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NIGHTSIDE LONG SUN Mass Market Paperback – Nov 8 1993


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books (Nov. 8 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812516257
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812516258
  • Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 10.7 x 2.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 159 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Format: Mass Market Paperback
A young priest named Silk is enlightened by a god known only as the Outsider, who burdens him with the task of saving his church from demolition.
Nightside takes place over a mere two days, which inflicts on it a snail's pace and the feeling of floundering in too many details. The act of breaking into someone's mansion took more than half the book. Rituals were described in full, beginning to end. Yes, this book is a set-up for greater things to come, but still suffers from its pace, and probably could have been condensed to half its size. It was also filled with great characters, enigmatic events, bizarre creatures, and "gods" that might not be all they're cracked up to be. I look forward to the remainder of the series.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 14 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
The first volume of the Book of the Long Sun slowly unravels Nov. 6 2001
By Christopher Culver - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
NIGHTSIDE THE LONG SUN is the first volume of Gene Wolfe's four-volume work The Book of the Long Sun, which is a story of political intrigue, revolution, and Christian allegory set in a starship sent from Earth to colonize a distant planet.Gene Wolfe rose to fame with his magisterial work The Book of the New Sun, which is one of my most cherished books. The Book of the Long Sun takes place, in fact, in the same universe as Wolfe's masterpiece. However, differences abound. The Book of the New Sun is a first-person narrative in which the narrator stands between the reader and a clear view of his world. The Book of the Long Sun, on the other hand, is told in third-person and the setting is richly illustrated by Wolfe's prose. That is not to say that there are no mysteries in the Book of the Long Sun, it is of course a Gene Wolfe novel, but the plot is much more straightforward and clear than in Wolfe's earlier triumph.NIGHTSIDE THE LONG SUN slowly introduces the plot that will later rage through the city of its setting and by the end of the four-volume work utterly change the world in which the characters live. NIGHTSIDE opens with the enlightenment of Patera Silk, an augur (i.e. priest), in Viron, one of the cities within the Whorl, the gigantic starship sent from Urth. The rather pagan inhabitants of the Whorl worship a pantheon of deities based upon the ruler who sent out the starship and his family. Silk's enlightener, however, is an obscure god called the Outsider, because he abides even outside the Whorl, who is quite possibly in fact the Christian God. The Outsider has called upon Silk to save the local church and school, which have been sold for back taxes to a criminal named Blood. Silk, in a bit of bravado, proceeds to break into Blood's mansion in hopes of getting his property back. This attempt at breaking in, along with an exorcism of a bordello, are the sum of NIGHTSIDE THE LONG SUN. It's a slow and simple start, the action of this book takes place over merely two days, but in the following books the pace builds exponentially.The Book of the Long Sun may not be as poetic and full of sophistry as The Book of the New Sun, but it's immensely good reading. Wolfe's use of Christian allegory (much stricter here than in the earlier work), and a plot full of revolution, war, and political mystery is a fine work. After NIGHTSIDE THE LONG SUN, the reader should be voraciously desiring the next book in the series, LAKE OF THE LONG SUN.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Only Book 1 of the Long Sun series? Jan. 8 2013
By Caglar SAHER - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
I have read these series as a paperback many years ago. Since i cannot seem to find the copy I own, I intended to revisit the dense and delightful prose of Gene Wolfe and the extraordinary story of Patera Silk again on my Kindle. However, I was expecting Book 1&2 of the series together in one instalment as I used to have in paperback. The price is a bit steep for only Book 1. I am waiting for the "Litany of the Long Sun" Kindle Edition.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
beginning of a great journey March 6 2011
By stephen hess - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Long Sun may be the most conventional of Wolfe's work, at least on the surface. Perhaps because it's told in third person, unusual for Wolfe, it seems more like other, lesser works of SF, until you really begin to understand what's happening, the astounding complexity of the world Wolfe is showing his reader... and you once again are humbled by the talent of this writer. There are no equals to Wolfe writing today; it saddens me he is not a household name, though given the current state of our culture, I understand why he isn't. You have to pay attention to Wolfe. Don't let the simpicity of his prose fool you - not a word is out of place, Wolfe's control over his story should never be doubted.

There's no reason to talk about plot, here. This isn't about plot, though this is one of the more traditional Gene Wolfe works you will find. But the power of Wolfe is not plot. Wolfe is about ideas, about humanity's place in creation, about gods and God, about redemption and determination, about what it is to be human, to want to be human, about failure and dealing with failure, about the loss and rebirth of faith, epiphany, and, finally, understanding of one's place in the universe.

Wolfe rewards like few writers. It's hard work to read him; it takes effort, you have to think, to consider, to realize he is apt to reveal important informantion at any time. There isn't anything, not one word, that isn't meant to be there, no compromise in his respect for his reader's intelligence. But in the end, when you finish a major Wolfe work like Long Sun, you'll have a greater appreciation for what it means to be human. And you'll wish you too could find an Oreb, or have been taught by a Matera Marble, or perhaps, could have spoken, just once, to a Patera Silk.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Just as good as the Book of the Short Sun Dec 9 2012
By jamil egdemir - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This gets better and better every time I read it. The depth of the universe Wolfe put together is just amazing.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
THE finest bouquet of design June 28 2010
By M-I-K-E 2theD - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Wolfe's novels have been said to be poetic, full of prose and the author himself has been said to be the modern day Melville. After reading 264 pages of Nightside of Long Sun, I didn't feel that the words were meticulously chosen or arranged into a flowery literary bouquet. The vocabulary didn't strike me as challenging the intellect nor did it pressure me to reach for the dictionary. Perhaps other reviews and recommendations have simply over exaggerated the writing style of Wolfe or perhaps it's just that I've been around the block a few times in the terms of the written English language in modern sci-fi literature. However, this one point doesn't deduct from the respect I have for the author, the novel or from the situation Silk finds himself in. It seems a blessing to be able to easily relate to the characters and schemes to willingly.

With that popular oversight aside, the flow and texture of the plot is unparalleled. The purposeful transgressions of main character Silk have a progressive element. While each hectic situation Silk finds himself in seems to be abrupt and unplanned, the further unfolding of the plot reveals a meticulous attention to the detail of the plot. Even in between chapters the crossover is seamless; paragraphs merge like beads of oil atop a level aquatic surface. What else can be said...it's beautiful. The one-on-one connections of Silk are intrinsically loose, which is acceptable merely because there are three books which follow in the series; the precedence is set, the foundation laid. I can envisage a great unfurling of the bolt of contextual plot which Wolfe has woven.

On a personal level, my reading has been cut back over the past few months because of a string of bad books (including Pohl, Busby, Bear, Pellegrino, etc). When I started reading Nightside of the Long Sun, I felt the dedication of the author to truly create a work of literature for the sake of literature itself and for the sake of the genre while being courteous to the reader's attention and persuasive to the reader's intellect. It is obvious that Wolfe is a gifted writer, writes with the reader and genre in mind, works scrupulously through an idea and LOVES his production, unlike much of the other popular novels spun out for word count or profit.

I'm chomping at the bit to complete the series but I must maintain an interlude of other science fiction literature (perchance because I won't read anything this imperial) according to my draw-and-read sci-fi habit including fifty-four books. BUT I just can't HELP it that I want to pick up Lake of the Long Sun... so I will, soon.

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