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The Shadow of the Torturer Audiobook

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

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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

3.5 (1105 )
5 star
 (350)
4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Overall
3.6 (788 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
3.9 (785 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    James Albuquerque, NM, USA 01-27-10
    James Albuquerque, NM, USA 01-27-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Masterful story, poor reading"

    The Shadow of the Torturer, and indeed the entire Book of the New Sun, is a masterpiece of Science Fiction - and of American Literature. So, five stars for the content. However, in this reviewers humble opinion, the reading of the text left a great deal to be desired. The timing was off, the voice bordered on nasal and the story did not flow. It was like the reader, trying to avoid the obvious rhythms, stumbles through the story trying to find creative ones. However, that said, this version is not unlistenable and I will probably purchase the remainder of the series. But where is "Urth of the New Sun?"

    2 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Louis 04-24-12
    Louis 04-24-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "it must be quiet time"

    The reader's voice is to soft and monotone , I had a hard time telling the difference between characters, man or woman. It seems to be a very interesting story line but I have had a hard time listening to it.

    1 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    K. Furr 06-02-11
    K. Furr 06-02-11 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    15
    5
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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
  •  
    Jaime New Westminster, BC, Canada 07-13-14
    Jaime New Westminster, BC, Canada 07-13-14 Member Since 2011

    Not much to tell! I used to read alot, but now that I need reading glasses, I enjoy listening to books instead of having to wear glasses!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Awful!!!"

    It is possible the book is a good one but the narration was so bad I couldn't finish it and I couldn't even get into it.

    0 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark LOS ALAMOS, NM, United States 12-10-13
    Mark LOS ALAMOS, NM, United States 12-10-13 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    ratings
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    45
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    "If I could have heard it....."
    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    I can't give a good review of the book(s) because I couldn't hear them. I like listening to Audible while driving and the narrator goes from extremely loud yelling to a barely audible whisper. So when driving I was either blasted out of my seat or couldn't hear anything that was going on. If the volume was leveled better I wouldn't be having to rewind 15 to 30 seconds every five minutes to figure out what was going on.


    0 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sean west monroe, LA, USA 03-21-10
    Sean west monroe, LA, USA 03-21-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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
  •  
    LiVeTaRgEt 03-07-10
    LiVeTaRgEt 03-07-10 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    10
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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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    185
    5
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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 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    44
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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 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    17
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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

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