1. Now Available on Amazon:                            

    > Click here for more Amazon stores


    Dismiss Notice

The Sorcerer's House

Discussion in 'Gene Wolfe' started by T77, Jul 9, 2010.

  1.  
    T77

    T77 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2008
    Messages:
    60
    Released back in March, this forum has been very quiet for a while, I think this deserves a thread. I have not read it yet. The reviews on Amazon, while only ten, are very positive. Anyone read it and want to post impressions?
     
  2.  
    GOLLUM

    GOLLUM Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2005
    Messages:
    9,072
    Location:
    Australia
    I have it of course but NO I'm yet to read it and may not get to before the end of this year.

    Once I do I shall certainly post a review though..:)

    I'm hoping to cover and review some of Gene's lesser known/celebrated works in the second half of the year, so this author's forum should hopefully become a little busier.
     
  3.  
    T77

    T77 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2008
    Messages:
    60
    I purchased it this weekend and started to read it. So far, so good, it had me turning the pages. This is the first Wolfe novel that I've read set in the present day. I'll post non-spoiler impressions as I proceed.

    I also started The Citadel of the Autarch (yes I read multiple books at a time), and am addicted to Gene's works right now. The Dresden fans say his works are like crack, I'm more into Wolfe crack.
     
  4.  
    Stephen Palmer

    Stephen Palmer author of novels

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2009
    Messages:
    3,474
    Location:
    Shropshire
    Do you smoke that? :D
     
  5.  
    T77

    T77 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2008
    Messages:
    60
    I would if I could.
     
  6.  
    T77

    T77 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2008
    Messages:
    60
    I'm about 40% into this and I'm enjoying it so far. It's the most accessible Wolfe novel that I've read to date. It does not have the typical dense Wolfe prose and it is a much quicker read for me. Looking forward to finishing it.

    I'm reading this on my iPod Touch Kindle app. This is the first Wolfe novel I've purchased as an ebook and I think from now on I will purchase ebooks whenever possible. I just love everything about it. No need for a book light, I have many books in my pocket and I love setting it to a black background with white text as it's easy on my eyes. Not to mention it doesn't take up any shelf space.
     
  7.  
    GOLLUM

    GOLLUM Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2005
    Messages:
    9,072
    Location:
    Australia
    Thanks for the update T77. I simply have not had the time to read this nor any of my remaining pile of TBR books.

    Of course you realise the less deep the text appears to be may in fact be the inverse of the truth......at least where Mr. Wolfe is concerned. Not that I would ever dream of trying to mess with your head or anything.....;)
     
  8.  
    T77

    T77 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2008
    Messages:
    60
    Well Gollum, while the prose may not be as dense as previous novels, the story, while seeming like a mysterious house story, is rather deep. There have been a lot of little mysteries thrown at me so far that I'm sure will make more sense on a re-read.

    I will happily take on the task of reading and giving impressions of Gene's more recent works as I also make my way through the Sun series. I just purchased An Evil Guest, which I will read after this.
     
  9.  
    GOLLUM

    GOLLUM Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2005
    Messages:
    9,072
    Location:
    Australia
    Cool...I got a lovely HB of that last year. It is supposed to be Gene's nod to H.P. Lovecraft.
     
  10.  
    T77

    T77 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2008
    Messages:
    60
    My Wolfe reading binge continues. I finished this last night as well as The Citadel of the Autarch (more on this in the New Sun thread. I really enjoyed The Sorcerer's House. As mentioned, it was a fairly easy read, not containing the typical Wolfe dense prose.

    It seems to have set itself up for a sequel, I hope his forthcoming book Home Fires is, but I could not find any information confirming it. I would recommend this book to any Wolfe fan.
     
  11.  
    GOLLUM

    GOLLUM Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2005
    Messages:
    9,072
    Location:
    Australia
    Nice to hear Sorcerer's House is not too dense a read then. As good as Wolfe is it is sometimes nice to leave the brain in second gear for a period of time.

    Home Fires as you say is supposed to be forthcoming. More specifically in early January of next year. Fingers crossed this comes to fruition.

    Cheers.
     
  12.  
    T77

    T77 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2008
    Messages:
    60
    Agreed Gollum, although Gene is probably my favorite author, sometimes I'm just not in the mood to read him due to it being a fairly difficult read. Especially if it's late, my reading comprehension goes way down.

    I should also add that I started An Evil Guest. Talk about mixed reviews on Amazon, they are scattered almost evenly across the board. That said, I am really enjoying it so far, although I'm only about 5% in. I'll create a thread shortly.
     
  13.  
    Kierkegaurdian

    Kierkegaurdian Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2010
    Messages:
    126
    Well, almost a year later, I am going to try and resurrect this thread. I just finished The Sorcerer's House. I thought it was great; a very fun, quick puzzle-book. I am on the fence when it comes to the question of whether or not the events relayed in the letters actually happened. Wolfe lays plenty of clues that tell us Bax is not a reliable person, so why should we believe he is telling the truth in his letters? Can we assume that the collator is Bax, putting the whole thing in a more skeptical light?

    I think the real point in the book that holds the key is George's single letter to Bax, challenging him to a duel. How did George get this letter to Bax? At that point in the story, George is lost in the house somewhere. Did he just leave the letter somewhere? Why not just wait in that spot for Bax to come by? The thing is, this letter is the one that most justifies in the mind of potential readers that Bax is the "good" brother, and George the "bad" one. At the same time though, perhaps it just shows that George is the one prone to hot anger, and Bax the cold, calculating one. All very tricky.

    What do you think, are the events in the letters true, made up by Bax to tempt George out to the house (for the purposes of killing him and taking his place), or a mixture of the two? Do you thing Bax kills George, or do you think George goes to faerie, letting Bax take his marital life?
     
  14.  
    mtzGr

    mtzGr Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2011
    Messages:
    151
    Location:
    Ohio
    I finished the book last summer, so I've lost much of the details. I agree with you that it was a good quick read, with a story that kept me enganged. When I read it I did so assuming that everything happening in the letters was true, though I could definitely see the possibility of the whole thing being a con by Bax to steal George's life. I guess if you just consider that most of what Bax wrote was a lie, and instead of being lost in the house, George was killed by Bax, it wouldn't take much to see it this way (obviously truncated because I don't remember everything that happened, or what the timeline was/would be). Did Bax actually inherit the house/money? If not, how does he account for this to George's wife? Is she in on it? What about his letters to his jail buddy? Corroborating the events of the other letters? I'm really not too sure, but I'll probably give it another read with all of this in mind.
     
  15.  
    Kierkegaurdian

    Kierkegaurdian Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2010
    Messages:
    126
    "Did Bax actually inherit the house/money?"

    I think it could go either way. Although, if he is lying about the events that took place in the house, he might as well be lying about inheriting it as well. Not sure how he would account for this to George's wife.

    "What about his letters to his jail buddy? Corroborating the events of the other letters?"

    These letters could easily be a further trick, like you said, corroborating the events of the other letters. I think it is likely Bax wrote every letter in the book, including the problem letter that George writes challenging his brother to a duel. All together, they offer up a good con.
     
Loading...

Share This Page