Andreas's Reviews > The Shadow of the Torturer

The Shadow of the Torturer by Gene Wolfe
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's review
Apr 29, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: fantasy, science-fiction

Inspired by the Alzabo Soup podcast I decided to re-read my favorite series by Gene Wolfe. Being the proud owner of the gorgeous red leather bound edition made it a special highlight and increased the pleasure by miles.

The big question is: does the book hold up the second time? Yes, it does! First of all, details became more memorable and there were also a couple of things that I had either forgotten or remembered wrongly. Being accustomed now to Gene Wolfe's tricks it was also easier to look through our unreliable narrator and to put his actions into the right light.

The strengths of the book (and the whole series) are its atmosphere and the multiple layers that await the patient reader. You can lose yourself in a strange world where even stranger things happen. They might not make sense but rest assured that it's all there, waiting for you to reveal and discover. I recommend the Lexicon Urthus, which can help with the archaic words. Symbolic meanings hold important clues and are not to be dismissed.

A hilarious moment was when I recognized that Gene Wolfe described a picture that showed the moon landing:

The picture he was cleaning showed an armored figure standing in a desolate landscape. It had no weapon, but held a staff bearing a strange, stiff banner. The visor of this figure's helmet was entirely of gold, without eye slits or ventilation; in its polished surface the deathly desert could be seen in reflection, and nothing more.

Amazing! If this is up your alley then you know what you have to do. Highly recommended.
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Reading Progress

April 29, 2010 – Shelved
April 29, 2010 – Shelved as: fantasy
April 29, 2010 – Shelved as: science-fiction
Started Reading
November 10, 2017 – Finished Reading

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Sophie (new)

Sophie Gorgeous edition! I recently read this for the first time so that I can listen along to the podcast. It's been very illuminating so far!

Andreas The podcast is pretty slow with 2 chapters per week. It will be like reading the book a third time. :)

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