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The Shadow of the Torturer: The Book of the New Sun, Book 1 | [Gene Wolfe]

The Shadow of the Torturer: The Book of the New Sun, Book 1

The Shadow of the Torturer is the first volume in the four-volume epic, the tale of a young Severian, an apprentice to the Guild of Torturers on the world called Urth, exiled for committing the ultimate sin of his profession - showing mercy towards his victim.

Gene Wolfe's "The Book of the New Sun" is one of speculative fiction's most-honored series. In a 1998 poll, Locus Magazine rated the series behind only "The Lord of the Rings" and The Hobbit as the greatest fantasy work of all time.

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Publisher's Summary

The Shadow of the Torturer is the first volume in the four-volume epic, the tale of a young Severian, an apprentice to the Guild of Torturers on the world called Urth, exiled for committing the ultimate sin of his profession - showing mercy towards his victim.

Listen to more in the Book of the New Sun series.

©1980 Gene Wolfe; (P)2009 Audible, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"The best science fiction novel of the last century." (Neil Gaiman)

  • World Fantasy Award, Best Novel, 1981
    • Favorite Audiobooks of 2010 (Fantasy Literature)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.4 (742 )
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Performance
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  •  
    K. Furr 06-02-11
    K. Furr 06-02-11 Member Since 2008
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    "Uggh, just awful, I bailed quickly"

    This was a regrettable waste of $15 for two reasons: the story and the voice actor. OK I hung in there for a good 30 - 40 minutes before I gave up. Story: good lord that was boring slogging, there was absolutely nothing I heard in 30 minutes that gave me any interest in continuing. Does it ever pick up?? I'll never know. (Not that I'm without patience, my all time favorite novel is "Foucault's Pendulum", which doesn't pick up steam till about page 200.)

    And the voice was intolerable. Sounded like the guy was on sedatives, pouring more boring into a boring story. Jonathan Davis -- I'll stick that next to my monitor with a post-it note so as to not make this mistake again.

    1 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sean west monroe, LA, USA 03-21-10
    Sean west monroe, LA, USA 03-21-10
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    "horrid"

    a sad story about a confused boy walking around going no where

    2 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Juan wichita, KS, USA 03-07-10
    Juan wichita, KS, USA 03-07-10 Member Since 2010
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    "Boring as hell"

    This book was the most boring book I have ever heard. I kept having to rewind it in order to make sense of anything. It just drones on and on and on with no real purpose or story. You will find yourself spacing out while listening to this gargbage. Don't waste your money or credit on this junk.

    3 of 21 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jon Southlake, TX, United States 01-26-10
    Jon Southlake, TX, United States 01-26-10 Member Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Do not get this book"

    It goes no where. I thought the idea was great. But all the author does is tell side story, after moral story, after day dream, after nightmare. It was dull. His writing style was filled with necessary imagery. I have been with audible for 9 years now and this is the second worst book I have ever listened too. The narrator was fine.

    3 of 22 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Erlend Trussville, AL, United States 05-08-10
    Erlend Trussville, AL, United States 05-08-10 Member Since 2007
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    "Meaningless Drivel"

    This has got to be one of the worst fantasy books of all time. I thought Terry Goodkind was bad, but he's a true genius in comparison to Mr. Wolfe's work. I would give this book negative stars if I could. I'm almost at the end and I'm still waiting for the story to start. Some of these reviews brags about Mr. Wolfe's english, well his fine words might be great, but they don't tell anything. The narrator isn't a whole lot better, while not the worst I've heard, he most definitely gets on my nerves. Stay clear of this, don't say you haven't been warned!!

    2 of 18 people found this review helpful
  •  
    nell rayville, LA, United States 06-27-10
    nell rayville, LA, United States 06-27-10 Member Since 2009
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    "the shadow of the torturer"

    worst i have ever tried to listen to ............. and i dont know if it is the book or the narrating that was the worst. it was so bad i ff through most of it to find something less boring. it long and very bad. J. Davis did not help a bit with his monotone voice.

    1 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Macholz novato 05-24-10
    J. Macholz novato 05-24-10 Member Since 2008
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    "boring"

    I couldn't get past the first couple of chapters. I tried but couldn't focus. Maybe it was the narrators voice? i have read books and loved them but don't like listening to them so maybe that is the case here. Maybe it's just not my kind of book.

    1 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ryan oakhurst, CA, United States 02-01-10
    Ryan oakhurst, CA, United States 02-01-10 Member Since 2008
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    "Terrible Mistake!!!"

    As I write this there are 5 other people rating the book...I can only say I wish I had paid much closer attention to the ones who said it was awful!!! It is sooooooo slow and sooooooo poorly read I cant believe that there are actually 2 people who liked it...I never write reviews but this book is the first one I absolutely couldnt stand!!! Please Please Please do your self a HUGE favor and listen to the short piece thats made available. To me the title implied action and adventure and this is the farthest thing from it. The reader is so bad that I have black listed everything that now comes up with his name attached...It honest to god sounded like "Mr Rogers reads a long slow book about a boy who is supposed to be a torturer but really is just a loser". Sadly there is torture involved...Unfortunately it is the listener! Its a waste of a credit! Im not even going to keep it in my library...
    Ryan

    2 of 21 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David INDIAN LAND, SC, United States 12-01-10
    David INDIAN LAND, SC, United States 12-01-10 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Couldn't listen to it"

    OK, I know I have only myself to blame--but I just have to say that, unless you enjoy REALLY graphic sadism, you are not going to be able to finish this.

    Hope this saves you a credit if you don't care for gratuitous cruelty.

    0 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sandra L. Jacob US 07-27-10
    Sandra L. Jacob US 07-27-10 Member Since 2008

    Sleo

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Hated it"

    Did not finish. However beautiful Wolfe's writing might be, I could not listen to any more of this gruesome, soul-numbing cesspool.

    0 of 7 people found this review helpful
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