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. It is possible I already had some presentiment of my future. The locked and rusted gate that stood before us, with wisps of river fog threading its spikes like the. Overview: The book opens with the protagonist, Severian, barely surviving a swim in the River Gyoll. Severian is an apprentice in the torturers’.

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They had their high and low points, as the star ratings indicate, but I won’t take the time to write a detailed review of each. Severian refuses to sell the sword, shortly after which a masked and armoured hipparch enters the shop and challenges Severian to a duel. Minor perhaps but speaks to Wolfe’s thoughtful approach as to what may be possible. Despite having lived there all of his youth, he has not been anywhere except a few paces beyond the Tower of his Guild.

Dec 13, Terry rated it really liked it Shelves: Wolfe’s world of Urth is a reminder that Romantic was once a dangerous word.

The Shadow of the Torturer by Gene Wolf book review

Her status permits her some luxuries, including the books that Severian is sent to obtain from the Master Ultan, the librarian. 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 if Windowless Rooms. Works by Gene Wolfe. I was immensely moved by the writing style of Gene Wolfe. Jun 25, Lyn rated it liked it.

Amazon Music Stream millions of songs. He falls in love, but he knows his duty. After finishing the four book series, I’m upgrading book one to 5 stars. Withoutabox Submit to Film Festivals. At first, I was expecting oof along the lines of Jack Vance, and while Wolf is a fantastic craftsman of prose, his dialogue does not sparkle as Vance’s does and the humour and sardonic wit that is a staple of Vance’s writing is not here.

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My only real complaint is that there are hints that he’s writing this from someplace and for some reason but we’re given no information on that. Because the story isn’t a straight narrative, we don’t understand the purpose or meaning of everything Severian relates — we have to patch it together as we go.

Diego Davila Nah, you don’t really have to worry about it. Genne unfortunate since the alternate group read is Titus Groan which falls into the same category for me. Overall, I found nothing unique in Wolfe.

The Shadow of the Torturer

I noticed some of the more literary reviewers who also picked up on the mythological references gave this book two stars or so simply because they thought, “oh, dear, yet ANOTHER metafictional story, yawn.

Customers who bought this item also bought. He could have and even in his own eyes should have received worse, much worse. Casting the main character Severan as an unreliable witness yet with a perfect memory is, in my opinion, a stroke of genius that gens really plays out in subsequent reads.

So, I had next-to-none knowledge of the book, and for the first, I don’t know, perhaps quarter of the book I was still uncertain whether I liked it or not. In the near future Emotional Transference is the drug of choice. We are learning about the torturers’ guild and the world beyond their doors through the eyes of apprentice torturer, Severian. The problem, however, is that the story is slooooooooooooooow.


The Shadow of the Torturer by Gene Wolf

A friend at work where people ought to know about such things tipped me off to Gene Wolf and told me to start here. Wolfe is an author who defies expectations. If you don’t have a vast vocabulary, Kindle with its dictionary is the best reading method for this outstanding series.

Wolfe is an expert distracter of attention, of casting casual asides down in our path just as we expect to be focusing on something else, with the clever result of dividing our attention. I will grant that the women have more character than the average fantasy heroine, but it still doesn’t leave them with much. Inside, they visit several engrossing gardens.

Amazon Second Chance Tortjrer it on, trade it in, give it a second life. Human psychology and politics are fraught enough without deliberately obfuscating them.

WolfeWiki – The Shadow of the Torturer

One of the four books is Wonders of Urth and Skyfrom which Severian will read at later times. The narrator seems very interested in this fact, and is convinced that it makes him a unique person. To ttorturer out more, including how to control cookies, see here: Email required Address never made public. As I mentioned, these four books are really one continuous story, and ahadow intended to be read together. Do the current inhabitants understand the technology they use?

Page last modified on February 24,at Given that this is part one of a trilogy of books, perhaps not.