To say that Gene Wolfe is a difficult author is both a compliment and a knock. In Shadow of the Torturer, the first in a four book series known as The Book of the. The Shadow of the Torturer is the first volume of the four-volume “One expects any book from Gene Wolfe to be a classic — and here it is. Gene Wolfe’s science fiction is neither operatic nor scientifically accurate; his In the early part of the first novel, “The Shadow of the Torturer,”.

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Severian encounters the rebel exultant, Vodalus, saves his life even, and romantically and in ignorance is there a difference between the two states? One is not born into the torturers’ guild, one is adopted there from the children of its victims.

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number. Without that, it is not possible to determine meaning, because there’s nowhere to start: Like I said, I have had a lot of bad experiences with Fantasy during this time period. It costs you nothing extra, but Amazon pays us a small referral fee.


What fascinated me most about this was the overall tone of the narration. Wolfe torutrer in Barrington, Illinois, wiht his wife and four children, where he writes five pages every day on one of two ancient IBM typewriters. I owe a debt of thanks to Ursula Le Guin for discovering this book at the time I did.

Gene Wolfe’s The Shadow of the Torturer – Kate Macdonald

The story is recounted by Severian himself from a position in the future. This is a hero’s journey of the Underworld, a place torturrr death, pain and suffering, but Severian, the narrator and main character who is writing a journal about his past, is not quite the hero or antihero, which is the the usual setup.


Instead of using the writing style to enhance the storyline and plot, I truly feel like the style took over the story itself, so much so that the enjoyment was somewhat sucked out of it and replaced with irritation and aggravation. Aug 08, Penny rated it it was ok Shelves: Visiting him in prison to prepare him, Severian is shocked to find the hipparch is Agilus, and that he is in a naked embrace with a woman: Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.

Somehow it was still wolff. Tagged aliens justice law and order science fiction spaceships swords world-building. Thank you for your support! It is a baroque fantasy world filled with mysterious terms such as archon, carnifex, cataphract, chalcedony, fuligin, hipparch, lazaret, monomachy, optimate, pelerine, psychopomp, quaesitor, thaumaturge, and uhlan. It appears to be addressed to one of the two women: Threads collapsed expanded unthreaded.

Needless to say, it is frowned upon for any torturer to form any kind of bond with their subjects as their grisly work mandates that no emotion be felt. Much of the power of this novel comes from the sense that there is world-building and symbolism on a massive scale here, but that explanations and revelations for the reader would just cheapen it and remove the pleasure that comes from the experience of discovery.

Everyone in the book has secret shadwo, secret connections to grand conspiracies, and important plot elements that they conveniently hide until the last minute, only doling out clues here and there.


He has an eidetic memory, it seems, and can recall events from years past with absolute tnd total clarity.

The Book of the New Sun: science fiction’s Ulysses?

I struggled through this book and spent most of it waiting for the end to redeem it. Drones Rob J Hayes 8.

Casting the main character Severan as an unreliable witness yet with a perfect memory is, in my opinion, a stroke of genius that only really plays out in subsequent reads. It’s a post-historic future-histor After suffering through the verbal flagellation of The Name of the WindI was really jonesing for some literary fantasy, if such a thing existed.

WolfeWiki – The Shadow of the Torturer

The first step towards breaking it up, to forcing Severian into action, is the arrival of the Chateleine Thecla at the Matachin Tower, to be held pending eventual excruciation. Now, I’m not saying that every book needs to be wall-to-wall battles, sshadow in a book where the main character dresses like death and carries a wicked-ass sword, you expect there to be a little conflict.

Totally original, new, incomparable: This site uses cookies. Aug 25, Stephen rated it it was amazing Shelves: Apr 10, Mattia Ravasi rated it it was amazing. For 38 years I was under the belief that I had read this book and just couldn’t remember much about it. If you’re a fan of SF read it.