I will give his fans one concession: Wolfe is an author who defies expectations. Unfortunately, I was expecting him to be remarkable and interesting. Few live up to their reputation, but most at least deliver part of the promise. His language and structure serves its purpose, only occasionally rising above mere utilitarianism, and then he rushes to florid flourishes that fall flat as often as they succeed. Sometimes, it is downright dull.
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Interpretations someone wondered what the disturbance was at the gate of Nessus toward the end of book one. My theory is that he has loosed some sort of creature that is causing quite a commotion.
Unanswered Questions Simon and Schuster hardcover: Jacket flaps: "One expects any book from Gene Wolfe to be a classic -- and here it is. Disch In a stunning blend of the lyric extravagance of fantasy and the keen edge of science fiction, meeting in a future so distant that it seems like the ancient past, Gene Wolfe begins his chronicle of Severian the Torturer, in this the first volume of The Book of the New Sun.
In the great Citadel built of unsmeltable gray metal, young Severian and his fellow apprentices study to achieve the rank of Master Torturer learning the ancient mysteries of the guild, sworn to torture whom the Autarch says to torture, and to kill whom he says to kill. But with the coming of Thecla, a beautiful and intelligent woman whose indiscretions have lost her her place in the inner circle of concubines of the House Absolute, life changes for Severian, as he disobeys the rules he has been raised to follow.
The young torturer expects to be killed for his crime; instead he is exiled from the city to serve as a simple executioner in distant Thrax ,the City of Windowless Rooms. So armed, he sets forth into the vast City, heading for the distant gate. On his way he encounters the twins Agia and Agilus , who drive him to an arcane duel on the Sanguinary Field; the acting troupe of Dr.
Talos, a charlatan, Baldanders, a monstrous giant, and the lovely Jolenta; and Dorcas, a mysterious girl who appears on the shore of the Lake of Birds, where the dead lie. But first he must journey north, to the land of the mountains, and it is at the great gate of the City Imperishable, the largest in the world, that the first volume of The Book of the New Sun closes, with Severian standing in the portal of his destiny. His book The Fifth Head of Cerberus has been widely praised.
Wolfe lives in Barrington, Illinois, wiht his wife and four children, where he writes five pages every day on one of two ancient IBM typewriters.
This is magic stuff! Totally original, new, incomparable: the beginning of something great, the first exploration of a new world. Dark, daunting, and thoroughly believable. It takes hold of you and conducts you down strange corridors Scenes of vivid horror and velvet humor, episodes of bravura slapstick and vaudevillian bravery Adventure, pain, laughter, heartbreak.
No one who values intelligence, strangeness, and beauty in the same piece of fiction is likely to finish The Shadow of the Torturer either dissatisfied or sated.
The Shadow of the Torturer by Gene Wolf
On extraordinary occasions, the strength of the lochus was doubled Also attrib. Have I got that right, do you think? But certainly, Wolfe wrote "The mensal of the monachs" for the wonderful, alliterative way it rolls off the tongue.
On his way back to the Citadel, Severian and several other apprentices sneak into a necropolis where Severian encounters Vodalus, a legendary revolutionary. Vodalus, along with two others, including a woman named Thea, are robbing a grave. Vodalus and his companions are confronted by volunteer guards. Shortly before Severian is elevated to journeyman he encounters and falls in love with Thecla, a beautiful aristocratic prisoner.
The Shadow of the Torturer
The Shadow of the Torturer by Gene Wolf 8. To say that Gene Wolfe is a difficult author is both a compliment and a knock. From character names to descriptions to articles of clothing, Wolfe uses language in the most deliberate fashion. Much of the first half of the novel takes place in a decrepit, dark city of medieval-style towers known as the Citadel, which is where the guilds are traditionally make their home. From the lightless tunnels to the freezing necropolis, the Citadel can be seen as emblematic of a dying culture and a dying world.