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From: "Alice Turner" <akt@attglobal.net>
Subject: (urth) Lons Sun Worth It?
Date: Mon, 8 Nov 1999 19:54:45 

Aha--here it is; at the back of my mind I knew I had a second point of
contention with Timothy Reilly (what a lot of Irishmen we have here....):

> Actually, I had the same experience, (though I stopped rather earlier),
> for the same reason: the more straightforward narrative style of the Long
> Sun books, (and many others - including short stories - that Wolfe has
> written), is I find much less aesthetic than the clear-eyed, calm and
> philosophical (and perhaps mildly Proustian) first person voice of the
> and 5HC.
> Are the Long Sun books worth persevering with given this stylistic
> preference?

I felt the same way you did at first, dismayed, really. At that point,
mantis and I had not yet joined the group and I posited them to him them as
(almost) YA novels (Young Adult). But we read them closely together, arguing
over many things that the group has now covered so often that I can't
possibly bring then up again, or I would have virtual vegetables thrown at
me from every direction. And I grew to admire the series a great deal.

The triumph, my friend, in this series is in the plotting, which is
absolutely masterful, much more intricate than in the New Sun series. This
truly is a clockwork universe where every part meshes with every other part,
where not a phrase is dropped by accident, where everything is hidden, but
fair clues are only half-hidden. It's a giant jigsaw puzzle, and to solve it
you'll either need to keep notes, have Sev's memory, or read the Whorl
archives carefully (don't do that yet!). I have gone over this series with a
toothbrush, and I believe there is only one example of an instance where a
character is hustled off stage for a while just because the author (Wolfe,
not Horn) couldn't be bothered with her for the moment. And that doesn't
happen till the fourth book. Horn says that the lacunae in his book stem
from his lack of experience, but the Maker behind Horn is a very very crafty
fellow who likes to make the reader work up a sweat. None of us agrees, to t
his day, on everything in this "simple" series, not only the theological
stuff, but such matters as the relative importance of Dr. Crane (whew, that
eggplant missed me by only an inch!).

Besides, you ought to read it to understand the new series. Don't despair!
Doubt everything! (Don't read the archives!)


*More Wolfe info & archive of this list at http://www.urth.net/urth/

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