Why I recommend this — 4 years ago
Anyone who struggled through the four volumes of Wolfe’s Book of the New Sun — and it is a struggle, though an amazingly rewarding one — simply MUST take this in as well. Not only does it wrap things up pretty well (though as always, Wolfe leaves you to work out about 75% of what’s going on for yourself in one way or another) and explain some of the stray presences pretty satisfactorily (Typon anyone?) but it also extends many themes to brilliant extremes. It’s pretty trippy how pretty much every obscure god/spirit of the Asian traditions seems to wind up with a big baddie named for/inspired by it in this cycle, and it was nice for me to have my Billy Pilgrim hypothesis pretty much confirmed… all in all, a very satisfying extension of the story loop. And it is a loop. I find, wrapping up Urth of the New Sun, that I pretty much can’t resist the prospect of taking up Shadow of the Torturer again right away to admire the ways I was led astray and gloat over the things I got right.
A brain loop threatens, but a good one.