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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Sometimes you get a sf novel where the society is more interesting than the plot, and I think Wolfe may have tipped the balance with this one.

But this novel is SF! It is a book that can be read again and again such is its richness. The lighting in the Citadel is clearly from something as long-lasting as nuclear power; some of the torture techniques are based on psychotropic drugs; and the Tower of the Torturers is clearly part of a long-defunct and partially overgrown and overbuilt spaceship.

By the wopfe of the book, we’re still clueless about most of it and tue starting to realize that Severian is kind of clueless, too. After the distancing, comes the interest in the details of the technique, the rituals, the taught practice, the means of doing the job properly.

But at that point, they don’t like the book Wolfe wrote, they like the book they are writing between his lines. I won’t give away details as Unfortunately, I was expecting him to be remarkable and interesting. You are commenting using your Twitter account. It didn’t wow me, but it certainly pleased me.

You will only find out by reading the next three novels. Previous Post A little recap: Severian assists in the play, and the next shacow the group sets out toward the great gate leading out of Nessus. It’s equally charming and annoying.

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Derivative of him, likely. Master Palaemon gives Severian a letter of introduction to the archon of the city and Terminus Esta magnificent executioner’s sword. It’s a strange coming-of-age. Want to Read Currently Reading Read.


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

genr It is not a contained work and those reading it should be looking to read the three books that follow it. Everyone in the book has secret identities, secret connections to grand conspiracies, and important plot elements that they conveniently hide until the last minute, only doling out clues here and there. The world of Urth and single vast city in which the book unrolls its story, have an unimaginably long history in which many civilisations have risen and fallen, and epochs have come and gone.

Inside the gardens, Severian falls into a lake used to inter the dead, and while pulling himself out he finds a young woman named Dorcas to have come up from the lake as well. Not much happens in this first of four books, but it was an easy read, immersive and beautiful.

Works by Gene Wolfe. I got to the end after hundreds of pages and realized not Okay, like many an SF book, this plunges us into a nebulous world shadod wholly rendered–in a grave yard no less. Adventure, pain, laughter, heartbreak. Please try again later. Select a title to see its linked publication history and general information.

A classic that you need to read if you like fantasy. Know what you’re getting into – this is heavy fantasy and will require lots of work on your part to even make sense – but to the right kind of reader, it’s the book of a lifetime.

My theory is that he has loosed some sort of creature that is causing quite torturre commotion. They never, never do more nor less than the “clients” are sentenced to by the courts. This is a hero’s journey of the Underworld, a place of 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.

The Shadow of the Torturer

Having said all that, however, I still might continue on with this series at some point. I have read this book many times, often with a dictionary beside me, but laziness and an assumption that many terms I did not recognise were made up, led me to not look them up. I can see why and appreciate why many people do believe this to be a great book and I have been told that the series gets better as it goes, but for me, this was just a struggle, and although some sections were enticing and interesting, they seemed always to be out of context and distant from the other sections which bored me so The world he shows us, which at first seems charmingly although morbidly medieval, gradually reveals itself to be the poor remnant of a great modern civilization in decline perhaps it is ours?


I got wolde from my school library in Casting the main character Severan as an unreliable witness yet with a perfect memory is, in my opinion, a stroke of genius that wolef really plays out in subsequent reads. ComiXology Thousands of Digital Comics.

It traces the tale of Severian, an orphan, suadow torturer, an intriguing and yet poignant beginning. What saves the book from being dismissed as aimless is that the imagination on display combined with the intelligence of the writing and quality of the world building, constitute a good read on their own.

Fantasy novels are often centered on masculinity, violence, and power struggles, and so by making the narrator an emotionally distant manipulator with sociopathic tendencies, Wolfe’s story is certainly going to resemble other genre outings.

But if you feel like reading one of the more impressive monuments of dark fantasy ever imagined, then give Shadow of the Torturer your time. Master Palaemon gives Severian a letter of introduction to the archon of the city and Tortturer Esta magnificent executioner’s sword.

This is not to say that there is no shortage of pontification. Now that’s a good start: Amazon Restaurants Food delivery from local restaurants.