The Land Across
The Land Across is one of Gene Wolfe’s slightly more accessible novels. This is not to say it’s a complete success, but it’s certainly interesting to read. The best way to classify this book is as Kafka meets Dracula in an eastern European country where Trans means “across” and sylvania was the land on the other side of the forests.
Our hero is a writer of travel guides and decides to visit this country. As he crosses the border on the train, he’s arrested, his passport is confiscated, and he’s subjected to a somewhat unusual form of detention. So begins his slow search for a way in which he may be able to recover his passport and escape the country. This has many twists and turns, but the point of the story is easy to state. Our hero is, at heart, a good man and, despite himself, he’s drawn into an investigation to discover who might be trying to destabilize the dictatorship in this country. Yes, he ends up working for the secret police! The result is a rather nicely plotted mystery with very real supernatural overtones and some discussion of the merits of different political systems. This is a book you read for the quality of the ideas rather than for showy excitement.
|Page Count||288 pages|
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|Category||Science Fiction & Fantasy|