Peace • 1975 • Literary novel by Gene Wolfe



Summary:  In this literary masterpiece, protagonist Alden Dennis Weer looks back at his life in a 1960ish Midwestern town. He describes in nonlinear memoirs his growing up, coming to age at his Aunt Olivia, financial success and getting old. Interleaved are several stories, some of them ghost stories.

Review: Reading it in a kind of daydreaming way, the author’s stream of consciousness narration would drift you from story to story, and the listening to its beautiful, atmosphereic, and sometimes nostalgic prose would lure you into sleep.

But one cannot walk simply into Wolfe’s narrations: If you urge for a comfy reading, don’t want to stand the fight of understanding his work this novel (as most of his short fiction) would just end in an unsatisfied waste of time. I would not recommend this book to you. On the other side, if you love an unreliable narrator (lying to you), decrypt the author’s hints, or read interpreting blogs (most helpful is the WolfeWiki), then it is a perfect book for you.

In fact, there is no such thing as spoilers for peace: You need to read it twice anyways to fully embrace it. You are in good company with Neil Gaiman, Michael Swanwick and others.

Meta: isfdb.

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