I’m midway through Gene Wolfe’s The Claw of the Conciliator and I’m wondering what happened to my excitement. It’s been a good couple of months since I finished The Shadow of the Torturer and I remember really being impressed by that book. It wasn’t love at first sight, but I liked what Wolfe was doing and I liked where he was going. And that whole thing of knowing a certain reality about the world that the characters didn’t really know yet, though some do...that helped. But 107 pages into the original hardcover version of Claw and I’m kind of missing the point. Severain, our exiled torturer, is on his journey northwards to city in which he is supposed to work and has done some itinerent work in the meanwhile, and it just seems that there are these pointless sidetracks just to throw in some action. This is supposed to be a classic of science fiction and fantasy (because to be honest I’m not sure which genre it will ultimately belong), and so I have to trust Gene Wolfe on this journey, but I’m in a big ol’ “huh?” stage right now.
Nick, I tried answering your question as a comment but I think it got lost. I started out really enjoying the first Book of the New Sun volume. I’m quite a bit less sold on book 2. I have every intention of finishing the four volumes and eventually moving on to some Wizard Knight, but I’m kind of at a loss right now. I’m enjoying The Reality Dysfunction: Emergence a whole lot more and if I wasn’t reading the Wolfe over my lunch break at work I probably wouldn’t have a chance to finish it by the time I have to return this interlibrary loan.
And I’m still having some formatting issues with the posts through e-mail. We’ll see how this one turns out.