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review 2017-03-28 21:18
Shadow and Claw - Gene Wolfe

See my review of the individual books in this volume.

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review 2017-03-28 21:11
The Claw of the Conciliator - Gene Wolfe

I really like this story of the continuing adventures of Severian. However, if you read the first book, The Shadow of the Torturer, you probably came away with a multitude of questions but don't expect to have them answered in this second book. There there are some things where you may see a glimmer of an answer and start to get an idea for what's going on, but nothing becomes absolutely clear. And as another reviewer pointed out (https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/205947975?book_show_action=true&from_review_page=1) keep a dictionary handy. I'm looking forward to reading the next book.

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review 2017-03-21 13:26
The Shadow of the Torturer - Gene Wolfe
I really liked the ancient archaic feel of this book even though it is set in the far distant future. I can't wait to read the rest of the tetralogy.
 
 

 

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text 2017-01-19 02:08
7 To-Reads That Make Me Very, Very Nervous
Titus Groan - Mervyn Peake
Don Quixote - Roberto González Echevarría,John Rutherford,Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
The Fireman: A Novel - Joe Hill
11/22/63 - Stephen King
Peace - Gene Wolfe
The Arabian Nights: Tales of 1,001 Nights Volume 1 - Malcolm C. Lyons,Ursula Lyons
The Divine Comedy by Dante, Illustrated, Hell, Volume 05 - Dante Alighieri,Gustave Doré,Henry Francis Cary

Like a lot of people, I have a few books that, for various reasons, I haven't gotten to yet. These are ones that just flat scare me.

 

1. Titus Groan - Mervyn Peake  Titus Groan - Mervyn Peake  

 

    The first of the Gormenghast novels, I very much want to read this because it is a genre classic, heavy on character, rich in language, and deeply weird. I've dipped in a couple times and, frankly, ,the dense prose and deeply strange people  scare me a bit. Still, on the bucket list.

 

2. Don Quixote - Roberto González Echevarría,John Rutherford,Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra  Don Quixote - Roberto González Echevarría,John Rutherford,Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra  

 

    Obviously, it's a stone classic. Also, it is a satire of the chivalric romances that has come to epitomize them. Irony! It scares me because nobody makes it past the windmills.

 

3. The Fireman: A Novel - Joe Hill  The Fireman: A Novel - Joe Hill  

 

    I loved Twentieth Century Ghosts and Heart--Shaped Box, liked Horns, and never finished NOS4A2. Those conflicted feelings, plus my general dislike for post-apocalyptia, equals a long stay on the TBR shelf.

 

4. 11/22/63 - Stephen King  11/22/63 - Stephen King  

 

     So much frigging book. I started this around the time it came out and got something like 250 pages in. Solid, but slow, and some of the timey-wimey stuff was a bit off to me. Plus, bigger King is not always better King.

 

5. Peace - Gene Wolfe  Peace - Gene Wolfe  

 

    Combine dense language with mind-fuckery and I worry. Also, a lot of people say multiple readings are necessary to truly appreciate it. I'm sure it's excellent, but it seems like a lot of work.

 

6. The Arabian Nights: Tales of 1,001 Nights Volume 1 - Malcolm C. Lyons,Ursula Lyons  The Arabian Nights: Tales of 1,001 Nights Volume 1 - Malcolm C. Lyons,Ursula Lyons  

 

    I own all three volumes of this translation of the Calcutta 2. This is a hard one for me, because The Arabian Nights is a huge part of me as a reader (Hell, I've even read whole books on it's provenance and influence, namely Irwin's Arabian Nights Companion), influencing my love of nesting stories, but there are many nasty undertones. On top of that, we're talking about 2,400 pages. Yes, this is a more modern-reading translation than the classic Burton, but still...

 

7. The Divine Comedy by Dante, Illustrated, Hell, Volume 05 - Dante Alighieri,Gustave Doré,Henry Francis Cary  The Divine Comedy by Dante, Illustrated, Hell, Volume 05 - Dante Alighieri,Gustave Doré,Henry Francis Cary  

 

    I have a coffee-table edition of the entire Divine Comedy, illustrated by Dore. It's huge, it's gorgeous... It's epic poetry.

 

I will read all of these, but no promises as to when, as I am a coward.

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text 2016-10-23 22:13
A Shadow in Summer - Daniel Abraham

I just read the "Prolog" to this today... an interesting setup, delivered quite capably. The mystery of the andat is an attractive one, and Otah is a character I want to follow for the rest of the novel.

 

Interesting to note: This chapter bears some similarities to the prologue chapter of another great "Shadow" novel (The Shadow of the Torturer, by Gene Wolfe), which itself unfolded into a quartet of similar length (The Book of the New Sun). In both books, the main character is a young adolescent raised as more-or-less orphan in a strict, highly ordered monastic environment wherein a propensity for cruelty makes its way into both characters as a result of the system they've been brought up in. Both escape this order after being unable to resist showing mercy, though, and they strike out on their own. I wonder if there will be any more similarities (or indeed intertexts) with that Wolfean masterpiece... I am most intrigued.

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