Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Review: The Shadow of the Torturer

The Shadow of the Torturer
The Shadow of the Torturer by Gene Wolfe

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I tried. Fuck it.

That was my original review, but not much to go on. Then again, if I took up 200 pages with flowery words of why this booked sucked, I'd be doing the same thing the author of this piece of shit did.

The Torture of the Shadower:

Flowery prose? Yes. Gene Wolfe has it. He's a talented writer that can make a pretty sentence. I was often impressed with his word usage and some of the sentences were really enjoyable to read.

That said, you don't have to construct pretty sentences to impress me. That won't last but a moment, gone by the time I've moved to the next sentence. But when you string along a bunch of them, I start getting annoyed. Look, I read a work of fiction for story. Not to clap my hands to my face and get orgasmic because the writer is so very talented and smart.

I get that Gene Wolfe is smarter than I am. Frankly, I don't give much of a fuck. I'm reading a book for story. Tell me one. And while you're doing that, try using the language that your readers read (in this case English). Wolfe has this insanely annoying tendency to make up a bunch of words without definition and string them through the narrative, making the readers feel like the dumbfucks because they don't know what they mean. Many of these you can pick up in context, until after the halfway point of the book when context goes out the window. Because you don't know the fuck is going on. This reminded me of China Mieville, and as people that know me will tell you, THAT IS NOT A GOOD THING.

And don't much care by this point.

I found myself skimming by the last 40 pages or so. Sure, I missed a lot of what was happening by doing this, but to be honest, I wouldn't have gotten much more by reading every flowery word. I'd have just been more impressed with Wolfe's ability to use fancy words (which he either makes up or I'm just too stupid to comprehend), and been angry with him for wasting my time.

I get that some people love this stuff. That's fine. I can see where one might. I'm just not that one.

1 1/2 stars.

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