So, I have an Internet friend who is always touting how great of a writer Gene Wolfe is. One, day, I finally asked him: “What’s a good place to start with this guy?” He suggested the Book of the New Sun, a tetralogy that begins with The Shadow of the Torturer. So, I tracked it down at the library and started reading it.
That was about three months ago.
Now, I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a large part of the reason why I’ve been slow-going with my reading, but dang if this guy isn’t a tough author to read. His prose is dense, filled with more narrative than dialog, and it’s hard to keep up with what’s going on in some places. Maybe it’s my attention span. Maybe the book is just too deep for me. All I know is that, after several months with the book, I realized that I wasn’t eager to finish it, so I quit about halfway through the second book and took it back to the library.
The thing is, the book is intriguing. The author obviously had a grand idea in mind when he started writing it, and as dense as the book is, it seems like everything there is necessary. It’s just one of those books that requires more than I can give it. The book is vivid and interesting, just not enough to keep me from giving up on it.
So, I gave up on the series, but that’s not to say that I’ll never return to it again. But I have a lot of other things I would prefer to be reading, instead.