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Preview — An Evil Guest by Gene Wolfe
An Evil Guest
Set a hun ...more
People either hate or love this book. I loved it. It starts off pretty fast paced with an assassin/wizard? talking to a very hickish president about tracking down an ex-amb ...more
I'm a complete, card carrying Gene Wolfe fan. I buy all of his works as they come out in hardcover. I rave to any and all about the man and am in complete awe of his genius.
But . . .
I just can't get over my first impression of this book. Frankly, it's a stinker.
But, given that it's Gene Wolfe, perhaps, just perhaps, the book will run like a program in my memory and at some point I'll suddenly see it.
Don't think so. This is more likely that this is ...more
Perhaps thrills and chills were more simply obtained back then. It was worth the price of a few coins to gawk or giggle at one’s vastly distorted image, now rotund as a ...more
Warning: spoiler in the last paragraph.
An Evil Guest by Gene Wolfe is a pulp thriller that includes aliens, South Sea gods, and two enigmatic men vying for the hand of a young actress on the rise. Imagine the results if Raymond Chandler, H.P. Lovecraft, and Walter B.Gibson (creator of The Shadow) all conspired to write a book together, set 100 years in our future. Despite how odd that sounds, the first two-thirds of the book is fairly straight forward ...more
The heroine, Cassie Casey, aspiring actress, is dragged into strange interplanetary dealings between Earth and the planet Woldercan, by a wizard, Dr. G ...more
But! He comes so highly recommended!
But–but! That doesn't matter if his writing doesn't work for me.
But-but-BUT! The book is so stylized that the above negatives were probably intentional! After all, it's clearly not only a pastiche of at least three different styles/genres but also an exercise in deconstructing narrative and genre at a very b ...more
But. Everything else tells me that this is near-incoherent, with characters who seem devoid of inner ...more
I tell you, the whole thing just wore me out. At some point I lost patience with it. To paraphrase Elvis: "I need a little less conversation and little more actio ...more
So begins the newest Gene Wolfe novel. Rather than creating a mythopeaic saga, An Evil Guest is a story that is complex but accesible, fast-paced but fleshed out, and innocuously evil. If this sounds like mixed praise, well, it is. While Wolfe appears to be hitting all his targets, it seems like he's only firing with one gun, and his other hand is still s ...more
This book is strange. It's very odd. It is, however - like much of Wolfe's canon - very well written. Instead of employing the maximalist style used in the Book of the New Sun (which you should read if you haven't), he goes the opposite direction and tells the tale in a very minimalist fashion. He hands you only what you need, and only halfway in did I realize he had woven hefty amounts of the Cthulhu Myt ...more
Nor can Wolfe write female protagonists.
Sorry Gene, I've loved you for the 25 years since you published Shadow of the Torturer, etc., but this one doesn't do it for me.
I liked it more than Pirate Freedom and Soldier of Sidon. Though Pirate Freedom ended nicely.
PS: spot the -Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town- Cory Doctorow tribute (sentient mountain whose wi ...more
My only issue with the book is that at times I felt a bit too removed from the action, and I think that kept me from completely immersing ...more
It took me a while to get into the story and when I did...man what a story. It constant ...more
I had really enjoyed Wolfe's Book of the New Sun series (despite how much it made my head spin); An Evil Guest surprised me with how little I enjoyed it. It has its moments, but getting to them is a slog through a boring story. I'm aware that Wolfe's whole thing is an ostensibly simple surface concealing something complex, b ...more
What this really looks like is two novellas mashed together with mostly the same characters, and only one of them is any good. The first two-thirds of the book reads like a Raymond Chandler detective-noir piece. It's almost all dialogue, and while the suspense is great and the characters interesting, it's like
The setting is bizarre, a future that resembles the 1930s, or rather, the future that was explored in the pulp tales of the 30s-50s (Flying Cars!). The plot and events are also pure pulp material, from the mysterious detective/wizard to the bad guy that is not really bad or the mysterious menace in a tropical ...more
Bill Reis is said businessman, a one time ambassador to the planet Woldercan, who has learnt some interesting physical tricks of his own as a result of the advanced biology on that w ...more
Gene Wolfe often gives us a very passive hero to whom things just "happen". We also often get strange pointless dialog, out of context things said, and incredibly illogical behavior.
Unfortunately when he set this book in times he wanted to seem somewhat modern, and coupled it with a backdrop of a noir spy mystery, his usual tactics of character and plot development are out of place. A ditzy actress who blathers inanities almost c ...more
Before I talk about why that's so, I will give credit where credit is due--it does have it's moments here or there that were enjoyable. The characters and descriptions are witty, and the dialogue is entertaining--to a degree.
It's been mentioned in other reviews, and I'm going to agree: There is so much dialogue in this book it's near overwhelming. The pages are covered in ne ...more
The Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award is given by SFWA for ‘lifetime achievement in science fict ...more