'How could the Outsider have chosen such a bungler? ...When had he ever offered a single sacrifice, however small, to the Outsider? Never! Not one in his entire life. Yet the Outsider had extended infinite credit to him... Certainly he would never be able to repay the Outsider for the knowledge and the honor, no matter how hard or how long he tried.' (Gene Wolfe, Nightside The Long Sun)

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Blue & Green!

Don't have time just now to really write something substantial, but just have to give a blurb to say The Book of the Short Sun trilogy is wondrous, amazing, so far. Patrick O'Leary has made much of In Green's Jungles in particular and I couldn't agree with him more. This second book of the trilogy really bends reality in a thrilling and mesmerising way - and the feat of storytelling is awe-inspiring. The whole revolving narratives thing where he's telling past stories alongside up to the moment present stories is dizzyingly delightful. I was genuinely shocked when I realised what was happening in the story in terms of 'spatial' presence and 'travel' (I have no idea how to begin to describe it) between various whorls (one of which is an exquisitely unforeseeable surprise). There were moments where I felt my heart beating noticeably harder as my mind reeled. The further you read the more excellent the entire narrative becomes in retrospect. It will be interesting to see where he goes with the whole thing in the last book, Return to the Whorl.

Can't believe I have so much Wolfe reading ahead of me! (I haven't even touched the Soldier books or the latest three novels or most of the short stories or most of the other stand alone novels - what joys and wonders and strangeness I have to look forward to! And then to read them all again because they're that deep and rewarding - and then to write, write, write about them! Apologies - I'm having an uncontrollably gushing Wolfe-nerd moment here.)

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