Transreal Fiction

Scotland’s sf & fantasy bookstore

Shadow of Pirate Freedom

I’ve recently finished the latest Gene Wolfe hardback, Pirate Freedom. It’s a fairly easy read about a priest who decides to leave his Cuban seminary and discovers that he’s actually gone back in time somehow to the age of pirates and the Spanish Main.
It should be exciting, but his memoir drifts through his adventures very blandly with no particular sense of excitment. The time travel ‘just happens’ as he wanders down the road to Havana and he soon realises that things are radically different but he doesn’t seem to care much and whatever morals he’s been inculcated with vanish surprisingly easily.
Perhaps it’s because it’s framed as a quickly-written memoir written years later that any emotion seems to have been leached out of the telling.

There’s a twist or two of course, and a revelation, but ultimately it’s one of the least exciting books I’ve read recently…

But I’m now re-reading The Shadow of the Torturer (which I’ve not read since it first appeared in paperback) – and enjoying it a lot more than Pirate Freedom !
Maybe there are layers of meaning and relevancies in PF that I missed or didn’t consider particularly deep so I may track down a review or two to see what they say but I doubt I’ll go back to the book itself.
Or maybe I’ll leave it a good quarter of a century like I have SotT !

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November 23, 2007 - Posted by | Shop News & Chat

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