I admit when I first read The Book of The Long Sun I had not yet read The Book of the New Sun, so all of the parallels between the two stories were lost to me. It was one of the first Wolfe books I picked up after The Knight and so consequently I haven’t read it in well over 10 years. I still recall thoroughly enjoying it (enough to name my blog here after a couple of the characters) but it hit me while listening to James and Marc hash out the plot mechanics of the stories that it is well past time to pick up The Books of The Long and Short Sun again for a reread (oh how I wish they were on audible). My Gene Wolfe rereading experience has only occurred recently in the past few years. I’ve now been through New Sun about 4 or 5 times and reread Latro in The Mist for the second time only just last year. I have also been making my way through the audio versions of The Wizard Knight books this winter. Other than that, I still have a lot I need to give a second and third read through.
Rereading Wolfe is pretty paramount to understanding his work and it’s always a rewarding experience so to have waited this long is probably strange to most Wolfe fans but my strange habit of not rereading books is probably best left for another post. Instead, I wanted to bring all this up to say that not having the New Sun under my belt before diving into the Long Sun caused me to miss a lot of connections between the two. So, listening to the latest episode of the ReReading Wolfe Podcast left me with an urgent desire to get another read of the Long & Short Sun books completed. It also left me floored by all of the things I missed during my initial read of them. It’s a pretty mind-blowing listen. So, If you’ve only really read the Urth Cycle on a surface level or if your interested in probing the story’s depth on a new level it’s worth listening to the conversation James and Marc have on the ReReading Wolfe Podcast.