The Sorcerer’s House by Gene Wolfe
Tom Doherty Associates, New York, 2010
Borrowed from the library.
An epistolary novel, dark, weird and wonderful. A perfect read for the Once Upon A Time IV challenge.
Baxter Dunn, recently released from prison, finds himself staying in a motel in a small town in the Midwest.
Bax writes letters, to his brother, to a friend in jail, to his brother’s wife, as he try to figure out his future. The letters tell an odd story.
When Bax meets a real estate agent who tells him he is heir to an old, empty house his life becomes, well, unusual. Things change quickly, life is totally transformed. Bax is confronted by strange creatures and events, becomes involved with odd, fey people. His letters tell of magic, of different worlds, of sorcerers. I had to keep reading, needing to know what happened.
Bax is an oddly compelling character. Wolfe has created a mundane world that becomes creepier until, by the end, it feels like a weird, twisted dream. This book reads so smoothly I was surprised by how quickly it was over and I wanted to turn around and read it again. Read it, you’ll love it.
One final note. I had to grin when I first opened the book, found the dedication page, and read: To Neil Gaiman, the best of writers and the best of friends.