- Hardcover: 304 pages
- Publisher: Tor Books; 1 edition (March 16, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 076532458X
- ISBN-13: 978-0765324580
- Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 1.2 x 9.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 45 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,870,236 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Sorcerer's House Hardcover – March 16, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
World Fantasy Award–winning novelist Wolfe (An Evil Guest) spins a complex, spellbinding web of otherworldly sorcery and hauntings. When scholar and ex-con Baxter Dunn arrives in the Midwest town of Medicine Man, he learns that a mysterious benefactor has deeded him a rambling old house. As the building grows around him, Bax encounters a number of wonders and terrors, including family secrets, windows into Faerie, and a murderous animal dubbed the Hound of Horror. However, the greatest challenge Bax faces may be his twin brother's jealousy and rage. Both terrifying and touching, this book of wonders speaks eloquently about the nature of responsibility and family, but Wolfe's unforgettable world is marred by stereotypes—a flighty and submissive Japanese woman, a scandalmongering journalist, a rapacious and sadistic dwarf—and a rushed, incoherent ending. (Mar.)
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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.
Top customer reviews
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The entire book is composed of letters written mostly by our lead narrator, a ex-con named Baxter Dunn to his twin brother George. Baxter was recently released from prison and is writing to his brother for some much needed money, but his luck changes as he discovers an abandoned house. He decides to find a Realtor to see if he can find the owner and live there rent-free in exchange for much needed repairs to the strange house. He meets Realtor's Doris Griffin and Martha Murrey and finds out that the previous owner Zwart Black has left the house to him in his will. He later finds out that a certain Mr. Skotos has left him valuable real estate and a large bank account! Who were these people? What did they want in return?
The house seems to have many rooms; some without entrances, some without exits, and with the strangest people and animals arriving and disappearing. As he tries to unravel this mystery, he will meet a werewolf, a changeling pet fox, a pair of strange butlers, a dwarf and a host of eccentric people. Some of the supernatural creatures in this novel are somewhat unique and original. The ending is unpredictable and is climaxed by some unanswered questions. Does this mean a sequel?
Although Gene Wolfe is 80 years old, his mind remains forever young and imaginative. This novel displays Wolfe's great story telling abilities and even though this is not quite a five star novel, it is highly recommended reading for any fantasy fan.
Do yourself a favor, read this book now. You won't be disappointed.
The plot is very well put together with many little details, that make it seem real, and the characters are given a lot of attention so you understand them and get to really know them.
Like I said, for me personally, this is the best book by Gene Wolfe.
Like "The Color Purple," this novel is written in the epistolary point-of-view. It is all letters, either written by the main character or to him. The best parts of the novel feature lively conversations where Gene breaks out of the shackles of this POV and just runs for a few pages. Inevitably, he has to wrestle the story back into a letter form. This doesn't always work, and becomes a millstone around his neck. Our speaking voice is different from our letter-writing voice. A first-person POV with letters included would have been far more effective.
Do I recommend this book? Yes! There is too much that is good, original, thought-provoking, and just plain fun to miss.