This is the first-person narrative of Severian, a lowly apprentice torturer blessed and cursed with a photographic memory, whose travels lead him through the marvels of far-future Urth, and who--as revealed near the beginning--eventually becomes his land's sole ruler or Autarch. On the surface it's a colorful story with all the classic ingredients: growing up, adventure, sex, betrayal, murder, exile, battle, monsters, and mysteries to be solved. (Only well into book 2 do we realize what saved Severian's life in chapter 1.) For lovers of literary allusions, they are plenty here: a Dickensian cemetery scene, a torture-engine from Kafka, a wonderful library out of Borges, and familiar fables changed by eons of retelling. Wolfe evokes a chilly sense of time's vastness, with an age-old, much-restored painting of a golden-visored "knight," really an astronaut standing on the moon, and an ancient citadel of metal towers, actually grounded spacecraft. Even the sun is senile and dying, and so Urth needs a new sun.
The Book of the New Sun is almost heartbreakingly good, full of riches and subtleties that improve with each rereading. It is Gene Wolfe's masterpiece. --David Langford, Amazon.co.uk
I read such good reviews of this book that I was really looking forward to reading it.
However, I really couldn't get into the book. Read more
How could I possibly review Gene Wolfe? I had no idea who this author was when I started reading this series. Now, he is one of my favorite writers. Read morePublished 1 month ago by xRedCrowx
They want to know if this book is "Hopeful, Dark, Nostalgic, Light-hearted, Suspenseful, Thoughtful?"
It is all of that.
if you want something fresh, look elsewhere; don't trust the positive reviews for this book.Published 2 months ago by Todd Crawford
I just don't get why this book receives such good reviews. There are interesting parts and characters but the disjointed writing is very cumbersome. Read morePublished 2 months ago by David Etherton
Simply, one of the best stories I've ever had the pleasure of reading.Published 3 months ago by Dean
Another book I bought hoping to impress someone. After reading the whole series I'm pretty sure I didn't get it. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Steven Michaelis