Clay's Reviews > The Sorcerer's House

The Sorcerer's House by Gene Wolfe
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May 07, 13

Read in December, 2009

Finally, we turn to veteran Gene Wolfe, whose latest is “The Sorceror’s House” (Tor, $24,99, 304 pages), and though he starts strong, the payoff can’t deliver what’s promised by the setup. In this case, the book just sort of stops, after a most promising beginning.

“The Sorceror’s House” is told via a series of letters, most from the protagonist, Bax Dunn, and involves the strange happenings in a strange house in an America that doesn’t quite fit in our chronology (much of it reads as if it were set in the 1940s, but females play a much more prominent role in business and law enforcement). Wolfe has to resort to narrative tricks to keep from revealing too much too soon, and then can’t quite find an ending that satisfies.

For the first 275 pages, though, it’s big fun – and fans of Wolfe will not be displeased. But those who are not familiar with Gene Wolfe, and have not read the four volumes of “The Book of the New Sun,” should sprint, not jog, to the nearest library to prepare to enjoy a masterpiece.

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