Saturday, October 24, 2009

"Golden City Far" by Gene Wolfe

I know, I need to to some catch up, again. I have the stories read for the last few days, but I just havn't had the time to write about them. I only have enough time for one right now. The others will have to follow later today, or maybe tomorrow.

I love a good story where you're not sure if the the main character has lost his mind. Seriously, Fight Club is one of my favourite novels. I think that's partially why I enjoyed Gene Wolfe's "Golden City Far" so much.

In this story, Wolfe works with the not-uncommon idea of a teen protagonist who lives a fairly uneventful life, but dreams of a being a hero in a fantasy world at night. Through the story, the teen comes to success in real life through the strength and skills he gains in the fantasy world. While few particular examples are coming to mind right now, I've seen this story hundreds of times before.

However, the twist here is that Wolfe makes it unclear as to whether his protagonist, William Watcher, is actually visiting a fantasy world in his dreams, or if he is just going insane. The fantasy world bleeds heavily into the characters real world and vice versa (Bill's neighbour's dog starts talking to and follows him around, both in and out of his dreams, a black-haired woman named Dinah from his dreams keeps appearing to him at different points, and so on. . .). Ultimately, it appears that Bill is transported to his dream world, but it's still unclear as to whether this really happens, or if it's all in his head.

No comments:

Post a Comment