the archives

dusted off in read-only


Any Wolfe fans? posted 14 Apr 2005, 01:04 by Scilvenas, Auditor

Just checking to see how many people here have broken their teeth on anything harder than Goodkind and Jordan. view post

posted 14 Apr 2005, 20:04 by Faelcind Il Danach, Peralogue

I read shadow of the torturer I was quite impressed with wolfes skill but was not enamoured of the way he told his story if you follow me it played around with perceived reality to much for me. I picked up claw of conciliator and it only seemed to get worse. Goodkind and Jordan are but memories of youthfull folly to me but the authors I have come to enjoy now are Martin, Hobb and of Scott bakker. view post

posted 08 May 2005, 13:05 by DarkMatter, Peralogue

I read The Book of the New Sun last year, I had read Shadow of the Torturer some years earlier and remembered I liked it so I bought all four books. I think it's a great book and I will definetly read more Wolfe when I have the time. view post

posted 17 Feb 2006, 03:02 by selfnoise, Commoner

I absolutely love his short stories. Some of the best ever written in the fantasy field, with only a few rivals (Avram Davidson is one). His novels I'm not so wild about. I do think highly of the Book of the New Sun, and what little I read of the Latro and Wizard Knight books was pretty impressive, but I just don't enjoy his prose style over lengthy narrative. Just doesn't mix very well in my mind. view post

posted 17 Feb 2006, 04:02 by Mog-Pharau, Peralogue

I loved the Latro books and the Fifth Head of Cerberus. I read the first half of the New Sun, and someday I'll eat the whole thing. view post

posted 17 Feb 2006, 20:02 by Whiskey Prophet, Commoner

I loved Sword and Citadel, and Shadow and Claw. So wierd. Its been easily 15 years since I read it, but I still remember 'fulgin' the color darker than black. 5th head of Cerebus I also read but it wasn't as entertaining I thought. view post

posted 20 Feb 2006, 16:02 by RedShift, Candidate

I love Wolfe. Wonderful writer, and a refreshing change from much of the genre. I really need to reread the Book of the New Sun one of these days... view post

posted 22 Feb 2006, 07:02 by Kingmanor, Candidate

I just started the Book of the New Sun in trade paperback. If they published the Prince of Nothing in typeface as small as Book of the New Sun, it could probably fit in one volume. view post

posted 22 Feb 2006, 20:02 by rossb, Commoner

I recently got around to reading the Shadow of the Torturer and the Claw of the Conciliator, having been intending to do so for many years. I am not generally put off by "difficult" books provided the rewards are worthwhile. Wolfe is certainly a difficult writer, but I did not feel in this case - for me - the rewards justified the effort of reading it. In fact, if the books were not so highly regarded by so many people whose opinion I respect, I would probably have dismissed them outright as nothing more than someone's recollection of a 70s LSD induced trip, best forgotten rather than described as serious writing. I certainly didn't feel that the strength of these books was characterisation, description, the ability to turn an elegant sentence or any of the other "normal" characteristics of "great" writing. I do recognise that there was some hidden meanings and secret things embedded in the novel, but really there must be more to it than that. A great novel must be more than a cryptic crossword puzzle. In my experience, you either like a novel or you don't. or you at least appreciate it or not, but it is not generally possible to persuade someone to like a book just by explaining what is good about it. (There are some exceptions to this, of course, and we have all had experiences of coming back to something we did not, on a first reading, understand or appreciate, and then enjoying and understanding and wondering why we had so much trouble the first time.) Nevertheless, I would be interested to know what it is about Wolfe that so engages other people. view post

posted 31 Mar 2006, 16:03 by Sebastion, Commoner

Ahhhh Mr. Wolfe one of my all time favorite writers! His stuff is deep though and can sometimes make the old brain hurt...Book of the New sun, Book of the Long Sun, just outstanding stuff. Short stories are good too although some of them are really out there :shock: view post

posted 31 Mar 2006, 16:03 by Randal, Auditor

Yes, I've read quite a lot of Wolfe's work. Book of the new sun, Latro books, Wizard Knight books, There are Doors, Free Live Free, Castleview, Peace, Book of Days (short fiction), probably one or two more I've forgotten. Still have to find the Book of the Short Sun, amongst other things. They vary wildly in accessebility, style, theme, I've found. Some are fantasy, some more science fiction, others could be described as magical realist if you want to give Scott Bakker a heart attack. Personally, I didn't really enjoy Castleview or Peace, too weird and convoluted and there didn't seem to be too much of a story. Free live Free and There are Doors were fun, if not particularly memorable. I liked many of the short stories. Of the series, the Soldier books probably are my favourites. They actually were amongst the first fantasy books I'd read, just a year or two after Lord of the Rings. They make for a good introduction to Wolfe, I find. Wonderful atmosphere, and the plot device works. It's just not like anything else you've ever come across, yet it makes complete sense within it's own context. I found the ending unstatisfying, though. The Wizard-knight books were far more accsesible than Wolfe's previous stuff, and I enjoyed them. Fun play with the conventions of fantasy novels and traditional knightly romances. Even though the main character is from our 20th century, it's a lot closer to the actual medieval books I've read in subject, though of course the style is Wolfe's. Still, I didn't think them as strong as the Soldier books. The Book of the New Sun was certainly difficult in places, and I had to go back a chapter or two every once in a while to make sure I wasn't missing anything. Even then, I'm sure I missed plenty of stuff, I'll need to re-read them soon. Still, I liked the books, very intruiging stuff. But it never really connected on a personal level, not like Tolkien or Martin or Hobb or Kay do. All in all, I suppose Wolfe is a more intellectual form of entertainment, and I can see where Ross is coming from about the characterisation and language. Wolfe is more about an intruiging plot and characters that make me think, and indeed about puzzles. I read him because I want to know where he is going with his books and ideas, not really because I can emphatise with the characters. (well, with Latro I could to some extent.) I'd say that Bakker is not unlike this in some regards. His books too I love mainly because they make me think. However, Bakker isn't nearly as extreme, I'd put him half-way between Wolfe and Martin. Not quite as sophisticated (and heavy going) as Wolfe, but with better plot and characters. Not quite as vibrant in his characterisation as Martin, but far more interesting ideas and concepts. view post

posted 01 Apr 2006, 03:04 by stormchaser, Candidate

Oh yeah, Wolfe's New Sun books are practically the standard by which I measure all other new fantasy and SF. I love that kind of richly detailed strangeness, brimming with bizarre wonders... I don't know about difficult, but yeah, I suppose it's not to everyone's taste. It's definitely a style of writing that's hard to pull off successfully. Jack Vance is about the only other author I can think of who can do it as effortlessly as Wolfe. view post

posted 08 Jul 2006, 14:07 by Legion, Commoner

He's my favorite author. I love his work. I've read almost his entire collection of published works (still haven't read the Wizard or Starwater Stains yet.) The Book of the New Sun is one of the best books (collectively) I feel is out there. The use of imagery, the 'magical' realism, it's powerful stuff and still haunts my view of reading to this day. Fifth Head of "Cerberus" is also wonderful as is "Peace" and "The Devil in the Forest." Wolfe is a genius. Can you tell I like him? :) view post

wolfe posted 24 Jan 2007, 23:01 by lordnull, Commoner

I've read the Book of the New Sun along with the Devil in the Forest and Fifth Head of Cerberus. The Book of the New Sun is among my favorite fantasy series if not my favorite. I've been negligent in reading his other books such as the Long Sun mostly because I became interested in some other stuff at the time. I picked up The Knight recently and am looking forward to reading it once I get through the other books in the stack. view post

posted 12 Feb 2007, 04:02 by Holsety, Candidate

Lord Null, are you SgtNull from Kevin's Watch? If so I've found two people from over there. Anyway, Wolfe is amazing. I've read...his Latro series, New and Long Sun books, Peace, Fifth Head, and The Knight. Also one of his short story books, [i:y16rtfhd]Innocents Abroad[/i:y16rtfhd] (I bought it since it was named after one of Twain's works). I think Fifth Head and The New Sun books are my favorites. I was a little tired for most of my reading of Peace, so I didn't get a fair amount of it. I'm not really a fan of The Knight, I kept gnashing my teeth when he messed up details about knights I had learned from historical stuff (even if it was intentional, which I suspect may have been the case in some instances) and all in all I finished it feeling kind of un-wowed. It wasn't bad, it just didn't really capture my interest in the same way Wolfe's stuff usually does. [quote:y16rtfhd]I certainly didn't feel that the strength of these books was...the ability to turn an elegant sentence...[/quote:y16rtfhd] I have to disagree with that...Wolfe sometimes writes confusingly, but he's managed some of the most elegant sentences I've seen, and he knows when to put that talent to good use. If there's one thing that annoys me about The Book of New Son, it's the archaic words he uses which he explicitly states do not fit. At the same time, I [i:y16rtfhd]love[/i:y16rtfhd] the atmosphere and effect he creates by doing so. view post

posted 12 Feb 2007, 09:02 by U-Boat, Commoner

Wolfe for me, is the modern day peake. Not that modern, but you get my point. view post

posted 13 Feb 2007, 16:02 by lordnull, Commoner

[quote="Holsety":1d7zcqtv]Lord Null, are you SgtNull from Kevin's Watch? If so I've found two people from over there.[/quote:1d7zcqtv] Nope. I'm the Lord Null from Lankhmar. Actually neither...I'm only on a couple of message boards really and I mostly just read them. I'm on this one and I read the board at but I don't generally contribute. Glad to see there are a few enthusiastic Wolfe fans out there and thanks for the comments regarding philosophy and Bakker. view post


The Three Seas Forum archives are hosted and maintained courtesy of Jack Brown.