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Latro in the Mist Paperback – March 19, 2003
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Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Top Customer Reviews
I've been a fan of Wolfe's since the fateful summer of 2000, when I first cracked open a copy of his magnum opus, THE BOOK OF THE NEW SUN, and through the course of sixteen wildly different novels and innumerable short stories he has only rarely disappointed me. That said, the Latro books have immediately jumped, if not to the head of the pack, right to the top two or three.
The main character, Latro, is a mercenary formerly in the employ of the Persian emperor Xerxes during his ill-fated invasion of Greece in 479 BCE. Struck on the head outside the goddess Demeter's temple, Latro loses his short-term memory; like the main character in "Memento", even his recent past is a mystery to him, although Latro's window of memory is twelve hours long rather than five minutes. Captured by the Greeks, he becomes a slave, passed from one master to another and one quest to another in a series of picaresque adventures ranging from the comic to the heroic to the almost unutterably grim. The word "Latro" means both "soldier" and "pawn", and Latro, despite his native cunning and skill at arms, is a pawn indeed, used by gods, men, and monsters to further their own aims; his only saving graces are his innate stoic nobility and the diverse collection of friends he accumulates along the way.
Wolfe deploys his usual stunning array of literary devices and tricks, from the de rigueur unreliable first person narrative to the more subtle possibilities allowed by Latro's illness.Read more ›
Wolfe's imagination is so rich, and his narrative skills so great that you wonder whether these books can actually be memoirs as they are presented. If you marveled at the "Book of the New Sun", you will enjoy Wolfe effort at switching gears so completely. Latro's terse commentary may also be a welcome change from Severian's verbosity, but there are no creatures as wonderful as Dorcas here. Whether the "Soldier" books end-up as more than just an exercise to Exorcize "Book of the New Sun" really depends; Wolfe owes us two more books before we can make a full comparison.
Hero of the novels, soldier Latro, retreats with the defeated Persian army through Greece in 479 B.C. and tries to remember his past and to understand his own life. The worst mistake of all novels about the history - to place modern character in the historic environment and to describe his (or her) adventres as in cinema (a kind of Elizabeth Taylor as Cleopatra). There`s no such a mistake. Wofe tries to re-create heroic and religious aspects of the ancient culture of the Mediterranean world.
Novel "Soldier of the Mist" is among the best novels of the Ancient Greece. It is written as poem in prose, with its own rhythm of narration. Probably Wolfe was impressed also by European Symbolist artists (Klimt etc.) and by their vision of the Antiquity.
By the way, I read this novel before "The Book of the New Sun" and "Soldier of the Mist" impressed me much more than Wolfe`s well-known novels (well, I`m a historian).
"Soldier of Arete" is a kind of "The Urth of the New Sun" here. There`s no solutions and answers to all questions and sometimes it`s hard to understand the plot and the author. And after the first novel you should wait for more... But, sorry... Let`s say: "Thank you!!!" for "The Soldier of the Mist". In 2006 was released the next novel - "Soldier of Sidon" - let`s hope - it would be better.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book was recommended to me, but honestly, I couldn't get through it. The main character is afflicted with a brain injury that means he awakes each morning with no memory of... Read morePublished 2 months ago by just ask me
OK, the title of this review is over the top. A bit. Nevertheless, in my experience, there is no better appreciation of Ancient Greek culture and religion in English. Read morePublished on March 11, 2014 by D. Lauerman
Sometimes I think Gene Wolfe wakes up each morning and sits in front of whatever writing device of choice he uses and thinks to himself, "How can I make this as difficult for... Read morePublished on August 28, 2013 by Michael Battaglia
I wanted to like this book. I really did. It has a great concept. Roman mercenary fighting against the Greeks in the war with Persia gets injured so that he loses his memory. Read morePublished on July 31, 2013 by Matilda Trevelyan
"Latro in the Mist" is the only book I've ever read that is better than "Lord of the Rings". The puzzling, baffling ending rumbles in your head for days, until the epiphany hits... Read morePublished on May 2, 2013 by Brian
Latro, a Roman mercenary fighting in the Persian Wars, receives a head wound and loses the ability to make memories; every 16 hours, the past simply fades into the... Read more
I won't go into plot details (just read the Amazon.com synopsis) however, saying this is complex, even for Mr. Wolfe novel, is saying quite a lot. Read morePublished on December 16, 2010 by G. Smith
This is of course a work of fiction,of fantasy, but I find that the most compelling element of the novels is it's treatment of the mindset of the Golden age Hellens and other... Read morePublished on October 30, 2009 by Barry Schlager Jr.