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Free Live Free Paperback – Mar 15 1999


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books (March 15 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312868367
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312868369
  • Product Dimensions: 20.9 x 14 x 2.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 517 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,957,232 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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It was not yet night, though the streets were already dark. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Paperback
I will have to re-read the last few chapters of this book but there is no getting around the fact that the plot ends with an unsatisfying and unnecessary red herring. It is as if Wolfe had a manuscript lying around unfinished and some cohort of his said "I dare you to end it using [X] plot device," and Wolfe took up the challenge.
Nor did I find his characterizations really compelling. "Mr Barnes" is the most fully fleshed out of the four protagonists, but all four seem like facets of a single individual, not four distinct people driven by their individual motivations.
That all said, it was an interesting read, and more accessible than Gene Wolfe's heavier fiction. It is atypical among Wolfe's work for its lightness and clarity of prose.
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By A Customer on June 10 2002
Format: Paperback
Whilst the charaterizations and story development kept my rapt attention during the telling of the tale, to say I was disappointed by the ending would be an understatement. Its been a long time since a book that I enjoyed reading so much left me hanging limp and disappointed by an ending which seemed more of an excuse for lack of imagination than anything else. I've read a lot of Wolfe's other works and have not, so far, been let down by those works. Where was he when he wrote the ending to this one? Hard to say, but his mind didn't seem to have been on the job.
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By A Customer on Jan. 22 2002
Format: Paperback
It's hard to believe that the same man who wrote the masterful Shadow of the Torturer series would allow his name to grace the cover of this piece of garbage.
Free Live Free is quite simply one of the worst books I have ever tried to read. The fact that it has Gene Wolfe's name on the cover makes its existence even more amazing -- how could the great man produce a work of such poor quality? And why didn't his editors try to discourage him from releasing it? It's so uncharacteristically bad, that I begin to wonder if there wasn't some bizarre plot hatched at the office of the publisher (Tor) whereby an inferior wannabe author -- perhaps a high school student, or a B-grade attendee of a writing seminar -- managed to get his work released in Gene's name.
Some Gene Wolfe fans may understand where I am coming from. The vision, the characters, the construction, the sheer storytelling magic of works like Shadow, Soldier of Arete and Fifth Head of Cerebus are nowhere to be found in Free Live Free. Instead, readers are given a contrived scenario (four gritty strangers are given free lodging in a condemned house whose landlord has supernatural powers), idiotic characters ("Madame Serpentina?" Please!) torturous dialogue, and a lumbering, amateurish plot.
Why, Gene, why?
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Format: Paperback
I have managed to track this fantastic book down. I read it a few years ago now on loan from a friend. With no cover on the book, sorry fellow book lovers but the girl had travelled with it across Europe and the cover went the way of all well read books, sad but true. I had no memory of the author only the blinding, blazing story line that had me captured from the first page. I think i fell in love with Candy the slightly pudgy "Escort Girl", who spends the book munching chocs and delivering some great lines that help to carry the story page after page. Look, enough words, its almost Christmas time, go out and treat yourself to this book, stick it in your stocking, then forget about it till you wake up on Christmas morning, you wont be disapointed, your family may though feel neglected as you wont be talking to much. Enjoy!
Colin Gould.
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By A Customer on July 17 2000
Format: Paperback
Every novice writer should be force to read this novel to see how characterization should be done right. The book is also at times wickedly funny, particularly a seen during a black out in an insane asylum. The plot seems to be disjointed but Wolfe pulls every thing togethar at the end.
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