Shop now Shop now Shop now  Up to 50% Off Fashion  Shop all Amazon Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle Shop now Shop now
Customer Review

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Most Unreliable Narrator., 4 Nov. 2013
By 
This review is from: The Sorcerer's House (Paperback)
This is a classic Gene Wolfe novel and has all the elements that he has returned to, on many occasions. The classic unreliable narrator, fantastical creatures and a feeling of being "out of time" or from another, earlier age.

This would be quite a scary story and there are points where it ventures into deeply unsettling psychological horror territory. But we are separated from this by the narrative device of this being presented as a series of letters, written mostly by the main character - Bax/ Baxter. His profound unconcern for whatever happens - his phlegmatic nature, you might say - mean that we can't at first be scared. But there are times when the story runs away with him into the immediate present and this doesn't feel like a letter at all and we are there with the characters.

While it's clear that Bax is unreliable and he tells us so, all the time; there is also a feeling that Gene Wolfe is not telling us the truth and that he is just cloaking this story in artifice. He knows more than he is letting us in on - just hinting at the world that lies on the other side of the house and draws Bax in.

This book does have werewolves, vampires and magicians - but it is unlike any other work of "genre" fiction that deals with this kind of thing. Wolfe is literary, old-fashioned and considered. He is more interested in the art of writing than anything else and how all of this is just words on a page - who knows what actually happened? We only get clues of what the writers want to tell us and it's often the minutiae which concern them and not the weird situation(s) in which they find themselves.

This does have some gruesome parts and the fantasy elements are quite vague - but in some ways this could be seen as an allegory for the way that sets of twins relate to each other - competing and playing psychological games with each other. In fact this part is more satisfying - but you just have to read this to find out how this is realised and resolved. I don't want to give away the plots twists that make this an enjoyable addition to Wolfe's novels - if not his best, certainly an enjoyable romp and a good read.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

Be the first person to comment on this review.

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines ">here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking on the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
  [Cancel]


Review Details

Item

Reviewer

Bruce
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   

Location: UK - England

Top Reviewer Ranking: 253