Maze: Solve the World's Most Challenging Puzzle (Anglais) Broché – décembre 1985
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There are layers upon layers of meaning to peel away. My second graders were stimulated by the pictures and the physical structure of the maze. The fifth graders I shared it with began to discover the subtlety of the textual clues. In middle school, the students noticed non-linear connections between rooms in the maze, complexities in the placement of the chambers, and the double entendres of the mysterious host.
As an adult, I found myself thrilled by the challenge of The Maze, the creepy ambiguity of meaning, and a pervading sinister feeling that made my stomach uneasy and gave me goosebumps up and down my arms.
I envy those who are stepping into the entrance hall for the first time . . . Good Luck!
I'm above average at solving puzzles, and I can't even get a good start into "MAZE" before I start doubting my whole interpretation of the "clues", and run around in circles blindly.
I give this work 5 stars for the premise and flawless execution, but I would subtract a half star for the following reason: After weeks of serious attempts at deciphering the symbolism, it is still as unintelligible as some of Lewis Carroll's or Aleister Crowley's nonsense. Yes, I am dense. The only solution we've figured out to MAZE involves "cheating", unless that's the real solution. Notice on the cover how there is a very ambiguous fish over the door? Well, that's what its like inside, too: "ambiguous at best." Utterly ecclectic, and gripping. LET ME OUT!
If you want to discuss anything about the Maze, please feel free to e-mail me...we're always interested in new opinions
However, there is a trend with all of them, including Maze.
The publishers and authors fail to support the product after a few years.
If you intend to buy this book, note that it is interesting, intriguing, and quite appealing. However, there are NO answers to be found, in the book or online in an OFFICIAL capacity.
You can find countless sites online where people have "theories" up, mostly involving mathematical matrices, but there is no official site to go to for page-by-page solutions to the puzzle, therefore making any attempt to solve the puzzle a guessing game only.
For instance, if you are on page 26 and are attempting to decide which door to take, you could spend hours, days, weeks or months trying to come up with reasonings as to what door is correct. However, any "answer" you come up with is nothing but a guess. You have no means to verify that indeed, you came up with the right solution to that page. Conversely, if you are stuck and cannot solve a page/puzzle... you can never move on, ending your experience with the book.
I have a Mensa level IQ, and tackle puzzles like this all the time. But without verification of the answers- and this does not mean a simple list of the rooms you should go through, but rather a page-by-page WHY do you go through door X on page Y, you're frankly wasting your time. I have six different ways I've come up with things telling me to choose a particular door on one page, but my whole point is this: Those six things I've come up with my simply be nothing but me grasping at thin air- I have NO means to verify, and going to a website that lists the order of rooms is NOT verification. It bypasses the WHY, the most important part.
You might "solve" it... but you really won't have solved it, for you can't confirm you didn't just guess your way through any particular page or avoid a door because you know it leads to a dead end- this defeats the whole purpose of the book.
It's sad to see another publisher fail to support a puzzle product, but it's happened to all of them- The Merlin Mystery, Masquerade, Treasure, Treasure Quest... the authors and publishers reveal them to much fanfare and excitement, then pull their support after a few years, leaving the fans with nothing more than a paperweight in book form.
If Henry Holt, the current publisher, would obtain the page-by-page answers and throw them up on a text-based website, they'd break this cycle of neglect for products.
If those answers ever came- my rating would be a 5 star, easily, because then the book becomes possible to work with.
Until then- note that the jacket for this product should read: No answers are available, ever. And Maze will end up in on a book shelf, or in a storage box, much to my dismay.
Despite the efforts of thousands of people since its publication, this book has yet to be fully solved. At least four chat groups have appeared and disappeared over the years devoted to cracking the puzzles in this book. If you search online you will find the solution to the 16 room path and the hidden message in the center room but that leaves 29 rooms unsolved and many rooms on the 16 room path have puzzles that have yet to be solved. The $10,000 prize originally attached to this book in 1985 went unclaimed for many months. Eventually they distributed the amount to the individuals who were the closest to a solution. Solving a room, or part of a room, can take weeks, but the feeling of satisfaction is huge... "I solved a room of one of the world's most difficult puzzles!"
THERE IS A SUPPORT GROUP: [ IntoTheAbyss.net ]
The solution to the main puzzle and attempts at solutions for the other rooms can be found at the forum IntoTheAbyss.net launched this year (2013). The multitude of posts shows just how popular and difficult the book is.
IT IS THE WORLD'S GREATEST SOLVABLE PUZZLE:
I am a fan of puzzles and am very familiar with the scope of available puzzles, in my opinion this is by far the greatest puzzle ever created. It is a masterpiece. The sheer brilliance of its construction is staggering once you delve into it. A few years ago a mathematician attempted to show the relationship between the rooms visually, the result looks like a diagram of the internet. One of the unsolved puzzles is the identity of the unseen "guide." People have theorized that the guide is the Minotaur, King Minos, Icarus, Hades, Christopher Manson (the author), God, Satan, a demon, even an umbrella. Somewhere in the book is the answer.
An example of a solution:
In room room 32 is banner which says "Sea bag O.K." If you take "Sea" instead as "C" then it becomes an anagram for "Go Back." This solution is confirmed by the fact that unless the reader returns the way they came they will wind up in one of the inescapable trap rooms or stuck in a loop that goes back to the entrance. However the room also contains a bird and a missing statue, how do these relate to the message? I figured it out, the answer is not online and I'm not telling.
An example of a yet to be solved room:
In this room are four pictures. 1. A scale tipped to the left. 2. A tail. 3. The phrase "WOMANS JEWELRY" written from bottom to top in 3 letter increments. 4. A sign that says, "H+OO." In the center of the room is a trident. As of yet I have not heard from anyone who has a good idea of what this room is trying to say, and I have no clue. No doubt the solution is a phrase of some kind. And since the room is a trap, the phrase probably conveys in some way that the reader is doomed.
INCREDIBLE MOODY, ATMOSPHERIC ARTWORK:
The ink cross hashed images are exceedingly detailed. Manson's ability to convey shadow and light using this method is amazing. The style (and mood) is reminiscent of Edward Gorey, the artist most commonly known for illustrating the introduction to Masterpiece Mystery. There is nothing scary in the book, but much of it is oddly disturbing. A quote from room 31, "... a melancholy little courtyard surrounded by a brick wall too high to see over. A dead tree lifts its bone white branches to a sky filling with gray clouds." The picture fits the description, it's just a tree in a courtyard. But as I study the page for clues I notice that the branches look like bones, the faces on the doors look strange, and suddenly I feel a chill. This kind of experience is almost universal for people who really get into the book.
FOR SEEKERS, NOT CHILDREN:
This book is not for young children, it may give them the willies and they will get nowhere. This book is for fans of eerie, practically unsolvable puzzles who are MENSA candidates or artistic free thinkers. It is for people who like the Twilight Zone, LOST, and House of Leaves. It is for people who stray from normal life, past where the sidewalk ends, and wander down the rabbit hole. It is one of the most curious and unique books ever made. Christopher Manson once said that with every book he made he was seeking to create a perfect book... he may have succeeded.