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The Shadow of the Torturer (1980)

por Gene Wolfe

Outros autores: Ver a secção outros autores.

Séries: Le livre du second soleil de Teur (1), The Book of the New Sun (1), Solar Cycle (1)

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2,120635,387 (3.83)3 / 92
This is the first volume of the series The Book of the New Sun, which tells about the varying fortunes of Severian the Torturer. One other is: The Claw of the Conciliator (1983).
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Mostrando 1-5 de 62 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
Torturous indeed.

I read this book years ago, but time has not dulled the hatred that arises within me whenever I come across it in my previously read list.

Unfortunately, when I start a book, I'm compelled to finish it. Trying to complete this one though was agonising – the plot and writing was boring, and the female characters were sickeningly obsequious. How on earth this is a classic is beyond me. ( )
2 vote meerapatel | Dec 29, 2020 |
Well that was a bunch of nothing wasn't it ( )
  Raykoda3 | Sep 25, 2020 |
I've had The Book of the New Sun on my list forever, finally made a crack at it. IT DID NOT GO WELL. This is blindingly dense, and while I won't accuse it of being nonsensical, the actual plot is highly obtuse. Scores of folks leapt to elegant defense when I voiced my feelings about it, so I'll probably try to get through the whole thing again sometime, but I haven't read something that felt like so much work for so little reward since taking a crack at Heidegger. I also think I might have an empathy gap with it—the main character tortures and kills people just as like, his job, without knowing why, and so I have a hard time being invested in that particular character's story without a lot more reasons than I'm given.
  jakecasella | Sep 21, 2020 |
Not such a bad guy
torturing is just the job
girls are his passion. ( )
1 vote Eggpants | Jun 25, 2020 |
I was awash in strange expectations and assumptions before picking up this book, and after coming out the other side, I'm happy to say that this thoughtful novel pleased me.

It didn't wow me, but it certainly pleased me. I was very worried it wouldn't because the period of the late seventies and early eighties was a time of Fantasy that I just never really liked.

What? But this novel is SF!

Yes it is, and I loved all the old incorporation of alien life, our dying sun, quantum physics extrapolations and Odd Reality, but at its heart, the novel reads just like a Fantasy.

The apprentice must face a difficult choice, is engaged with wise old men, must suffer the consequences of his heroic and/or compassionate actions, and is thus expelled to make a way into the wide and difficult world carrying a sword and a complex menagerie of companions.

Sound familiar?

I might have balked at such a blatant use of tropes for an SF novel had it not also been full of characters I truly liked. What a relief! Plus, I'm a freaking sucker for libraries and book-talk, even when the books and philosophies entertained are of a far-off time and "supposedly" alien to us.

In point of fact, this far-off time feels more like a feudal dark-ages and I really got into the novel by the point it felt like a shadow of [b:A Canticle for Leibowitz|164154|A Canticle for Leibowitz|Walter M. Miller Jr.|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1450516880s/164154.jpg|250975]. It didn't end there, by far, but that was the point it grabbed me and didn't let go. :)

The rest of the adventure and the discussions of love and affection and sex, even with the societal ick of institutionalized sex-work, was somewhat hit-and-miss for me, though, but I couldn't help but be charmed by Severain's puppydog-outlook. It might annoy others, but it felt like some of the most genuine parts of the novel.

Lastly, I loved the world-building. It was all understated and slipped in so gently that we the readers were delightfully focused upon the characters long enough to be surprised by the full weight of the world. It didn't hit me over the head. Instead, it charmed. :)

I don't think I'm going to have any issues reading the rest of these novels, and that's a real surprise for me! Like I said, I have had a lot of bad experiences with Fantasy during this time period. But then, that begs the question, doesn't it? Maybe I'm simply freer with praise and lax criticism because it is, ostensibly, SF?

I admit I might be influenced by my expectations in both directions, but it doesn't change the fact that I liked the novel. :)

( )
  bradleyhorner | Jun 1, 2020 |
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» Adicionar outros autores (11 possíveis)

Nome do autorPapelTipo de autorObra?Estado
Wolfe, GeneAutorautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Davis, JonathanNarradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Desmond, William OlivierTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Domènech, LuisTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Ewyck, Annemarie vanTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Heinz, ReinhardTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Lindgren, NilleTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Maitz, DonArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Masera, RubénTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Pennington, BruceArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Tamás, GáborTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Vainikainen-Uusitalo… JohannaTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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To those who have preceded me in the study of the posthistoric world, and particularly to those collectors - too numerous to name here - who have permitted me to examine artifacts surviving so many centuries of futurity, and most especially to those who have allowed me to visit and photograph the era's few extant buildings, I am truly grateful. G.W. (Appendix)
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All of which is only to say that there exists between them [beast handlers] and the animals they bring to the pits a bond much like that between our clients and ourselves. Now I have traveled much farther from our tower, but I have found always that the pattern of our guild is repeated mindlessly [...] in the societies of every trade, so that they are all of them torturers, just as we. His quarry stands to the hunter as our clients to us; those who buy to the tradesman; the enemies of the Commonwealth to the soldier; the governed to the governors; men to women. All love that which they destroy. [32]
"But now, dear friends," he rose and dusted his trousers, "now we are come to the place, as some poet aptly puts it, where men are pulled apart by their destinations." [Dr Talos, 377]
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This is the first volume of the series The Book of the New Sun, which tells about the varying fortunes of Severian the Torturer. One other is: The Claw of the Conciliator (1983).

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