Monday, May 08, 2006

Cerebral Codex

Do you enjoy becoming engrossed inside a story getting lost within the tale? I can. It’s a form of hypnotism when a writer whispers in your ear and the two of you make the images come alive. Sometimes it makes you wonder what else is contained within those magical pages. Maybe as you read a book can you see hidden messages within the text? Such puzzles could become maddening; once identified could they be solved? Where would they take you? What if someone challenged you to “Use Your Brain of Lose Your Mind”?

Does this interest you? If so then you must see this:

“Cerebral Codex,” by Brian Smith is a book that can be appreciated on several levels. The story centers on two men who have slipped into some sort of pocket universe, perhaps two doors down from our own. It documents their adventures in a strange land where they must solve puzzles in order to move forward on their quest. The pair does not know how they got to where they are or exactly where they are going – they only know that they must move on; pushing forward to unlock the next puzzle.

The second level of appreciation is the realization that this is so much more than a novel. The story is riddled with riddles – puzzles that you will see with your first reading and challenges that you will not comprehend until your tenth. “Cerebral Codex” was also realized with the help of Mr. Jeffery Dubois, he and Mr. Smith collaborated on the puzzling aspect of the novel. The encoding, the encryptions; each piece builds upon the last and the trials do not end between the pages of this book. The text points the reader to physical locations and challenges out in the real world to find hidden puzzle pieces to complete the quest. Emphasis on the word “Challenges.” At times the reader will be taken to sets of coordinates in the middle of a swamp or the heart of the Pine Barrens. For the sake of safety it would be wise to tackle such field challenges with a partner. Other books have hidden puzzles and ciphers; most notably “A Treasure’s Trove” which compelled the reader to solve the puzzles and find hidden prizes in the forests across the United States. The joy of Cerebral Codex is that the prize is and always was the quest – the journey. It brings in another dimension for the reader – it becomes its own genre; it becomes Participatory Theater.

The third level is wondering where Mr. Smith and Mr. Dubois will go next. How will they shape the story with their next effort? The shear time that this must have taken to fully realize “Cerebral Codex,” cannot be truly understood or appreciated until one reads the text. Only then will one begin to comprehend just how many mysteries that there are wrapped up in conundrums.

Are you up for the challenge? Pick up a copy of the book and your walking stick. Come to South Jersey. You will not be disappointed.

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