Jeff Stevens's Reviews > Pirate Freedom

Pirate Freedom by Gene Wolfe
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Dec 01, 07

Recommended for: Just about anyone
Read in December, 2007

"Pirate Freedom" was remarkably good; much like virtually everything Wolfe writes. Based on his past work Wolfe has set a staggeringly high bar for himself; I now expect anything written by him to be insightful, ingenious, surprising, delightfully cryptic, staggeringly well researched, and poetic to boot. "Pirate Freedom" didn't knock my socks off by these standards, but it still shines like a jewel in the muck. It leaves you with the same feeling you get when you put down the Arthur Miller you've been reading and pick up one by Shakespeare; the first is brilliant, but the second is unsurpassed. An only mildly surprising ending and a overly used conceit (time travel) only slightly detract here from a brilliant book about character, deductive reasoning, faith, God, moral choices and the astonishing moments all of our lives contain. "Pirate Freedom" made me think about divine judgement, human violence, and relations between the sexes in completely new and welcome ways. That's not something I would expect most books to do, but Wolfe is so consistently amazing that from him I now suspect nothing less.
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