The Book of the New Sun

D6Veteran

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I just read 'Shadow and Claw: The First Half of the Book of the New Sun' by Gene Wolfe.

It was fairly difficult read, and at times a little boring (and confusing). However I kept turning the pages ...

Funny thing is I can't tell if I liked the book or not. On some levels the story was so unusual and interesting that I am considering reading the second half. On other levels the book was at times a test of endurance and didn't seem to have any plot.

I can't decide if Wolfe's writing (and story telling) is above my head or just insanely poor.

Anyone one else on the board read The Book of the New Sun? Thoughts?
 

j d worthington

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its poetry in prose form
That's not a bad assessment. I think it's got considerably more narrative structure than most prose-poetic pieces, but that's a very apt description of Wolfe's writing on these... it helps to build the world we're entering, which is a very unique one in many ways...
 

Frozeninja

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I just read 'Shadow and Claw: The First Half of the Book of the New Sun' by Gene Wolfe.

It was fairly difficult read, and at times a little boring (and confusing). However I kept turning the pages ...

Funny thing is I can't tell if I liked the book or not. On some levels the story was so unusual and interesting that I am considering reading the second half. On other levels the book was at times a test of endurance and didn't seem to have any plot.

I can't decide if Wolfe's writing (and story telling) is above my head or just insanely poor.

Anyone one else on the board read The Book of the New Sun? Thoughts?
I felt much the same way you did going through the majority of the book. Both the first and the second part, for the longest time I couldn't figure out whether the book was bad or brilliant.

Eventually I settled on brilliant.
 

Yunalesca

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I had to start the New Sun series a couple of times before I actually managed to read it all the way through. The style definitely takes some getting used to, but I personally think he's a fantastic writer in terms of the quality of his writing. It is dense at times, but I think once you read to the end of the series (including The Urth of the New Sun) you should hopefully find it rewarding...

I can't think of many writers who are so good at introducing their world without info dumping, and he really does know how to construct a beautiful sentence.
 

Yunalesca

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I think rich just about sums them up :)

And because of the cyclical nature of the works, and of the writing, these are the sort of books you have to immerse yourself in, and come back to.
 

Inkreator

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I remmember the first time I've read it... it was so long ago, almost 6 years. Yet I can never forget the face of Undinas, the smell of ancient books from Ultan's library and the night light of a green Luna. Wolfe is a creator of wonders. He confounds me with this work of art... cynic, optimistic, realistic, altruistic... he mixed all of these perks/qualities in one person (and some more), and Severian survieved. Haha, how I loved especialy the book "Urth of the New Sun". He is the Sleeper. My god, I miss his works and refined words. I'm gonna go now and settle down with a mug of apple tea and read it once again and I will smile for it is good.
 

colmywaykurtz

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I will definitely read The Book of the New Sun again sometime. I could feel the presence of layers of meaning in it that I didn't get the first time around, guaranteeing I'd want to come back to it.

Inkreator, you make it sound as though Wolfe has died. Hopefully, not?
 

Snowdog

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The blurb sounds like an ERB story. I don't expect it to read like that though...
 

iansales

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I went off Wolfe with the Book of the Short Sun. The Book of the New Sun is a classic, as is The Fifth Head of Cerberus... but I've never liked his short fiction, and I've found it hard to get excited about his recent novels.
 

GOLLUM

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I went off Wolfe with the Book of the Short Sun. The Book of the New Sun is a classic, as is The Fifth Head of Cerberus... but I've never liked his short fiction, and I've found it hard to get excited about his recent novels.
Interesting becasue I've quite enjoyed his short stories too. In particular his collection Storeys From The Old Hotel. I take it you are not a fan of Wizard Knight or perhaps the Soldier of Sildon series then??? The latter is to me one of his best works, up alongside the Fifth Head Of Cerberus and Book Of The New Sun.

Have you ever reads his classic Peace before? It's another I rate highly...:)
 

iansales

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I've not read Wizard Knight, but I did like the Soldier in the Mist and Soldier of Arete. I don't think I've read PEACE, although I have the Fantasy Masterworks edition.
 

GOLLUM

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I've not read Wizard Knight, but I did like the Soldier in the Mist and Soldier of Arete. I don't think I've read PEACE, although I have the Fantasy Masterworks edition.
Well do yourself a favour and check it out. I guarantee it makes for interesting reading...:)
So which recent novels are you referring to then??...:confused:
 
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