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Ok, I've read half the Book of the New Sun...

Kraus

Diligent Procrastinator
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Now that I asked for it I'm afraid to read the spoilers, as I went and got Sword & Citadel to finish...

Still, the feeling that everybody seems to know there are hidden doors in this text and I cant find them at all bugs me a lot.
If you are interested enough: the guys on the Alzabo Soup podcast do a great job of explaining what is going on under the surface in their read-through of the book.
 

Kakita Kojiro

IL-series Cylon
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Spoiler: Show

The Torturer's Guild building is a rocket?
Spoiler: Show
Yes, it and the other Guilds' towers -- such as their neighbors the beast-handlers -- are living in defunct spaceships. There are references to small round windows -- portholes. And I think Severian talks about ceremonially firing off the guns at one point.

... recognizing the little elements of the past that persist in Severian's world (like the picture of the moon landing).
I like a detail that Severian notes in one of the later books (so, putting in s-block even though it's not much of a "spoiler")
Spoiler: Show
The beach sand on the ocean is polychromatic, because it's glass from old skyscrapers that has been pulverized into sand by wave action over millennia.


I was pleased, after several re-reads, that I'd guessed what river the River Gyoll probably was, even though there is absolutely nothing in the text that states it. It's something you can maybe guess by connecting some very disparate setting elements. And it makes absolutely no impact on the story, of course.
 

KaijuGooGoo

Not Woke until I’ve had my Coffee
RPGnet Member
Validated User
For people who have a deeper grasp of the book than I do, is the woman

Spoiler: Show
That was in the "stasis lake" or whatever it was in Nessus, that becomes his lover for a while, his grandmother?
 

Blackfang108

The Lord Wolf
Validated User
Now that I asked for it I'm afraid to read the spoilers, as I went and got Sword & Citadel to finish...

Still, the feeling that everybody seems to know there are hidden doors in this text and I cant find them at all bugs me a lot.
I've read the series at least three times (I should really go for a 4th, since I don't believe I've read it in my thirties yet).

No one living knows where all the secret doors are. Especially on their first read through.
 

Proteus

Yours Pedantically
Validated User
For people who have a deeper grasp of the book than I do, is the woman

Spoiler: Show
That was in the "stasis lake" or whatever it was in Nessus, that becomes his lover for a while, his grandmother?
Spoiler: Show
Yes, that's Dorcas, and she is definitely Sev's grandmother. We can deduce the identity of a few of Sev's relatives, and speculate about a few more.
 

s/LaSH

Member
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The first time I picked up Shadow of the Torturer, I read the blurb. It did the usual scene-setting, describes the character Severian, what sets him off on a journey, some unexpected events, and then how the book ends.

Wait, how it ends?

The blurb just spoiled the entire narrative. Except, once you figure out what Wolfe is doing, it does nothing of the sort.

I haven't made it past book 2 yet. I intend to do so one day, before I die.
 

Voros

Registered User
Validated User
Now that I asked for it I'm afraid to read the spoilers, as I went and got Sword & Citadel to finish...

Still, the feeling that everybody seems to know there are hidden doors in this text and I cant find them at all bugs me a lot.

Also the feeling that again, in a lot of places, it looks like the play. In the sense that for example, he keeps meeting the same people time and again, in supposedly different roles, that enter and exit his life and enter again, like characters in a play by a not-that-numerous company...
Don't worry too much about 'figuring it out.' I can't recall who but someone I once read said that a Kafka story begins in mystery, increases in beauty and ends in mystery. That is a better guide to Wolfe and many other great writers.
 
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