• Title: The Devil in a Forest
  • Author: Gene Wolfe
  • ISBN: 9780312890322
  • Page: 363
  • Format: Paperback
  • The Devil in a Forest Back in print after two decades this fantasy tells of a young man who lives in a village deep in the forest in medieval times Mark finds himself torn between his hero worship for charming highwayman
    Back in print after two decades, this fantasy tells of a young man who lives in a village deep in the forest in medieval times Mark finds himself torn between his hero worship for charming highwayman Wat and his growing suspicion of Wat s cold savagery And Mother Cloot, who may have sorcerous powers, works in equally suspicious ways perhaps for evil, perhaps for good.

    One Reply to “The Devil in a Forest”

    1. Chivalry be damned, it must've sucked ass to be a medieval peasant – just look at Mark, the protagonist of Gene Wolfe's The Devil in a Forest. An orphan, he lives in a small village that at best treats him with indifference; at worst with outright spite and beatings. The village has reason to be frustrated: once thriving via a steady stream of pilgrims coming to the maybe-magical St. Agnes' fountain that sits in its center, it's now a ghost town thanks to the attentions of a sadistic highwaym [...]

    2. A medieval tale of peasants, bandits, forests, and old gods at odds with new ones. I really liked this; it feels both simple and so intense that one could spend the greater part of a long career working out the ramifications. I certainly can see reflections of this book in a lot of his other works. If you're a Wolfe fan, I highly recommend this as a background text for many other things.Based on the carol "Good King Wenceslas," which makes the narrator's name a terrible pun.

    3. This short novel is fourth in line of my long quest to read all of Gene Wolfe's published novels and story collections. Although I was fascinated by some of the ideas in the "Fifth Head of Cerberus" and "Peace", I have to say this is the first book of his I've really enjoyed. Set in a medieval village tucked away in a deep forest, the story focuses on 14 year old Mark, a young man struggling between hero worship and absolute terror of Wat, the local "highwayman". The book opens when the town dec [...]

    4. An early Wolfe novel, more easily accessible than some of his others yet still the signature puzzle with which he's associated. Something beyond the medieval setting reminded me of Stevenson's Black Arrow. Less of a fantasy than it is a medieval mystery-adventure, it still retains enough fantasy elements to sate fans of the genre.Engrossing and well-written, the kind of novel I look forward to reading again after it's settled.

    5. Why is it *A* forest? I think the last chapter and the epilogue give the explanation, because they suddenly move this story of a village to the local lordship, then to the present-day. Whereas before we'd been deeply enmeshed in a very local tale, in the last sections we can see how small it is in the wider concerns of the world. Everyone may think of their own forest as THE forest, but to others it's just A forest.Who is the devil? The most obvious answer is Wat, the bandit whose capture is the [...]

    6. First off: I don't know what book the blurb for The Devil in a Forest is talking about, because it certainly isn't this one. This is not about an epic battle between good and evil. It is a story of the amoral and mystical world that a peasant in the middle ages would have lived through. The protagonist, Wat, is an apprentice in a tiny village with bare knowledge of the world that exists more than a few miles away. He interacts with an old witch, a forest brigand, and the remains of ancient villa [...]

    7. This is yet another book toward my goal to read/remove all the books I added to my to-read list in 2009. The library had this book listed as a Fantasy. It isn't a fantasy at all. It is more of a historical fiction book that tells a story about the strange and difficult transition between pagan religions and Christianity. I really liked Mark. I also like how the evil characters (the Devil if you will) were from several different walks of life. Mark saw his Christian neighbors as blameless through [...]

    8. -Estamos tan mal acostumbrados que, a veces, lo bueno es enemigo de lo excelente-.Género. Novela.Lo que nos cuenta. El asesinato de un buhonero en las cercanías de una pequeña aldea medieval trae el desasosiego a sus habitantes. El protagonista, Mark, un aprendiz de tejedor, comparte con sus vecinos las dudas y sospechas sobre la autoría del crimen. ¿Tendrá algo que ver la Madre Cloot, la bruja? ¿Y Wat, el asaltante de caminos? ¿Será algo sobrenatural o se han sugestionado los habitante [...]

    9. -Estamos tan mal acostumbrados que, a veces, lo bueno es enemigo de lo excelente-. Género. Novela.Lo que nos cuenta. El asesinato de un buhonero en las cercanías de una pequeña aldea medieval trae el desasosiego a sus habitantes. El protagonista, Mark, un aprendiz de tejedor, comparte con sus vecinos las dudas y sospechas sobre la autoría del crimen. ¿Tendrá algo que ver la Madre Cloot, la bruja? ¿Y Wat, el asaltante de caminos? ¿Será algo sobrenatural o se han sugestionado los habitant [...]

    10. What a misleading blurb! No battle for good and evil, just deadly forest hijinks and murder mysteries.A more truthful blurb: The murder of a wandering peddler by the highwayman Wat plunges a small forest village into slowly stewing chaos.Mark was a good viewpoint: intelligent but not knowledgeable, open-minded but not to the point of his brain falling out. Not quite a "coming of age" story, but there was some definite growth there - Mark at the beginning never would have demanded that the Boar l [...]

    11. January 2018:"A person can't actually love anything stronger than herself—unless it's like a horse—too stupid to do anything but what it's told."I think I can read this book maybe one or two more times before it falls apart. ***May 2017: Worst packaging ever. The person hired to write the blurb must have just skimmed for character names. The cover art is not totally inappropriate but it is also promises a far more horrific story than what the book is. And I'm not even sure it should be categ [...]

    12. This is a short novel that can be read in a day, but savor it and spread it out over two reading afternoons.It starts out deceptively simple, but in Wolfe tradition, all the characters are alive and vibrant, off pursuing their own convoluted goals when the camera isn't on them. You get a whiff of this all throughout the book, but only toward the end does it become so thick with clever people trying to outthink and second-guess each other that two things may happen: you can give yourself a headac [...]

    13. I did not like this as much as Seven American Nights, but nonetheless the subtleties inside the conventions Wolfe makes me pause and re-read. Did I just catch that? What's really going on? His use of the word "nearly" for example, in the spatial sense: playing with language here and there, just the slightest shifts or turns (or tropes if you will) away from the expected, the familiar. Wolfe is aware, never lazy.Apart from being well-made, the story does plod on a bit too much with the narrative [...]

    14. Just finished up with The Devil in a Forest by Gene Wolfe. The story revolves around Mark, a young apprentice weaver, and the small village that he lives in as they go through the trials and tribulations of dealing with a highwayman, an elderly lady with an evil heart who may or may not be a witch and the soldiers who are sent in to deal with the highwayman. Wolfe is able to capture the persona of Mark quite well as he struggles to realize that the adults around him are not all powerful or perfe [...]

    15. I was hoping for a sort of semi-regular hit-and-miss schedule with Wolfe, but this is just another miss, for me.The restricted perspective is the strongest part, I think. Mark, being both fourteen years old and absent from large parts of the goings-on, can offer only a limited narration of what's happening. The rest has to be pieced together by the readers--or would have, if there wasn't a final chapter full of exposition.None of the dialogue felt real to me, and because of that the characters c [...]

    16. I told a friend of mine that I want to write. After a long conversation he basically told me that if I want to write I need to just start and quit thinking about it. So he gave me this book and told me to talk to him about it when I finished.The book is okay. Nothing great. It's not a bad book, but what important is the epilogue where the author Gene Wolf talks about why he wrote this book. Part of the reason is from the peasant mentioned in the song "Good King Wenceslas" and the other is in boo [...]

    17. It doesn't really live up to the title though it is quite an interesting historical novel set in the middle ages. Quite well depicted in a lot of ways but begs some real questions such as how could such an isolated community continue to exist after being robbed of the passing pilgrimage trade. Also it is billed on the cover as a fantasy novel and supposed to have a supernatural element but there is nothing at all to substantiate this - people imagine things based on lingering traces of pre Chris [...]

    18. The politics are disappointing: the outlaw, the witch, and the ancient warrior are villains while the priest and the king are good guys. But I still love the feel of it. It makes me feel like I know what was like to live in the middle ages.

    19. Well written. Read most of the book in October 2013, finished the reading in January 2014. Too long a break; I'd forgotten to much by the time I read the last 30 pages or so. If I'd read the whole book without that break, I think I'd liked the book more.

    20. Another unsettling book by the great Wolfe. Very odd as ever. Best thing about this was the sense of timelessness - the very limited world of the POV character makes this something special

    21. Another masterful appearance by Wolfe, this time in an old book I found in the used book section of Powell's. It's amazing the way the story unfolds in this simply told, but far from simple tale.

    22. Early unadorned Wolfe, stripped of his weapons: formidable still, yet cramped by didactic tendencies. For if you want to read Name of the Rose with books removed.

    23. A really great piece of medieval fiction and a good sampling of some of Mr Wolfe's writing. This book is among my pantheon of favorite books.

    24. Wolfe atípico, fantasía clásica, Crimen, Investigación, apariencias, mezquindades. Un toque de oscuridad.

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