Read Exodus from the Long Sun by Gene Wolfe Online


Wolfe's recent multi-volume novels have invited interpretation as religious allegory. In the "Book of the Long Sun," the fourth volume of which is Exodus from the Long Sun, religion is at least an inspirational starting point. This book is set on a starship, the Whorl, whose inhabitants have lost track of the fact that they are on a journey. Indeed their origins are mysterWolfe's recent multi-volume novels have invited interpretation as religious allegory. In the "Book of the Long Sun," the fourth volume of which is Exodus from the Long Sun, religion is at least an inspirational starting point. This book is set on a starship, the Whorl, whose inhabitants have lost track of the fact that they are on a journey. Indeed their origins are mysterious to them, and the starship's vestigial communications system is understood to bring messages from unknown gods. One priest, Patera Silk, discovers the truth about the Whorl, and the gods his people worship. Silk must prepare his people for the revelation....

Title : Exodus from the Long Sun
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780812539059
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 448 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Exodus from the Long Sun Reviews

  • Ed Holden
    2018-11-14 08:04

    I've now read two separate, four-part series by Gene Wolfe: The Book of the New Sun, and The Book of the Long Sun (of which this novel is the last part). And while I should have faced the truth earlier, I think I really dislike his writing style.His universes are not bad. There's something I like about the quasi-medieval future societies with traces of high technology. They suggest the future will be far from Utopian, and we'll always stray from Enlightenment ideals in the way we govern ourselves, but there's something reassuringly realistic about that assertion and I like the way he guides the reader through what looks like a backwards society only the reveal that -- wow! -- the world is on the inside of a cylinder, and some of the nuns are robots. That, and his prose is structurally excellent, almost a joy to read ... almost ... but unfortunately the clarity of his storytelling is just not there. And it ruins the books.For one thing, Wolfe is obsessed with dialogue. I can think of writers who avoid dialogue to a fault, focus way too much on description and action, but in Wolfe's books (especially this one) dialogue is almost the driver of the story. Wolfe will sloppily throw a very ambiguous action sequence at his reader, a passage that should be clearly written due to its great importance (a character might be getting killed!), but at the end I have no idea what happened. As a reader, I leaf back a page and read it all a second time, to little avail. Then, ten pages later, I learn what happened because two characters decide to mention it during a five-page dialogue.It's dizzying, and it leaves a bad taste in my mouth, because while these characters are chatting away endlessly the reader is left in exile, outside the moment. Wolfe provides fully-realized, often admirable characterization in his dialogue, with each speaker showing his or her own recognizable quirks. Yet I ask myself as I read: Where are these people while they're talking? What are they doing? I don't know, because Wolfe hasn't specified. Maybe they're in a bar, or a house of worship, or a mansion, or a tunnel. Or amid smoke in a terrible battle, with bombs falling around them. Wolfe doesn't seem to care.And I need to get this off my chest. The following are the names of some select characters in this book: Silk, Sand, Shale, Saba, Siyuf, Sard, Schist, Sciathan, Shell, Shrike, Scleroderma, Skate, Slake, Spider. Really, I'm not making that list up. There are also some gods, of which two are Scylla and Sphigx. You might be wondering if Wolfe can generate any characters with names that don't start with S, and yes, fortunately he can, but the plentitude of these S-characters is hyper-Dostoyevskian. I wonder if he actually hates his readers.

  • Greg
    2018-12-12 03:59

    This series really petered out for me. The first volume sucked me in, and then I steadily became less and less enamored with the progression of the story and character development over the course of the next three books. I got 100 pages into this volume, after being very diligent with the first thousand or so pages of the tale, and realized that the wheels were spinning, the characters were spending huge amounts of time talking unrealistically to each other, the story itself had become hopelessly convoluted, that I wasn't willing any longer to see if there was going to be any clarifications or payoff, and that I was just getting pissed at the whole thing. So I did the old speed-read/scan for the rest of the story, grabbed a few of the bigger events, and was immensely gratified as I did so that I wasn't spending another twenty hours wading through a quagmire of Patera speech patterns, armies and soldiers spying on and lynching each other, being told who is who repeatedly through circular references that are little help, gods and councillors who may or may not be alive or possessing someone or having a live double or on and on and on. Just, blech, and very disappointing after how much I enjoyed the previous New Sun tetrology. By the way, these two series are supposedly related to each other. Did the last 300 pages reveal this connection? I did not read the add-on fifth volume of the New Sun books, so maybe it's there.I might still give Gene Wolfe some more time--I'm still curious about the Short Sun books and his other stand alone works.

  • Perry Whitford
    2018-11-30 08:15

    As war rages all around him Patera Silk, the calde of Viron, goes in search of love; the thief Auk becomes a prophet of Tartaros and receives a theophany from Pas himself; the Trivigaunti troops arrive in a great host as the insurgent leadership begin to realize that their presence may not be entirely benign; and the mysterious Flyers are sent to Viron on a mission from Mainframe.Thus begins the final part of Wolfe's generation ship series, the Book of the Long Sun, a baffling, brilliant, meandering work of mythic proportions about a saintly hero in a manufactured world of false gods, where enlightenment comes from outside.This review, like my others of the preceding three volumes in the series, comes only after a second reading. After the first reading I remember being left in a state of near mystification about what was even happening in the story let alone the implications, so skillful a stylist is Wolfe, with more narrative tricks up his sleeves than a conjuring octopus. This time around I could follow everything that took place, elliptical and unresolved though much of it was, but after a few days of thinking it through I still can't seem to work out exactly why it happened as it happened. Or to put it another way, why has Wolfe spent so much time and energy on creating a highly unconventional hero like Silk, a pacifist, guilt-ridden do-gooder of saintly proportions, just to do the things he did to him in this concluding chapter?Many possibilities suggest themselves, but I fancy that his love for the beautiful yet utterly sluttish prostitute Hyacinth holds the key, though I can't quite unlock it. Forget the fact that she is a prostitute -Chenille is too, but she has many commendable characteristics- it's her shallowness and ingratitude towards Silk that left me cold.I found it impossible that Silk would love her as he does, yet he rejects everything else for her. There is something highly significant in this that I can't quite fathom, yet I desperately want to. The answer may be in the following admission from Silk, a difficult one for a Christian, for whom faith is usually presented as something implicit, not to be won through endeavor: "The faith I had, I had learned as one learns other lessons - from reading and lectures and my mother's example and conversation. I'm in the process, I believe, of replacing it with new faith gained from experience".I should actually be disappointed with this book. Certainly no book I have enjoyed so much has frustrated me for so many reasons before. The fractured nature of storytelling that started to hamper Calde of the Long Sun, Wolfe's tendency to walk out on a moment of action, opting instead to explain it posthumously via conversations between various characters, was positively rampant here. Also, all the overladen politenesses about hospitality (particularly about when to sit down as a host) became infuriating at times, as did the dull engineering discussions about some of the machinery of the Whorl (particularly the Talus) and too much time on circling back to minor puzzles, such as a hiding place taken by some soldiers in one of the tunnels. Add to that an extraordinary revelation near the end that has no where to go in this story (though it does pave the way for the next Short Sun series), and a complete non-ending that managed to top anything from a writer with a rare ability for that (think An Evil Guest or Soldier of Sidon) and there was more than enough to aggravate the staunchest of fans.And yet I really liked it. How does he do that?I don't know for sure but I think a lot of it must be down to the amount of work Wolfe puts into his writing, and in this series in particular, to make you think. Sure, the little games he plays can sometimes irritate, but he is always playing the big games at the same time as well; semantically, structurally, philosophically and theologically.p.s. the Trivigantis were reminiscent of the pseudo-Arabian Calorrmenes in the Narnia books, clearly disliked by their author, a fact that Wolfe exacerbated by having them governed by arrogant women. This seemed like bigotry and chauvinism rolled into one. Did anyone else think that, or am I being harsh on him?

  • Scott
    2018-12-13 10:20

    A pretty solid ending to an absolutely epic series, going back to it paid dividends for me. One major reason for this is that the tale ends with many loose ends, with Father Silk guiding the members of his "whorl"("world", to us), a massive starship that nearly no one on it knows is a starship, onto landers that will lead them to actual planets. Silk has, by this point, realized that their "gods" were actually the powerful engineers who created the whorl back on Earth, and he has all but totally lost his faith in them. He has married a former prostitute and their relationship is as interesting as it is touching in many places. Since Wolfe, in his own words "writes not for readers, but RE-readers", it's no surprise that many things are not clearly spelled out by the end of everything. This is likely because Wolfe immediately started writing the trilogy of books that concludes the "Solar Cycle." That's next on my list.

  • Zach
    2018-11-23 07:09

    It's hard to escape the frustrating feeling that these books were just ~1400 pages of prologue to The Book of the Short Sun.

  • James Wayne Proctor
    2018-11-21 10:14

    While being an account of events tangential to Wolfe's earlier cycle, The Book of the New Sun, this Book stands on its own, an intriguing exploration of civic life aboard a vast starship whose inhabitants actively worship a pantheon of deities. The author, a professing Catholic, has a scholarly interest in religious belief and ritual behaviors and goes great lengths to explore how these impact characters and their roles in society, packaged within a fabulous milieu that makes for a unique reading experience. An enjoyable experience so unique, in fact, that Gene Wolfe is virtually a genre unto himself.Stylistically, this Book departs from its predecessor, which was a baroque narrative full of incident, reflection, and rich detail. A more traditional omniscient narration tells this tale almost as a stage play, relying on dialogue to describe environments and plot developments. It creates an immediacy in the prose that often leaves it to the reader to catch up on what is going on and how much has been missed between incidents; just as often you wonder at the importance of a scene or dialogue exchange, the relevance of which might not be immediately apparent and may not emerge as important until later in the same book or in a later one within the larger Book. This is a conscious decision by Wolfe, who has stated that he sees this approach as immersive for the reader and makes re-reading the Book more satisfying. I enjoy it but found it less effective here than in the prior Book. Especially in the concluding book, there are passages that would been better served with further elucidation. It is the end of a long tale, so there is a climax that reveals more mystery even as it brings events to a satisfying close. Wolfe likes to introduce mystification even at the very end of his stories, layers of revelation you didn't think to look for. That is a big part of his power as a writer, to introduce new questions in the final equation. It's a curious kind of satisfaction that nobody else can pull off like he does.

  • Marc Laidlaw
    2018-11-17 03:19

    Not sure why I forced myself to read the whole series. Loved the first book and it was a crashing disappointment after that. I'll reread New Sun but I won't be thinking about Long Sun.

  • Kim Zinkowski
    2018-12-12 04:10


  • Mike W
    2018-11-16 09:13

    Not a great end to the series. The ideas were good but the plot and dialog were lacking.

  • Aaron Humphrey
    2018-12-09 08:53

    Though I had some trouble getting into it, by the third and fourth books I really enjoyed Gene Wolfe's "Book of the New Sun" series, and "The Urth of the New Sun" that followed it. I really did want to like "The Book of the Long Sun" as well. The first book started off a bit slowly, but the second and third books began to reveal more of the world behind the books. However, the fourth book was a major disappointment. It felt like he was trying too hard to be oblique, to not satisfy his readers, to keep from having a satisfying conclusion. I remember skimming over a Locus review of one of his recent books, and the reviewer saying something about Wolfe's "contempt" for his readers. After this book, I can believe it.Admittedly, there is an entire trilogy, "The Book of the Short Sun", which looks like it follows on from this one, and joins up with "New Sun" at the end. But at this point I don't know if I will ever bother.

  • Althea Ann
    2018-11-19 05:52

    The last book in Wolfe's Book of the Long Sun. Although it was definitely good, I do feel that at times the story kind of got bogged down in the politics. It also ended on a rather unsatisfactory note, with the reader never finding out what happens to the main character, after a dramatic juncture. (Of course, having already read them, I know that the next three books rather deal with that question, although without answering it) ā€“ but it still makes for an odd ending, with issues that were brought up, especially regarding Silk and Hyacinth's relationship, unresolved. I also feel like the "afterward" in which it is explained that the entire preceding book was written by Patera Silk's student, Horn, was unconvincing (and added on because Wolfe had decided to write the following books from Horn's perspective.)Ah well. It was still very enjoyable reading.

  • Ted
    2018-11-20 11:09

    Wolfe's style is to build up momentum in a story and then start leaving out more and more details, leaving quite a lot for the reader to infer. I enjoy that style, but I know from other reviewers that it's not for everybody.This is my second time through the Long Sun books, and I enjoyed them more. It's an intriguing take on the idea of a generation ship, and one I think is quite realistic in terms of human psychology. These people know in a sense that their world is artificial, constructed for their benefit. What's completely lacking is any motivation for them to complete the mission, leave the ship and colonize the target planet.I've just recently gotten the continuation Short Sun books (one reason for rereading this series) so we'll see how it wraps up.

  • Story
    2018-12-07 09:10

    Wolfe has an interesting way with unreliable narrators, perception of events, and reflection on past happenings. A powerful ending to the series. There is so much here in this volume that I kept having to return to previous books over, simply because Wolfe has this amazing ability to characterize an event, implying heavily one thing, which his characters and readers go on believing, only to find that something else is true, but the original characterization never once contradicts this truth. The reader can't be certain of the motives of any of the various characters, and indeed, these shift and change under the lens of the narrator's focus. The effect is stunning.

  • Jason gordon
    2018-11-22 05:20

    Considering how much I loved this entire series, until this the last episode, I feel I should just give it a big old five. Yet I also feel like Mr. Wolfe split the plot into about 3 too many points of view. The whole thing lost it's perspective for me. I will read on the series immediately though because something tells me this story is far from over.

  • Shawn Garbett
    2018-12-06 06:10

    What a mess of an ending to such a wonderful beginning. There were so many plot threads opening, that resolving them ended up in a giant frayed knot, with rough ends and exposition trying to tie it all up. There were too many characters, and I ended up not caring about any of them. The author needs to trash this work and rewrite the ending, with more clarity and simplicity.

  • Don
    2018-12-13 04:10

    The Long Sun is a long series. Like the tunnels of the whorl, sometimes I wondered if it was all going anywhere. Lots of interesting characters. Loved the development of Patera Silk. Great payoff at the end.My head is spinning with speculation about all the connections between Long Sun, New Sun, and Cerberus. Can't wait to get into the Short Sun!

  • William Crosby
    2018-12-11 03:14

    No longer a focus on just Silk and his bird; other characters get significant consideration.Includes war and political intrigues. Unfortunately all of the intrigues just went on and on and on and on.

  • Sebastian
    2018-12-07 07:07


  • retroj
    2018-12-03 07:22

    4.5 stars

  • Shannon Appelcline
    2018-11-16 06:58

    This is the weakest book of the series, as it seems unfocused and is definitely slow. Nonetheless, I still enjoy seeing the end(?) of Silk's story.

  • Eric Wisdahl
    2018-12-15 07:53

    One of the Long Sun series which follows Patera Silk.

  • Amanda Patchin
    2018-12-11 03:20

    Wolfe is excellent as always. I enjoyed The Book of the New Sun more, but that is like saying the double-chocolate ice cream is better than the chocolate...

  • malrubius
    2018-12-11 02:56

    reread October 2011.