Wolfe established himself as one of the new masters of SF in 1972 with his Fifth Head of Cerberus; he has since received high acclaim for his four-volume Book of the New Sun series. This new novel is a disconcerting departure that resembles the work of Thomas Pynchon and William Gaddis rather than traditional SF. Like Gaddis, Wolfe spins a web of conspiracy, con-games, coverups and detection, endless dollar chasing and genuine talent put to the service of fakes and forgeries. But at the end of the quest for Wolfe's four protagonists (an unlicensed detective, an overweight prostitute, a novelties salesman and a witch who works gypsy scams) is a Pynchonesque vision of America's secret masters living perpetually aloft in an immense wooden plane. Always intriguing but sometimes equally baffling, this novel reaches comic heights of cross purposes in the malapropisms of old Mrs. Baker and the sequence set in a mental hospital during a blackout. Although it requires patience, the narrative is darkly humorous, affecting, continually surprising and surprisingly affirmative in its presentation of unconventional, deadbeat characters. November 19
Copyright 1985 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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. Read morePublished on June 10 2002
Every novice writer should be force to read this novel to see how characterization should be done right. Read morePublished on July 16 2000
Free Live Free has some brilliant moments, and some very well drawn characters. Unfortunately, the reading experience for me was badly damaged by the ending. Read morePublished on April 5 2000 by frumiousb