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Old 05.16.2015, 09:36 AM   #1
Toilet & Bowels
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Old 08.23.2015, 03:20 PM   #2
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Why didn't I see this earlier?

Wolfe's best work is his 5-part epic The Book of the New Sun.
I've tried to get people into it, but it's a tricky read. The prose is thick and dense, and the style (which is almost Dickensian) doesn't really make sense at first with the "era" which is not evident at first.

I would suggest checking out a Wikipedia (or WolfeWiki) entry on it before tackling it, honestly. I'm sure you can manage, but I've seen a lot of people put the book down because of its inherent strangeness. A primer would benefit anyone... Especially since there are 4 books, plus a 5th "coda" book released many years after the initial 4, and there are two series that take place in the same greater universe and essentially act as very long drawn out prequels (Book of the Long Sun, Book of the Short Sun; 4 books and 3 books respectively).

Anyway, if you want to start with something a little less massive (because really, the story arc is fucking massive and spans multiple timelines and galaxies and a good 3,000 pages all told) you could start with any of these fine examples of Wolfe in his prime:

The Fifth Head of Cerberus - Not just the amazing and terrifying short story, but the three stories published together in the volume of the same name. It's equally weird, equally dense and probably set the pace for the Book of the New Sun, but it's short.

Peace: another early jewel, and another example of his weirdly terrifying high prose using the fundamental concepts of the identity, experiential reality and memory to tell a tale that is not easy to forget.

Home Fires is an excellent and very sad book about marriage and the effects of relativity on age and pirates.

He hit another high point in the mid 2000's with The Wizard Knight. 2 books, way more accessible than his earlier epics, but still imaginative and beautiful in a distinctly Gene Wolf kind of way.

Let me know how it goes.
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