 5 stars Just okay...
I read this book a month ago. Quite frankly, it's a month later and I can't tell you much about what the book was about. Read more
Published on May 24, 2012 by BrentW
2.0 out of 5 stars Sorry
I like this writer when writing opinion and about his experiences. Fictional efforts not so much. I was expecting something more in the way of a finished product. Read more
Published on April 21, 2012 by Marilyn
2.0 out of 5 stars blah
I'm not sure why I ordered this book. But I'm really sorry I did. I did NOT expect that kind of story. It was boring and a poor subject for such an intriguing title.
Published on March 12, 2012 by Wizzy
4.0 out of 5 stars A surprising and thought provoking read
I started this with no idea what it was about, and was pleasantly surprised. Though the subject matter wont be of interest to everyone, the philosophical ideas discussed are... Read more
Published on January 27, 2012 by Amanda
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't Bother
This is one of those "Life's Too Short" books. There are too many good books out there to waste time on this one. Read more
Published on January 24, 2012 by Sally Jackson
5.0 out of 5 stars Impossible to look away
This book gets right to the heart of that thing which is hard to pin down or name. I had that feeling of recognition as if when you finally grasp something that you've been trying... Read more
Published on December 1, 2011 by Bobios
1.0 out of 5 stars What a bust!
I don't know what this piece is supposed to be but although words are cleverly used the content is meaningless trash. Read more
Published on November 29, 2011 by Maurice A. Rhodes
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More About the Author

Oliver Broudy is a National Magazine Award finalist, a contributing writer with Men's Health magazine, and the ex-managing editor of The Paris Review. He has written on bodybuilding in Afghanistan, traditional cooking in rural China, and anarchism in Missouri. His work has appeared in a variety of online and print publications.

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