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Epiphany of the Long Sun: Calde of the Long Sun and Exodus from the Long Sun (Book of the Long Sun, Books 3 and 4) Paperback – November 4, 2000


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Epiphany of the Long Sun:  Calde of the Long Sun and Exodus from the Long Sun (Book of the Long Sun, Books 3 and 4) + Litany of the Long Sun:  Nightside the Long Sun and Lake of the Long Sun (Book of the Long Sun, Books 1 and 2) + The Urth of the New Sun: The sequel to 'The Book of the New Sun'
Price for all three: $46.78

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Product Details

  • Series: Book of the Long Sun (Book 6)
  • Paperback: 720 pages
  • Publisher: Orb Books; 1st edition (November 4, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312860722
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312860721
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.5 x 1.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #313,367 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Consistently high ambition and achievement."--The New York Times

"One of the major SF series of te decade...a bona fide masterpiece."--Publishers Weekly

"Few writers dare to attempt a Great Work; Wolfe attempts it and succeeds."--The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction

About the Author

Gene Wolfe has been called "the finest writer the science fiction world has yet produced" by The Washington Post. A former engineer, he has written numerous books and won a variety of awards for his SF writing.

More About the Author

Gene Wolfe is winner of the World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement, and many other awards. In 2007, he was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame. He lives in Barrington, Illinois.

Customer Reviews

One must read these books in order, as each volume of the four picks up where the previous one left off.
"jeff17946"
The narrative of books 3 and 4 also shift almost entirely to dialogue, dialogue, and more dialogue, which is a problem.
Reader12345
It was difficult to follow them even though they should have been familiar after reading about them for 500+ pages.
M-I-K-E 2theD

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on November 18, 2000
Format: Paperback
Some Wolfe fans find the Long Sun books disappointing. At first glance, the writing doesn't seem to be of the same beauty and complexity as that in the books narrated by Severian; the philosophical and metaphysical insights here seem less breathtaking. However, this is a Gene Wolfe novel, so appearances are expected to be deceiving. Patera Silk alone is worth the price of admission, and the plot of Long Sun is Wolfe's best yet, intimately connected to the presentation of the varied and fascinating cast of characters. THE BOOK OF THE LONG SUN rewards rereading perhaps even more than most of Wolfe's work.
It is nice that all four volumes of this series are back in print. THE BOOK OF THE SHORT SUN, now two-thirds complete, may be Wolfe's best work to date (high praise indeed), and THE BOOK OF THE LONG SUN should be read before beginning on SHORT SUN.
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16 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Stephen J. Mytyk on February 20, 2003
Format: Paperback
I thoroughly enjoyed "The Book of the New Sun", Wolfe's earlier epic. I bought both the "Litany" and the "Epiphany" volumes of the Long Sun, and read them together over a couple of weeks. While Wolfe can often write amazing prose, and has fascinating characters, his plot development often leaves the reader feeling confused. The "Long Sun" is more grating in this respect than was the "New Sun". Wolfe constantly brings chapters to a close with the characters in a moment of crisis. He begins the subsequent chapter by leaping forward in time, and the characters are engaged in completely different activities from where the previous chapter left them. There is eventually an explanation as to how they got out of their predicament, but we only come to know this through their intermittant discussions of what occurred. This technique was used right up to the end of the work, where vast chunks of story seem to have been excised. The reader is left only with a confused glimpse of what happened, since we are forced to interpret events through the ignorant eyes of the inhabitants of the whorl.
I don't mind having to work to get through a book, if the reward is sufficient. The "New Sun" was not an easy read, either. However, it is not a compliment to the author to say that one must re-read his work several times to understand it. If that is the case, it simply means that the author is not writing clearly. And that is most definitely the case in "The Book of the Long Sun."
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Inchoatus.com on September 7, 2004
Format: Paperback
(note: this review encompasses the entire Book of the Long Sun)

WHY YOU SHOULD READ THIS:

If your tastes in speculative fiction are refined to the point that you can no longer stomach the latest Star Trek novelization (time travel as deus ex machina in every single plot line is now enforced by Executive Order) you would serve your palate well to indulge in Wolfe's masterful opus. Please forgive the exuberant hyperbole, but quite frankly his tetralogy is the Ulysses of speculative fiction. A person could devote an entire lifetime to unraveling its mysteries. It will test your patience, will and mental ability. The reader, like an augur, will need to divine clues from the entrails of Wolfe's twisted lexicon. (Disclosure: we may have read that last sentence somewhere else, so if you are the original author, send us a note and we will cite you. Until then, we will claim it as our own).

WHY YOU SHOULD PASS:

Wolfe has always been into punishing his readers with his characteristic obtuseness, but in Long Sun he takes his lexiconic sadism to a whole new level. This is a very dense and layered book. Not only is it difficult to grasp what is occurring at a given moment, but as soon as a chapter begins to build some steam and we begin to empathize with the characters, the plot abruptly halts and switches to one of the other, various parallel plot lines. He keeps his characters at arm's length from the reader. We never get the chance to connect emotionally with any of them. The only character in the book that we seem to identify with isn't even human. Oreb the talking bird can communicate more in his disyllabic utterances than the other characters can in pages of dialogue.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By mrliteral VINE VOICE on April 7, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A couple decades ago, I remember tuning into a panel discussion show on TV because it featured Isaac Asimov and Harlan Ellison, two authors who I really enjoyed reading. There was also a third author on this program, who for many years, I essentially thought of as "the other guy." It would take till just a couple years ago for me to figure out that this other guy, namely Gene Wolfe, was also worth reading, in ways completely different than either Asimov or Ellison.

Epiphany of the Long Sun is the concluding half of Wolfe's Book of the Long Sun. Like the previous volume, Litany of the Long Sun, Epiphany is actually an omnibus of two books in the Long Sun tetralogy: Calde of the Long Sun and Exodus of the Long Sun. Altogether, the four books are over 1200 pages of complex plotting. (The Long Sun books themselves fit into the middle of a larger sequence including the Book of the New Sun and the Book of the Short Sun.)

As Litany had concluded, the protagonist Silk had been elevated, almost against his will, into the position of Calde, a high-ranking position that is half administration, half monarchy. In Calde of the Long Sun, civil war erupts in the city-state of Viron, as not all people are happy with Silk's promotion. By Exodus, things stabilize a bit (although not all is settled) and the focus is more on the nature and destiny of the Whorl itself.

The Whorl is the space colony/generation ship that Silk's people have inhabited for centuries. The societies that exist within this Whorl are both advanced and rather medieval, with both high-end technology alongside more primitive devices. Silk, who also acts as a kind of priest known as a patera and as an augur who sees the future in animal entrails, has become something of a prophet as well.
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