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Gene Wolfe

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  • David Lenander
    ... I just have to respond that I think the New Sun stuff is the least of what he s done. I think his finest book is _The Island of Dr. Death and Other
    Message 1 of 2 , Jun 16 10:11 AM
      > >>I'm a fan of Gene Wolfe myself. What have you read by him?
      >
      >
      > Everything I've been able to lay my hands on, although The Book of the New
      > Sun is the best thing he's done so far, I think.

      I just have to respond that I think the New Sun stuff is the least of what he's
      done. I think his finest book is _The Island of Dr. Death and Other Stories and
      Other Stories_, along with _Castle of Days_ (which includes the Book of Days
      stories), _Endangered Species_, which is not to say that he can't write longer
      stories, but I think _The Fifth Head of Cerberus_, _Peace_, _Devil in a Forest_,
      _Castleview_, _Free Live Free_ (especially), even _Pandora by Holly Hollander_
      and the Soldier books (my favorites among his novels), _Soldier of the Mist_ and
      _Soldier of Arete_, are all superior to the many volumes of New and Long Suns.
      I remember reading an intentionally provocative review by Norman Spinrad of the
      original four volumes of The Book of the New Sun: he compared it with L. Ron
      Hubbard's _Battleship Earth_ (or was it "Battlefield?"). Although I never read
      any Hubbard novels, I thought he made a telling point that despite the beautiful
      prose and astonishing craftsmanship, Wolfe's long story added up to no more than
      the sum of its parts.

      I'm not really intending to attack or dismiss the Long Sun books, I actually
      enjoyed and much admire them, but want to point out that his other work is worth
      trying, even if you don't care for the Sun stuff--and it's not all of a piece,
      either. You might love _Soldier of the Mist_ while hating _Free Live Free_.

      David Lenander, Library Manager I
      Bio-Medical Library Access Services work: (612)626-3375
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      e-mail: d-lena@...
      web-page: http://www.tc.umn.edu/nlhome/m391/d-lena/BreeMoot.html
    • Diane Baker
      ... It s hard for me to name my favorte Wolfe, which usually is the Wolfe story / novel I ve most recently read. Yet, the Soldier books are the ones I
      Message 2 of 2 , Jun 16 3:27 PM
        David Lenander wrote:
        >
        > From: "David Lenander" <d-lena@...>
        >
        >
        > I just have to respond that I think the New Sun stuff is the least of what he's
        > done. [snip]

        > the Soldier books (my favorites among his novels), _Soldier of the Mist_ and
        > _Soldier of Arete_, are all superior to the many volumes of New and Long Suns.

        It's hard for me to name my favorte Wolfe, which usually is "the Wolfe
        story / novel I've most recently read." Yet, the "Soldier" books are
        the ones I find myself telling others about first when I promote Wolfe
        (as if he needs help from me!)

        > I remember reading an intentionally provocative review by Norman Spinrad of the
        > original four volumes of The Book of the New Sun: he compared it with L. Ron
        > Hubbard's _Battleship Earth_ (or was it "Battlefield?").

        Ack! I haven't read them, but judging by his rendering of "Dianetics,"
        LRH must have had mental diarrhea. [He dares include *my name* as a
        designation for his methodology? I've never even met him! :) ] Do you
        recall where the review was printed? I'd like to read it myself.

        > I'm not really intending to attack or dismiss the Long Sun books, I actually
        > enjoyed and much admire them, but want to point out that his other work is worth
        > trying, even if you don't care for the Sun stuff--and it's not all of a piece,
        > either. You might love _Soldier of the Mist_ while hating _Free Live Free_.

        One of the things I love about GW is that with each new book, he always
        comes up with a new surprise. You never know what he's going to try
        next. I can't say I like all of his books equally, but I always fall
        under his spell. ---djb.
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