counter create hit In Green's Jungles - Download Free eBook
Hot Best Seller

In Green's Jungles

Availability: Ready to download

Gene Wolfe's In Green's Jungles is the second volume, after On Blue's Waters, of his ambitious SF trilogy, The Book of the Short Sun. It is again narrated by Horn, who has embarked on a quest from his home on the planet Blue in search of the heroic leader Patera Silk. Now Horn's identity has become ambiguous, a complex question embedded in the story, whose telling is itsel Gene Wolfe's In Green's Jungles is the second volume, after On Blue's Waters, of his ambitious SF trilogy, The Book of the Short Sun. It is again narrated by Horn, who has embarked on a quest from his home on the planet Blue in search of the heroic leader Patera Silk. Now Horn's identity has become ambiguous, a complex question embedded in the story, whose telling is itself complex, shifting from place to place, present to past. Horn recalls visiting the Whorl, the enormous spacecraft in orbit that brought the settlers from Urth, and going thence to the planet Green, home of the blood-drinking alien inhumi. There, he led a band of mercenary soldiers, answered to the name of Rajan, and later became the ruler of a city state. He has also encountered the mysterious aliens, the Neighbors, who once inhabited both Blue and Green. He remembers a visit to Nessus, on Urth. At some point, he died. His personality now seemingly inhabits a different body, so that even his sons do not recognize him. And people mistake him for Silk, to whom he now bears a remarkable resemblance. In Green's Jungles is Wolfe's major new fiction, The Book of the Short Sun, building toward a strange and seductive climax.


Compare

Gene Wolfe's In Green's Jungles is the second volume, after On Blue's Waters, of his ambitious SF trilogy, The Book of the Short Sun. It is again narrated by Horn, who has embarked on a quest from his home on the planet Blue in search of the heroic leader Patera Silk. Now Horn's identity has become ambiguous, a complex question embedded in the story, whose telling is itsel Gene Wolfe's In Green's Jungles is the second volume, after On Blue's Waters, of his ambitious SF trilogy, The Book of the Short Sun. It is again narrated by Horn, who has embarked on a quest from his home on the planet Blue in search of the heroic leader Patera Silk. Now Horn's identity has become ambiguous, a complex question embedded in the story, whose telling is itself complex, shifting from place to place, present to past. Horn recalls visiting the Whorl, the enormous spacecraft in orbit that brought the settlers from Urth, and going thence to the planet Green, home of the blood-drinking alien inhumi. There, he led a band of mercenary soldiers, answered to the name of Rajan, and later became the ruler of a city state. He has also encountered the mysterious aliens, the Neighbors, who once inhabited both Blue and Green. He remembers a visit to Nessus, on Urth. At some point, he died. His personality now seemingly inhabits a different body, so that even his sons do not recognize him. And people mistake him for Silk, to whom he now bears a remarkable resemblance. In Green's Jungles is Wolfe's major new fiction, The Book of the Short Sun, building toward a strange and seductive climax.

30 review for In Green's Jungles

  1. 4 out of 5

    Terry

    3.5 – 4 stars This is a difficult book to discuss without roving into major spoilage territory, especially in regards to many of the mysteries and conundrums that are central to the Short Sun saga. That being said I’ll do my best to give a general feel for this book without crossing that dangerous line. Our narrator finds himself in a position not altogether unlike the one in which he found himself in the previous volume. Having escaped his unwanted role as Rajan (leader) of Gaon he finds himself 3.5 – 4 stars This is a difficult book to discuss without roving into major spoilage territory, especially in regards to many of the mysteries and conundrums that are central to the Short Sun saga. That being said I’ll do my best to give a general feel for this book without crossing that dangerous line. Our narrator finds himself in a position not altogether unlike the one in which he found himself in the previous volume. Having escaped his unwanted role as Rajan (leader) of Gaon he finds himself in the city of Blanko where he becomes, if not the leader, then a leading figure and primary counsellor to the titular leader, Inclito. He also gains a new name, Incanto, continues to experience the deepest confusion as to his identity and is constantly surprised and nonplussed at the way he is treated by all those he meets. As with Gaon (and New Viron before it), Blanko is undergoing social upheaval and is on the verge of a war with a powerful neighbour state. For reasons that may be becoming obvious to the reader, even if they aren’t to our narrator, Inclito immediately latches onto ‘Incanto’ when he sees him and all but forces him to become an ally and advisor. At first it appears as though Blanko will inevitably lose the imminent war, but as events progress we see that with the aid of Incanto there may yet be hope that they will come out of the conflict intact, and perhaps even on top. Incanto, certain that he has failed in his quest to bring Silk back from the Long Sun Whorl, simply wants to return home to his wife and sons (with the exception of Sinew, whose fate is inextricably wound into some of the narrator’s previously mysterious adventures on the deadly planet Green that are only now starting to be unveiled to the reader), but he finds himself stymied at every attempt to return as everyone he meets wants to recruit him to their cause. When he learns that his twin sons Horn and Hide, like their older brother, may have gone out in search of him (and may even be nearby) Incanto tries to track them down even as he aids his new allies in their growing war. Add to this the narrator’s continued, and growing, relationships with various inhumi who find themselves as attracted to him as do the human settlers of Blue that he comes across and we begin to see a tangled web of relationships sprouting up around the narrator and his new and constantly growing ‘family’. This new ‘family’ of inhumi proves to be a catlyst for a strange form as astral travel that allows the narrator, and those in his vicinity, to travel vast distances to places such as Green (where he remembers a previous, more physical, journey to the homeworld of the inhumi under tragic circumstances that ultimately leads us to the crux of the narrator’s identity crisis) and even to a strange red-sun world that mystifies the narrator, but that any reader of the Solar cycle will recognize as the Urth of Severian. Finally, the long-awaited direct connection to the progenitor of the series! Suffice it to say that with the narrator’s identity crisis, tangled web of growing relationships, and habit of setting off on strange and inexplicable dream-voyages to distant worlds at the drop of a hat this volume is no less confusing than the previous one, though the reader may have pieced together the mysterious identity of the narrator by this point…or at least have some good guesses as to part of what is going on. It's all really par for the course for Gene Wolfe.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Yórgos St.

    a m a z i n g

  3. 5 out of 5

    Richard S

    Wolfe continues in Green's Jungles in his literary vein, exploring new types of ambiguity. Towards the end of this book the thought entered into my head - this is the "science fiction of literary ideas". New ambiguities: ambiguity of location (Blue and Green), ambiguity of person (Silk and Horn), uncertainty of body, are all explored, it's endlessly fascinating. Mostly at the beginning of the book, the tone of the prior one is achieved with some of these added nuances. One great thing he does at Wolfe continues in Green's Jungles in his literary vein, exploring new types of ambiguity. Towards the end of this book the thought entered into my head - this is the "science fiction of literary ideas". New ambiguities: ambiguity of location (Blue and Green), ambiguity of person (Silk and Horn), uncertainty of body, are all explored, it's endlessly fascinating. Mostly at the beginning of the book, the tone of the prior one is achieved with some of these added nuances. One great thing he does at the beginning is have people in the book tell stories, kind of like Apuleius' "The Golden Ass", which is very interesting. Fans of more traditional science fiction will be pleased that far more of this book has straight narrative than the prior. Long passages read like a typical story. Wolfe is fascinated by war, and much of this is a pure war story. He shows his fearlessness again though, in the "horror" sections of the planet Green, which are among the most disturbing I've ever come across. He has a surprising ability at vivid world description, and the jungles of Green and its alien life are fabulously described. Towards the end of the book, the last fifth or so, the book oddly goes off on some tangents which are inconsistent with the flavor of the prior portion - it's almost as if he's gotten tired of writing brilliantly, and he wants to fall back on some easy stuff. These are well done, but are mildly irritating. They really undermined my thinking of Wolfe as a truly great American writer. Much of what was subtle becomes quite overt, and unnecessarily so. The same thing sort of happened at the end of the New Sun tetrology, where it seemed like he had to finish with 100 pages to go and so went from a fascinating Proustian style to a very perfunctory one. All that said, at his best there's nothing better than Wolfe in science fiction or literature generally. One more book to go in the series of 12, surely the best sci-fi and one of the best literary experiences I've come across.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Mark

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. If In Green's Jungles were a nonfiction work, its author, Horn, would be ripped apart by the resident critic of whatever the planet Blue's equivalent of the New York Review of Books is--not just for his inability to tell a straight story, but also for his inability to decide whether he's writing a diary or a memoir. Moreso than the one before it, this book is all over the place, temporally and geographically. The story, as told by Horn, fluctuates between what he's doing now (the "diary" section If In Green's Jungles were a nonfiction work, its author, Horn, would be ripped apart by the resident critic of whatever the planet Blue's equivalent of the New York Review of Books is--not just for his inability to tell a straight story, but also for his inability to decide whether he's writing a diary or a memoir. Moreso than the one before it, this book is all over the place, temporally and geographically. The story, as told by Horn, fluctuates between what he's doing now (the "diary" sections) and what he did a while back (the "memoir" sections), with no apparent rhyme or reason, save the order in which Horn happens to set them down on paper. But of course In Green's Jungles is *not* nonfiction, so it's a fascinating puzzle rather than a hair-rending nightmare of a reading experience. As with every Gene Wolfe novel I've read before, this one raises plenty of questions in the reader's mind without always providing clear, easy answers, but the greatest mystery to me personally is why I enjoyed this book and not its predecessor, On Blue's Waters. It's true that Horn is (or, this being a Wolfe novel, should I say "presents himself as"?) less of a bastard in this book than he was (did) in the last one, but Horn's personality and actions alone weren't what disappointed me about Blue. I think it might have something to do with the settings explored in Green, which were more varied and interesting than those in Blue. In Green, Horn spends some time in the town of Blanko, getting to know Inclito and members of his household. There, while telling stories, Horn (and the inhuma Fava) tell us a little about the planet Green, home of the inhumi. Then Horn leads the citizens of Blanko into battle against the seemingly superior horde of Soldo. Before this sequence is over, Horn and Fava somehow transport themselves and several soldiers astrally onto Green, only to return to Blue as if from a dream. Afterwards, Horn finds a primeval sacrificial stone that presumably belonged to the Vanished People and performs the first Eucharist in who knows how many millennia. Then Horn and Jahlee, another inhuma, transport themselves (again, presumably astrally, and in this case presumably far back in time) as well as some others to Nessus, Severian's old stomping grounds on Urth. Last but not least, Horn, his son Hide, and Jahlee travel to Green to see Horn's other son Sinew, who was trapped on Green during Horn's *physical* trip to that planet earlier in the book. They don't actually see Sinew, but they do find Silk's old friends Auk and Chenille, who had been on one of the landers from the Long Sun meant to colonize Green, became slaves of the inhumi, and were now captives of Sinew. The book ends with Horn, Hide, and Jahlee traveling, on Blue, to an uncertain destination. Horn had mentioned earlier his desire to return to his wife on the island known as Lizard, but seven pages from the end of this book he admits--to his companions, to his readers, and to himself--that if he could be anywhere he would choose to be with Seawrack on their boat. So who knows where the hell he's headed. In short, it's a book in which a lot happens; some of it confusing, but nearly all of it interesting in some way. In contrast, I did not find much of interest in Blue, and this is what made me dislike it even more than this awful man who acted as my narrator and guide. I wonder, though, if the Horn who narrated Blue is the same man who narrates Green. The Green Horn is the same man insofar as he has memories and feelings relating to the events in Blue. In other words, there is a continuity between these narrators. So he may be the same person--but is he the same *fundamentally*, or the same *superficially*? I'm not sure. I'd argue the latter, if only because I hated the Horn of Blue and appreciated the Horn of Green. My appreciation might stem from the implication that the Horn of Green is channeling, or even embodying, Silk somehow. Oreb calls him Silk, though Horn dismisses this as a symptom of the bird's limited vocabulary. His own son, Hide, didn't recognize him when they reunited outside Blanko. According to Hide, his father did not have as much hair as Horn does (and this may be a sci-fi novel, but even Gene Wolfe hasn't found a believable way to reverse male pattern baldness). Others, including some inhumi, also address Horn as Silk or Caldé. He protests, but not too much. The sequence that really hit home for me, however, came near the end. To explain how it affected me, I must first discuss the middle of the book, which concerns the battle between the towns of Blanko and Soldo. As I was reading this section of the book, I was enjoying it well enough but kept thinking about how often Gene Wolfe's novels are about war (or, at least, all the books of his that I've read seem to be about war). I began to wonder if he wrote about war so much because he enjoyed it, or because he felt compelled to for some larger reason. In the three Sun series (New Sun, Long Sun, and Short Sun), Wolfe has invented a handful of amazing, alien, unique worlds, and yet war is a nearly constant factor in all of them. Knowing that I was reading the work of a thoughtful author, I had to believe there was a reason. And then he provided that reason at the end of Green: Horn, Hide, and Jahlee have a conversation about the relationships among the humans and inhumi in the Short Sun star system. Horn's belief, which Hide echoes, is that the humans will ultimately triumph over the inhumi if only for mathematical reasons: because when the humans kill inhumi they only benefit, whereas when the inhumi kill humans they also harm themselves because humans are their foodsource. But Jahlee disagrees. Humans fight among each other more than they fight against the inhumi. They betray each other to the inhumi constantly. Humans are cruel and violent, she says, and the more of them there are, the crueler and the more violent they become. Jahlee reminds Hide that he had asked Horn why the humans of a particular settlement had bothered to construct a wall around their town since the inhumi can fly. Her implied answer is that inhumi aren't the only ones that humans need to keep out of their settlements. I am reminded of Ripley's equivalent line in Aliens: "You know, Burke, I don't know which species is worse. You don't see them f***ing each other over for a goddamn percentage." I honestly don't know where this series, as a whole, is headed. Our narrator seems content to ramble aimlessly around as many whorls as Gene Wolfe will let him. But I enjoyed Green enough that I'm plunging right into the third and final book, Return to the Whorl, without taking a breath. Let's see where we end up!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Yve

    Every single word of the Short Sun books is phenomenal! I was in the second-to-last chapter when my dad noted, "You're past the climax of your book," which made me realize that these (and New Sun and even Long Sun) don't really have a climax as such but keep building up and getting twistier and stranger and better until the last page. And that I'm already looking forward to reading it again. I recently read an old interview with Gene Wolfe where he talked about Silk as the ultimate good guy: "We Every single word of the Short Sun books is phenomenal! I was in the second-to-last chapter when my dad noted, "You're past the climax of your book," which made me realize that these (and New Sun and even Long Sun) don't really have a climax as such but keep building up and getting twistier and stranger and better until the last page. And that I'm already looking forward to reading it again. I recently read an old interview with Gene Wolfe where he talked about Silk as the ultimate good guy: "We were talking about war in my most recent panel, how easy it is and how dramatic it is. The same thing can be said about evil. A lot of people have the notion that evil is interesting and basically fun, and that good is dull and no fun, and I don't think that's true. If anything, the reverse is true, and I wanted to have a shot at proving that I was right." And I love it because even so Silk (and especially in the Short Sun with the added complication of Horn) is not perfect and that somehow makes him even more compelling to read about. In that same interview, they bring up two of my other favorite aspects of the series - the huge cultural differences throughout the whorls and the careful speech patterning (which also stands out in many of his other novels). In regards to the first and this book, I enjoyed the switch from Gaon to the Italianesque colonies of Grandecitta and especially Duko Rigoglio; as well as the fixation with words and naming and etymologies. And for the second, Horn/Silk echoes Severian/Thecla (and two-headed Pas) but here rather than the big differences in memory that signal the divide between Severian and Thecla there is a distinctly Silk attitude and speech pattern that pops up and a few verbal tendencies. I think in a lot of books I take for granted that the narrator's or principal character's voice echoes the authors but these books are more carefully constructed. Anyway it was completely worth 9 volumes previous to get to On Blue's Waters and In Green's Jungles! Though the fact that they are technically a separate series is now constantly tempting me to recommend them to innocent bystanders as standalone novels just to gauge how confusing they would be. If you've read this far, why don't you make the Short Sun your first Sun? I promise you will love it.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Daniel

    This is an absolute masterpiece.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Perry Whitford

    After escaping the effects of war in Gaon, our confused narrator finds himself in a similar situation in a new town, where his inherent leadership qualities again draw him reluctantly into a conflict. He tries, as always, to do the thing that will create the least harm, advising with an equal mixture of wisdom and humility in beautifully measured sentences, albeit with more than the occasional instance of pedantry (indeed, there is a general trend towards the pedantic in latter-day Wolfe). The After escaping the effects of war in Gaon, our confused narrator finds himself in a similar situation in a new town, where his inherent leadership qualities again draw him reluctantly into a conflict. He tries, as always, to do the thing that will create the least harm, advising with an equal mixture of wisdom and humility in beautifully measured sentences, albeit with more than the occasional instance of pedantry (indeed, there is a general trend towards the pedantic in latter-day Wolfe). The planet Green itself is clearly a representation of Hell, a place so horrid that Wolfe avoids directly describing it, instead visiting it through some of his favourite narrative devices, such as dreamlike sequences or a "story within a story". In many ways much of this book does in fact resemble a waking dream - or rather a nightmare - as the narrator tries to come to terms both with the things he has seen and with the person he has become. The middle book in a trilogy can often be a difficult proposition, where a plot needs to be advanced but cannot be completed, characters needs to be developed without achieving their destiny. This constant sense of irresolution can stifle the flow of a story, weigh it down. With Wolfe, however, it's rarely a problem because he weaves such a bewildering, deliberately obscure narrative, where even his endings rarely reveal a fraction of all the secrets, so In Green's Jungles never feels like a stop-gap. Through both the mysteries of his story (e.g. how does Horn become Silk? or how does Horn/Silk transport himself and others to Green) and of his themes (i.e. how to communicate with and understand God?), Wolfe likes to withhold information with one hand whilst scattering it strategically with the other. Wolfe is capable of stuff so above and beyond the usual fantasy writer that he can do all this, can obfuscate at every turn, yet still entertain and delight. Masterful, philosophical and deeply strange.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Alex

    I struggled, and struggled, and struggled to get into this trilogy, and have concluded that it's just not for me. I had to put this book down for lack of interest, something I almost never do. My impression is that Wolfe fell into a rut here, in which he could not avoid having all of his characters speak with the same rhythm and voice. Wolfe's no amateur and I suspect the fans of these novels are right that he had a distinct literary purpose for doing things this way, the unreliable narrator and I struggled, and struggled, and struggled to get into this trilogy, and have concluded that it's just not for me. I had to put this book down for lack of interest, something I almost never do. My impression is that Wolfe fell into a rut here, in which he could not avoid having all of his characters speak with the same rhythm and voice. Wolfe's no amateur and I suspect the fans of these novels are right that he had a distinct literary purpose for doing things this way, the unreliable narrator and all that. But the narrator isn't compelling, so onto the shelf this one goes.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Paul Nash

    Gene Wolfe is simply one of the best novelists we have -- read the entire series, as there are layers within layers, and a subtle, haunting quality that grows and develops, especially in this book.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Hobart Mariner

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Another mysterious, elliptical entry in the final block of Wolfe's Solar Cycle. The book mirrors the structure of On Blue's Waters -- some of the entries are flashbacks to Horn/Incanto/pseudoSilk's journey through the treacherous, overgrown world of Green toward the Long Sun Whorl, while others describe his efforts on the colonized planet of Blue to assist a small city-state in a war of defense. There are many vintage Wolfe tricks here, including a contest of storytelling, an exciting battle to Another mysterious, elliptical entry in the final block of Wolfe's Solar Cycle. The book mirrors the structure of On Blue's Waters -- some of the entries are flashbacks to Horn/Incanto/pseudoSilk's journey through the treacherous, overgrown world of Green toward the Long Sun Whorl, while others describe his efforts on the colonized planet of Blue to assist a small city-state in a war of defense. There are many vintage Wolfe tricks here, including a contest of storytelling, an exciting battle to defend the city-state Blanko, travels through two (!) different abandoned cities, lots of strange and mysterious magic, gratuitously naked women, difficult father-son relationships, etc. He keeps us on the hook to learn two mysteries: what is the secret of the inhumi as revealed to Horn by Krait (although you can make some kind of vague inference here that it relates to people treating one another more kindly), and what happened with Horn's quest to find Silk after he was reincarnated in the Long Sun in a dying old man's body. The most exciting addition to this volume over the previous volume is the connection that it makes with The Book of The New Sun. Previously the Long Sun books had only made very slender, oblique references to the Short Sun Whorl (aka Red Sun Whorl here, I believe). The antagonist in Horn's second war on Blue (the previous being the fight between Gaon and Han) is Duko Rigoglio. Whereas the Man of Han was not an important character in On Blue's Waters, here the Duko provides an astonishing link to the previous two series. We learn that Rigoglio (aka Roger) was one of the sleepers on the Long Sun, that he was taken by force from Nessus and placed on the Long Sun (which is a hollow asteroid), that the "gods" Scylla, Sphigx, etc. were all lords and ladies of Urth, that some of the Long Sun dwellers were engineered to give birth to livestock (I can't recall if this bit is revealed in the Long Sun books) and so on. In On Blue's Waters the narrator develops some magical ability to see and understand things very clearly, which is not mentioned very often but seems attached to the sea goddess mother of Seawrack, or possibly the Vanished People of Blue. Here the narrator develops an even more impressive ability, which allows him to project his and others' consciousness onto other planets. This is first seen in the kitchen in Blanko, where he sends everyone to the world of Green subconsciously. He also enters into the story of an inhuma named Fava and alters it. This ability is linked to the Neighbors and also the inhumi, although in classic Wolfe fashion its precise mechanism is never really spelled out. This allows him to travel to Green two times, once with a band of mercenaries to purge the city of the inhumi, and once with his younger son to meet his elder son. On the second trip to Green he briefly meets some characters from the Long Sun, who presumably will figure more into the final volume. He also uses this ability to pester the Duko during the war between Blanko and Soldo, helping to lead to its victory. But the most important instance is the trip that he takes with Rigoglio/Roger, his son Cuoio/Hide, the inhuma Jahlee, and a few others back to the city of Nessus on Urth. Those who have read the Book of the New Sun will recognize a great many of the landmarks here - the Torturers' Matachin Tower, the Bear Tower where people are savagely killed, the river Nessus whose lower banks are plagued by cannibals, etc. The important thing seems to be that the Red Sun is quite large, and that over a thousand years seem to have passed since Roger was conscripted to travel on the Long Sun. This could be due to some relativistic effects, although it's left unclear. I really hope that the final volume includes some indication of the secret of the inhumi, as well as how Patera Quetzal made it onto the Long Sun. (It seems like there were no landers/spacecraft available, and it's not possible that he could have traveled through the great vacuum between Green and the Long Sun). All in all a great volume, Vintage Wolfe, can't wait to read the other. Obviously if you're reading this book you're more or less sold on Wolfe, and probably the series. Liked this one better than the first.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Brian

    This is the final series of Wolfe's Solar Cycle. The overarching theme of the series is the colonization of the planets Blue and Green, and the challenges the colonists face transitioning from the Long Sun Whorl (their generation ship, and the subject of the second series of the Solar Cycle). Disparate peoples inhabited the Long Sun Whorl, and came in waves to the new planets. The darker sides of humanity are on display as the waves meet, and an emissary is sent to find a savior who can bring ou This is the final series of Wolfe's Solar Cycle. The overarching theme of the series is the colonization of the planets Blue and Green, and the challenges the colonists face transitioning from the Long Sun Whorl (their generation ship, and the subject of the second series of the Solar Cycle). Disparate peoples inhabited the Long Sun Whorl, and came in waves to the new planets. The darker sides of humanity are on display as the waves meet, and an emissary is sent to find a savior who can bring out the good in humanity. The action centers around this emissary, who serves as the narrator for most of the series. Like the majority of Wolfe's narrators, he is not exactly reliable. He is an entertaining character, though flawed, and reasonably self-aware of these flaws, though also somewhat narcissistic and confident in how he handles everything. The total number of trials he overcomes in this series is a bit absurd, but it holds to the style that Wolfe introduced in the Book of the New Sun. The writing is strong throughout the book. The storytelling drags a little bit, but caught me up so that I kept going to find out how it resolved. I feel this way about most of Wolfe's books. The story is engaging, the writing is grandly ponderous, and requires more attention from me as a reader than a lot of the entertainment fantasy I read. I think it is important to read through some of where scifi/fantasy came from, and Wolfe was a ground-breaking writer for the genre; may light perpetual shine upon him.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Eric Fredricksen

    2nd read but I don’t remember that much from my first read years ago. The first half, almost, is an Agatha Christie mystery, which is kinda odd. Wolfe’s writing conveys a peaceful feeling of religious wonderment in a way that harkens back to how reading LotR for the first time felt. Frodo and Jesus serve the same purpose for different people I think.

  13. 5 out of 5

    matthew

    There’s something extremely satisfying about being outsmarted

  14. 4 out of 5

    Anthony

    Shoot. I wanna give this four stars but the truth is at this point in the ongoing saga I'm a little weary. (Just one left) If you count the books from "Book of the New sun" then this is the 9th ! book in this series and Wolfe's formidable tricks & games with narrative and plot can be grueling . . . especially when he is playing the tried and true story tellers game of withholding key information. In this case it is the mystery of how the Inhumi aliens ever got onto the starship way back in the pr Shoot. I wanna give this four stars but the truth is at this point in the ongoing saga I'm a little weary. (Just one left) If you count the books from "Book of the New sun" then this is the 9th ! book in this series and Wolfe's formidable tricks & games with narrative and plot can be grueling . . . especially when he is playing the tried and true story tellers game of withholding key information. In this case it is the mystery of how the Inhumi aliens ever got onto the starship way back in the previous series in the first place. Still . . . I have to admit I am amazed to think that Wolfe had the planning & forsight to plant the key mystery to this series 4 books back. If it was chess you would say he plays a very deep game. Another reason I consider Wolfe a top-notch writer: he exhibits the sort of ruthlessness that you find in great writers, that willingness to suddenly kill of characters which is always somehow surprising. You definitely never quite know what to expect next. Also this book just might have the goofiest cover art OF ALL TIME!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Ted

    Why has it taken me so many years to make my way through the Short Sun books? Gene Wolfe is my favorite writer, and I've read Book of the New Sun several times, and Book of the Long Sun at least three. The first time I picked up On Blue's Waters I realized how many layers Wolfe was setting up in the story, and .. I didn't want to play. It sounded like work. I left it on the shelf for a year or two. Finally I tried again, gritted my teeth at the feeling of work-for-story, got past it and fell in Why has it taken me so many years to make my way through the Short Sun books? Gene Wolfe is my favorite writer, and I've read Book of the New Sun several times, and Book of the Long Sun at least three. The first time I picked up On Blue's Waters I realized how many layers Wolfe was setting up in the story, and .. I didn't want to play. It sounded like work. I left it on the shelf for a year or two. Finally I tried again, gritted my teeth at the feeling of work-for-story, got past it and fell in love with the Short Sun setting. That doesn't explain the long gap between Blue and Green, caused by other RL factors. I finally re-read Blue earlier this year, and yet still felt sluggish about starting on this book. Imagine my surprise to find it so very different from the preceding volume, each differently magical and intriguing. I would like to promise that I'll get on the third book soon, but my track record is pretty lousy.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Adam Vine

    Started slower than first Short Sun book - a lot slower, to the point I almost quit. But by the end it proved to be a worthy sequel, with a bevy of GW easter eggs. I was interested to learn more about the Vanished People, and why they, well, vanished. Also, the scene in the City of the Inhumi where Horn is describing how the jungle reclaimed the towers is my favorite description of that type of thing ever put to paper. I still have a ton of questions about the narrator, and about what actually h Started slower than first Short Sun book - a lot slower, to the point I almost quit. But by the end it proved to be a worthy sequel, with a bevy of GW easter eggs. I was interested to learn more about the Vanished People, and why they, well, vanished. Also, the scene in the City of the Inhumi where Horn is describing how the jungle reclaimed the towers is my favorite description of that type of thing ever put to paper. I still have a ton of questions about the narrator, and about what actually happened in the story, which is typical for me of a first read-through of a GW novel. But I'll save them, and my reread, for after I finish volume three. Overall, the Short Sun Cycle is monumentally different in style and mythic scope than the New Sun and Long Sun books, but is as entertaining and labyrinthine as you expect. My one major complaint is that the end sort of fizzled out, with no real resolution, and the real climax of the story came much earlier, but that's a forgivable sin for the second part of a trilogy.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Gary

    OK, I love Wolfe. He is one of the best writers alive or just perhaps one of the best writers period. This book is great because, well, it's all about the world of the inhumus ... but none of the book takes place there. It all takes place way later as Horn is taking care of other troubles on Blue... you pick up what happened on Green by way of recollections and waking dreams. Horn is both a smart guy and incredibly dumb ... doesn't he ever look in a mirror or listen to his bird? Like Silk, he's OK, I love Wolfe. He is one of the best writers alive or just perhaps one of the best writers period. This book is great because, well, it's all about the world of the inhumus ... but none of the book takes place there. It all takes place way later as Horn is taking care of other troubles on Blue... you pick up what happened on Green by way of recollections and waking dreams. Horn is both a smart guy and incredibly dumb ... doesn't he ever look in a mirror or listen to his bird? Like Silk, he's a bit disappointing as a Messiah figure, never quite getting with the program as their moral failings keep them shy of real transformation. We'll see what they can do in return to the whorl which I'm almost done with. Put it this way, the story gets increasingly fragmented -- you keep up with a new main plot every 20 pages or so and it's often a recollection from one plot line that moves another forward. Good schtuff.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Scott

    The second volume of the Short Sun trilogy, and the 11th book in Gene Wolfe's massive and mind-blowing "Solar Cycle", is another excellent work. Continuing the story of Horn, a rather bit character in the middle Long Sun series, this one follows Horn between the planets Blue and Green. The real trick is that Horn is narrating two of his own stories - one in the present and one from the past. On top of this, his physical appearance has shifted somehow, though we don't really know the reason. As w The second volume of the Short Sun trilogy, and the 11th book in Gene Wolfe's massive and mind-blowing "Solar Cycle", is another excellent work. Continuing the story of Horn, a rather bit character in the middle Long Sun series, this one follows Horn between the planets Blue and Green. The real trick is that Horn is narrating two of his own stories - one in the present and one from the past. On top of this, his physical appearance has shifted somehow, though we don't really know the reason. As with nearly all other Wolfe novels, many things are hinted at and incredible revelations are made, but they are only there if the reader is paying VERY close attention. The over-arcing theme of a man who is trying to live up to almost impossible standards of morality can get lost in the science-fiction elements, but to do so would short-change yourself as a reader. I'll definitely return to this one after I finish the final volume, and I'll undoubtedly get even more out of it.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Althea Ann

    The sequel to "On Blue's Waters". Here, Horn continues his dual, tangential narrative of his life and adventures. I have to admit that I believe I liked the previous book slightly more - in this volume I found the newly-introduced concept of psychic(?) travel between planets to be far-fetched, in the context of the story. It's often problematic, for me, when some really major new gimmick comes in when the story is already well in progress... ALso, I really wanted more of the planet Green. The narr The sequel to "On Blue's Waters". Here, Horn continues his dual, tangential narrative of his life and adventures. I have to admit that I believe I liked the previous book slightly more - in this volume I found the newly-introduced concept of psychic(?) travel between planets to be far-fetched, in the context of the story. It's often problematic, for me, when some really major new gimmick comes in when the story is already well in progress... ALso, I really wanted more of the planet Green. The narrator, at one point, admits that he believes he has failed to make the horrors of Green come alive for his reader - and, unfortunately, I felt that it was true. 'Dreams' and passing mentions weren't really enough, I felt. Still, these are slight criticisms of what is overall, still an extremely impressive work, and one I would definitely recommend.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Fantasy Literature

    Gene Wolfe has earned a reputation for writing novels that benefit from being read twice. His works are often complex and they do tend to reward careful reading, so much so that it’s not uncommon to hear prospective readers asking which of his Solar Cycle works is the easiest to read. Wolfe’s Book of the Short Sun trilogy is certainly not the place to start, but it is an otherwise fine finish to this distinguished cycle of stories that bridge the gap between fantasy and science fiction, and for Gene Wolfe has earned a reputation for writing novels that benefit from being read twice. His works are often complex and they do tend to reward careful reading, so much so that it’s not uncommon to hear prospective readers asking which of his Solar Cycle works is the easiest to read. Wolfe’s Book of the Short Sun trilogy is certainly not the place to start, but it is an otherwise fine finish to this distinguished cycle of stories that bridge the gap between fantasy and science fiction, and for some readers, between literary and genre fiction. In The Book of the New Sun, Severian is tasked with saving Earth and its dying sun. In The Book of the Long Sun, Wolfe tells the story of a generation ship that was launched to a nearby star... Read More: http://www.fantasyliterature.com/revi...

  21. 4 out of 5

    John Lawson

    The story of Patera Horn continues, purportedly covering his experiences on the world of Green. Reality is that precious little of the book actually occurs on Green. Much of which that does is conveyed as parable and second-hand story telling. The bulk of the book deals with Horn on Blue and his quest for Patera Silk. The deeper relationship between Horn and Silk is expanded upon, as well as the role the inhumi play in these worlds. Implied vampire sex ensues. In true Gene Wolfe fashion, this boo The story of Patera Horn continues, purportedly covering his experiences on the world of Green. Reality is that precious little of the book actually occurs on Green. Much of which that does is conveyed as parable and second-hand story telling. The bulk of the book deals with Horn on Blue and his quest for Patera Silk. The deeper relationship between Horn and Silk is expanded upon, as well as the role the inhumi play in these worlds. Implied vampire sex ensues. In true Gene Wolfe fashion, this book is written across multiple timelines, often with confusing and/or unclear breaks, and with a very unreliable narrator. This is by design, and it is up the reader to figure out what is going on.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jeffrey

    If you haven't figured out that the narrator is not quite all there by the time you start this one, it quickly becomes obvious here. The style of the first book is abandoned as Horn's present day travels become much more involved, and our glimpses of his past get more confused and terse. I loved every minute and flew through this book. Puzzles posited in the first book get deeper, new stranger ones get added, and we are treated to see more of the distinctly dim doom the protagonist seems to be u If you haven't figured out that the narrator is not quite all there by the time you start this one, it quickly becomes obvious here. The style of the first book is abandoned as Horn's present day travels become much more involved, and our glimpses of his past get more confused and terse. I loved every minute and flew through this book. Puzzles posited in the first book get deeper, new stranger ones get added, and we are treated to see more of the distinctly dim doom the protagonist seems to be under as a natural leader of people.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Andrew Couzens

    In Green's Jungles feels like a return, or perhaps more of a reinforcement, of the best elements of the Sun Saga. In it, Wolfe develops a series of layered puzzles, but whereas some of his books were beginning to feel impenetrable for the sake of it, in this novel the puzzles make narrative sense and are in some ways necessary. The book also begins to tie to world of the Long Sun Whorl back to Nessus in the Book of the New Sun, which gives me hope that Wolfe will tie things up successfully in th In Green's Jungles feels like a return, or perhaps more of a reinforcement, of the best elements of the Sun Saga. In it, Wolfe develops a series of layered puzzles, but whereas some of his books were beginning to feel impenetrable for the sake of it, in this novel the puzzles make narrative sense and are in some ways necessary. The book also begins to tie to world of the Long Sun Whorl back to Nessus in the Book of the New Sun, which gives me hope that Wolfe will tie things up successfully in the final book.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Don LaVange

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I spent the better part of yesterday enjoying the sun and this book, while at the same time celebrating the easter holiday. I found this book, especially the first 3/4 frustrating. I wanted to get more details about Green and couldn't figure out why we were spending so much time in yet another city on Blue in yet another war. But, he's totally got me hooked, and I'm going to get in a chapter of the last book in this series before I go to work. I spent the better part of yesterday enjoying the sun and this book, while at the same time celebrating the easter holiday. I found this book, especially the first 3/4 frustrating. I wanted to get more details about Green and couldn't figure out why we were spending so much time in yet another city on Blue in yet another war. But, he's totally got me hooked, and I'm going to get in a chapter of the last book in this series before I go to work.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jason gordon

    At times we are on Green. At times we are on Blue. We fight a war, we dream travel, and some of us die. I believe that we even see the walls and gates of Nessus in all of their decrepit glory. By the end of it's telling we get the sense that something incredible is happening, leaving us desirous of next chapter. At times we are on Green. At times we are on Blue. We fight a war, we dream travel, and some of us die. I believe that we even see the walls and gates of Nessus in all of their decrepit glory. By the end of it's telling we get the sense that something incredible is happening, leaving us desirous of next chapter.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Michael Gratton

    Part 2 of 3 in the Book of the Short Sun. I don't know what to make of this installment yet, or the BotSS as a whole. It'll take months to digest who the narrator is. After that I can go back and see what things he says that I believe. Part 2 of 3 in the Book of the Short Sun. I don't know what to make of this installment yet, or the BotSS as a whole. It'll take months to digest who the narrator is. After that I can go back and see what things he says that I believe.

  27. 4 out of 5

    lowercase

    really, i run the risk of being redundant in my praise for wolfe, but his work is simply so excellent that i can't do him justice with the quality of my reviews, and so i lean towards quantity to compensate. he's ... just ... brilliant. and so is this book. really, i run the risk of being redundant in my praise for wolfe, but his work is simply so excellent that i can't do him justice with the quality of my reviews, and so i lean towards quantity to compensate. he's ... just ... brilliant. and so is this book.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Shannon Appelcline

    Not quite up to the quality of its predecessor, both because the story is more mundane, with its emphasis on a war, and because the Green narrative is frustratingly incomplete. Still, a thoughtful book with a daring plot structure.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Rob

    I found the narrative, as with "On Blue's Waters" as slightly disorientating, but the further that you read, the more the story draws you into the intregue of the books'circumstances. Combined with the fantastical elements of Wolfe's work, it makes a great read. I found the narrative, as with "On Blue's Waters" as slightly disorientating, but the further that you read, the more the story draws you into the intregue of the books'circumstances. Combined with the fantastical elements of Wolfe's work, it makes a great read.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Erma Talamante

    Far from my usual literature realm, In Green's Jungles leads you deeper into a world so unlike our own that for a moment you forget which way is out. Excellent reading, I feel bad about having missed the first in the series, but made do since this is an excellent stand-alone novel. Far from my usual literature realm, In Green's Jungles leads you deeper into a world so unlike our own that for a moment you forget which way is out. Excellent reading, I feel bad about having missed the first in the series, but made do since this is an excellent stand-alone novel.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.