As it turns out, Wolfe is a prolific writer. I'm looking forward to reading the rest of his books as soon as I can get my hands on them.
02 December 2008
Writing on Reading: Litany of the Long Sun
Don't you love it when you find a new book to love? Last week I plowed through Gene Wolfe's Litany of the Long Sun (which is actually the first half of a longer novel called The Book of the Long Sun.) I had not picked up a Wolfe novel before because I was not crazy about his Nebula and Locus award-winning story, "The Death of Dr. Island." Now I'm sure glad I gave him another chance. Litany is science fiction that in many ways reads more like a fantasy. It takes place in a single world where advanced technology is more of a valued relic than a commodity. The protagonist is a parish priest who, up to the events in the story, lived a very simple and rudimentary life. The priest in an incredibly likable character who struggles through moral dilemmas and physical threats in a way that is both admirable and believable. As the plot unfolds, Wolfe makes surprising connections between events and reveals the secrets of the world. He is a master of foreshadowing and of taking seemingly insignificant events and making them huge.