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Author Topic: Week 2: Up to the end of Shadow of the Torturer  (Read 5453 times)

Online Nighteyes

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Week 2: Up to the end of Shadow of the Torturer
« on: July 12, 2012, 10:10:09 PM »
Wow, the book has certainly done a 180!  The scenes of Severian wandering through the botanical gardens seeing manatees and stepping back through time into the past are surreal to say the least!  Got a feeling that a few people on this site won't enjoy this book sadly, but its definitely a real thought provoker.
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Offline Arry

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Re: Week 2: Up to the end of Shadow of the Torturer
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2012, 10:54:09 PM »
I'll start with saying there is something about the style of his writing that I enjoy and I feel I will pick up more details on a second read through (if I decide it's worth a second read through after finishing the other books)

As a stand alone, I felt this book was anti-climatic. If I were reading each of the 4 books as they were published/released and had to stop with just this, I would definitely feel let down. Since that is not the case, it's not really a problem unless the books continues to feel anti-climatic throughout.

Severian's "relationships", interactions with and general attitudes towards the women in this book bother me. I know he had no interactions with women previously and they are somewhat foreign to him, so I probably could have let it slide if it was not with practically every female introduced. Perhaps as the books go on, he will mature, and this will get better. I won't know until I read on. Since this is just a small portion of the book, it is not deterring me, just an annoyance that makes me like Severian less. Every time he sees a woman and "knows he loves her" the annoyance factor goes up. 
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Re: Week 2: Up to the end of Shadow of the Torturer
« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2012, 03:27:39 AM »
Okay have finished Shadow.  So many questions!

Why did Master Palaemon give Severian such a valuable sword that would make him a target of thieves like Agia and her brother?
What actually are the Botanical gardens?  What was the significance of the scene in the jungle house, and the characters speaking of Paris, and a plane flying past the window?
How did Severian survive being impaled by an avern?
Is crashing into an alter deliberate?  And what is this 'claw'?
Very early on whilst following the dog he encounters a mysterious woman living in an apartment and is served tea and biscuits.  Who was she, and was the significance of this meeting?

Think I'm going to take a break now and read 'The Long Earth', before returning to read the second volume!
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Offline Dan D Jones

Re: Week 2: Up to the end of Shadow of the Torturer
« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2012, 09:32:23 PM »
I'll start with saying there is something about the style of his writing that I enjoy and I feel I will pick up more details on a second read through (if I decide it's worth a second read through after finishing the other books)

Don't know whether you'll decide it's worth another read but I'll promise you that, if you do, you'll pick up more details on the second read.  And the third and the fourth and the fifth...

Severian's "relationships", interactions with and general attitudes towards the women in this book bother me. I know he had no interactions with women previously and they are somewhat foreign to him, so I probably could have let it slide if it was not with practically every female introduced. Perhaps as the books go on, he will mature, and this will get better. I won't know until I read on. Since this is just a small portion of the book, it is not deterring me, just an annoyance that makes me like Severian less. Every time he sees a woman and "knows he loves her" the annoyance factor goes up. 

Severian isn't a likable protagonist.  Along with being a misogynist, he's a terrible liar. 

Offline DBASKLS

Re: Week 2: Up to the end of Shadow of the Torturer
« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2012, 11:33:07 AM »
I have come late to this one as by the time I got hold of the book most of July had gone!

To be honest I wish I hadn't bothered. This is the first book club book I've given up on. I'm afraid I found it very slow and dull and there was nothing about any of the characters that grabbed me and made me want to find out more about them. I didn't even make it to the end of The Book of the New Sun.

Maybe I'll pick it up again but for now I'm going to read November's book - Prince of Thorns.
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Offline Arry

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Re: Week 2: Up to the end of Shadow of the Torturer
« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2012, 11:47:55 AM »
Yeah, this one was tough. I am still conflicted about how I feel about it. I finished Shadow and Claw but can't bring myself to get the next one. I had to take a break where you are now too, read something different. Prince of Thorns is a great idea, esp since there are other people still reading along and Mark is doing a Q&A.
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Offline Jeni

Re: Week 2: Up to the end of Shadow of the Torturer
« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2013, 01:20:40 AM »
So I finally finished the first book. Its only taken me 7 months! :o  :P

The Botanical Gardens chapters nearly melted my brain. Its been a while since I've read something quite so surreal but it was fun.

The whole book is quite strange and I think curiosity more than anything is what kept me reading in the end (after I started it for the third time!)

This is a book of two halves. Severian's life in the Citadel and then his journey through the city. His character seems to be quite distinctly different in each half, and both are different to the version of Severian that is narrating this tale. The narrating Severian mentions a few times that he is in the Citadel whilst writing this and as a lot of it comes across as quite juvenile I have to wonder how much of it (or if any of it) actually happened. Did he ever, in fact, leave the Citadel at all? Could the reason that the Severian who experienced all the danger and drama of the city is so different from the younger Severian and the narrator Severian, be because adventurous Severian only ever existed Severian's head and the whole episode is nothing more than a fantasy, a daydream?

*sigh*,  I dunno ???
It's late, and I'm not sure I'm making any more sense than the book.




Offline eclipse

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Re: Week 2: Up to the end of Shadow of the Torturer
« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2013, 05:44:58 PM »
I'll start with saying there is something about the style of his writing that I enjoy and I feel I will pick up more details on a second read through (if I decide it's worth a second read through after finishing the other books)

As a stand alone, I felt this book was anti-climatic. If I were reading each of the 4 books as they were published/released and had to stop with just this, I would definitely feel let down. Since that is not the case, it's not really a problem unless the books continues to feel anti-climatic throughout.

I feel the same I like the style of writing but the story not working for me not finished yet but have some questions

is the   Terminus Est sword important and why would the master of the torture guild give this gift to him after his betrayal of the Guild to make him a target of assassins  so the master can have clean hands in his death ? bit confused

How did he survive the dual did Dorcas have something to do with it and is she also the woman at the start of the novel ?


The avern plant interesting to read about
« Last Edit: November 15, 2013, 05:48:52 PM by Eclipse »
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