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From: William Ansley <wansley@warwick.net>
Subject: Re: (urth) Merry Xmas
Date: Mon, 1 Jan 2001 23:38:45 

>Have to disagree with Wm. here. I don't think Steve should start
>with -Peace-. That is not the sort of book that gets people fascinated
>with Wolfe; it's the one they tackle when they are already hooked, and I
>think it's rather off-putting to a beginner (I confess that I've never
>been much of a fan).. I strongly suggest 5HC as your starter, that you
>should take your time with it, and then dip into the short stories in
>the other books at random as they catch your attention. But 5HC is a
>truly fascinating book that holds seeds of all the themes Wolfe would
>later explore more thoroughly. Happy hunting! And Happy New Year!

While this doesn't serve as an argument against following the 
estimable alga's advice, _Peace_ is the first book I read by Wolfe 
and it did get me hooked. It did and does continue to fascinate me 
and is still my favorite Wolfe novel. And, yes, I am a fan. 8->

I think _Peace_ also contains seeds of all of the themes Wolfe uses 
in his later works, although they may be harder to spot. Then again 
any novel length (or greater) work by Wolfe is probably going to 
contain all of his "pet" themes.

By all means start with _The Fifth Head of Cerberus_ if you don't 
start with _Peace_. It is, in many ways, a more typical Wolfe novel, 
if such a phrase is not oxymoronic.

Obviously, both alga and I are expressing subjective opinions and 
your experience is likely to differ,

Happy reading.

William Ansley

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

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